Autonomous Weapon Systems Case Brief
Order ID 53563633773 Type Essay Writer Level Masters Style APA Sources/References 4 Perfect Number of Pages to Order 5-10 Pages
. Compliance with IHL
1. Which functions and advantages mentioned in Document C are genuinely autonomous? Which simply refer to unmanned, but human-guided vehicles or functions? Which constitute a mix of the two?
2. (Document A, paras 106-7; D, para.) Is it, in your opinion, presently possible to say whether the use of autonomous weapon systems could comply with IHL? Are autonomous weapon systems unlawful as such under existing IHL? (CIHL, Rules 1, 3, 5-24, and 70-71; P I, Arts 35, 36, 48, 50-52 and 57)
3. (Document D) How can you evaluate whether an autonomous weapon system complies with IHL? By comparing its performance with that of a human being? With that of an average soldier? May one take into account that human beings can deliberately violate the rules they were instructed to follow? Can machines deliberately violate the rules they were programmed to follow?
4. (Document D) What information must an autonomous weapon system be able to sense, collect and process to comply with IHL?
5. What are some of the advantages of using autonomous weapon systems in warfare? (See, in particular, Document C). What are the disadvantages?
6. (Document D, paras -) Which IHL principles may be challenged by the deployment of autonomous weapon systems? In what ways? (CIHL, Rules 1, 3, 5-24, and 70-71; P I, Arts 1(2), 48, 50, 51, 57 and 58)
7. (Document A, paras 106-7; D, paras -) How can the conformity of these autonomous weapon systems with IHL be evaluated before they are deployed? Is there an obligation for States to review new technologies before deploying them in battle? Is the obligation the same for States not parties to Protocol I? What should be taken into account in the review? When should such review be undertaken? (P I Art. 36)
8. (Document D, paras , , ,  and  Is it currently possible to program an autonomous weapon system to comply with IHL rules governing attacks?
9. (Document A, paras 86 and 88) Does IHL recognize the right of the parties to equality in terms of sophistication of weaponry? Is your answer the same for IACs and NIACs?
10. (Document A, para. 88) Since a large part of IHL is concerned with the protection of human beings involved in armed conflict, do you think this protection would apply to a hypothetical battle involving solely autonomous weapon systems? Would the concepts of inhumane treatment, unnecessary suffering, and superfluous injury be applicable in such a situation?
11. (Document C, para. ) Do you agree with the comparison the Task Forces Report makes between autonomous ground vehicles and military working dogs? Dogs, as well as horses and other animals have long formed part of militaries, with relatively little controversy attached to their use in battle. Why, then, is the use of automated robots cause for more concern? If autonomous machines were limited to activities that did not involve the use of lethal force (such as mine detection, for example), would they be more likely to be IHL-compliant? Turning the tables, could other animate life forms (dogs, elephants, bees) be used with lethal effect in battle? Would their use in this way be compliant with IHL? Are the concerns in the latter case the same as those raised by the use of machines?
a. Exercising judgment; the capacity for emotion.
12. (Document D, paras - and -) Is an autonomous system capable of exercising judgment, or is that an inherently human capability? Does targeting involve subjective human judgment or only the objective application of parameters? (CIHL, Rules 1, 6, 7, 10-22; P I, Arts 48, 51, 52, 57)
13. How could an autonomous weapon system determine whether a person is a combatant, a civilian taking direct part in hostilities and/or a member of an armed group with a continuous fighting function?
14. How could an autonomous weapon system determine whether a person has surrendered? Whether a person is wounded? (CIHL Rules 46 and 47; GCI-IV, Art. 3; P I, Arts 40 and 41)
15. Does IHL have anything to say about human emotion? Is empathy implied in the principle of humanity? What do you make of the argument that combatants must be human for IHL to be respected? (P I, Art. 1(2))
b. Military objectives and proportionality
16. How could an autonomous weapon system determine the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from an attack it is about to launch, under the circumstances ruling at the time, which is necessary to determine whether the target is a military objective? (CIHL, Rule 8; P I, Art. 52)
17. Could an autonomous weapon system evaluate the proportionality of an attack it launched? Could it evaluate the military advantage anticipated? The risks of civilian death, injury or damage? (CIHL, Rule 14; P I, Arts 51(5)(b) and 57(2)(a)(iii))
c. Distinction (Document A, para. 86; C, paras , ,  and ; D para. )
18. Do both attacking and defending belligerents share the same obligations when it comes to protecting lives? Is the argument that new technologies would save lives of combatants relevant under IHL? Do you agree with the analysis presented in Document D para.  about the prospect of so-called riskless wars?
19. Would it be lawful to launch an attack with an autonomous weapon system if the system allowed for additional precautionary measures to be taken that would not be feasible for a human attacker if, at the same time, an autonomous weapon system did not perform as accurately as a human attacker in other respects? (CIHL, Rule 15; P I, Art. 57)
20. If an autonomous weapon system decides when to attack, who is the addressee of the precautionary rules that bind those who plan or decide upon an attack? To satisfy those rules, would it be sufficient that human beings fix the parameters according to which the system bases its decisions? (P I, Art. 57(2)(a))
21. (Document D, paras -) An attack must be cancelled or suspended if it becomes apparent that it is unlawful. To whom must any facts that would render an attack unlawful need to become apparent in the case where an autonomous weapon system is used? The machine itself? The human being deploying the machine? Must the machine be programmed so that it can react as well as a human being could to such circumstances? (P I, Art. 57(2)(b))
e. Accountability (Document E)
22. Can a machine violate IHL? Who would be responsible for a violation committed by an autonomous weapon system? The machine? The commander deploying it? Even if he or she trusts that the machine will respect IHL? The producer? The programmer? Under what circumstances? What practical difficulties arise in holding any of the aforementioned categories accountable?
23. Would a programmer who, in peacetime, deliberately misprogrammed an autonomous weapon system so that it attacked civilians in the event of an armed conflict violate IHL? Could his actions constitute a war crime? Would a state be responsible for violations of IHL if such a programmer were attributable to it? (CIHL, Rules 149 and 151; GC I-IV, Art. 2; GC IV Arts 146-147; P I Arts 1, 85 and 86)
II. Developing the legal framework
24. (Document A, paras -; Is the current legal framework sufficient to respond to the development and use of these new technologies? Is it sufficient to simply consider that autonomous weapon systems may not be used if they do not comply with the existing rules, or are new rules needed? (P I, Arts 1(2), 35, 36 and 48-58; CIHL, Rules 1, 3, 5-24 and 70-71)
a. Is an additional protocol to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons of 10 October 1980 necessary to regulate potential new autonomous weapon systems?
b. What are the advantages of a total prohibition of autonomous weapon systems? The disadvantages? In your opinion, should a total prohibition include all new technologies, or only certain kinds? If so, what criteria do you think are important in determining what kinds of weapons should be subject to a total prohibition?
c. Would it be sufficient to prescribe that there must be meaningful human oversight over any lethal attack executed by an autonomous weapon system?
d. What are the advantages of additional control or regulation of autonomous weapons? The disadvantages? Should regulation include all new technologies, or only certain kinds? What is the basis for your response to the former question?
e. What are the advantages of taking no further legislative action on autonomous weapons? What are the risks of waiting until the technology is sufficiently developed to see whether the weapons systems would be able to comply with the principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions?
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