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Part VI Emerging Areas?, Ch.51 Remotely Piloted Warfare as a Challenge to the Jus Ad Bellum

Jordan J. Paust

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Use of Force in International Law

Edited By: Marc Weller

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 08 December 2023

UN Charter — Self-defence — Armed forces — Weapons, nuclear — Armed attack — Customary international law — Opinio juris

This chapter examines the use of remotely piloted and other robotics during war and outside the context of war during permissible measures of self-defence and their implications for the jus ad bellum, interpretation of Articles 2(4) and 51 of the UN Charter, and applications of underlying general principles. It discusses the phenomenon of ‘remotely piloted warfare’ as it applies to the use of force by state and non-state actors with respect to self-defence, collective self-defence, self-determination assistance, regional action, and enforcement action authorized by the Security Council. It then considers the use of remotely piloted attacks, self-defence, and warfare in relation to compliance with the principles of reasonable necessity, distinction in targeting, and proportionality. In particular, the chapter looks at the use of weaponized drones and the possible challenges they present to compliance with basic legal principles that limit violence, and some current applications and issues regarding compliance.

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