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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Autonomous Weapon Systems

Markus Wagner

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 07 April 2020

Subject(s):
Human rights — Command responsibility — Individual criminal responsibility — Proportionality — Targeted killing — Weapons control — Ius ad bellum

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 Autonomous Weapon Systems (‘AWS’), sometimes referred to as Lethal Autonomous Robots (‘LAR’), Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (‘LAWS’), or ‘killer robots’, are unmanned weapon systems (‘UMS’) that do not depend on human input immediately prior to or during their use. This includes two corollary elements: AWS are not specifically programmed to engage an individual object or person and have discretionary decision-making capabilities. 2 For conceptual purposes UMS can be classified into three different categories that exist on a spectrum spanning from systems with...
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