Individual Criminal Responsibility for Autonomous Weapons Systems in International Criminal Law


In this book Barry de Vries addresses the issue of autonomous weapons in international criminal law. The development of autonomous weapon systems is progressing. While the technology advances, attempts to regulate these weapons are not keeping pace. It is therefore likely that these weapons will be developed before a new legal framework is established. Many legal questions still remain and one of the most important ones among them is how individual responsibility will be approached. Barry de Vries therefore considers this issue from a doctrinal international criminal law perspective to determine how the current international criminal law framework will address this topic.

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Barry de Vries, is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Public International Law at that the Justus-Liebig University Giessen and an associated researcher at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt.
 1 Ban the Bot?

 2 Historical Visions of Autonomy

 3 Responsibility for Autonomous Weapon Systems

2Development of Autonomy in Weapon Systems
 1 The History of Automation in Weapon Systems

 2 Weapon Systems Currently in Use
 2.1 Mines

 2.2 Missile Defence Systems

 2.3 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

 2.4 Unmanned Ground Vehicles

 2.5 Cyber Weapons

 2.6 Loitering Munitions

 3 Likely Future Developments

 4 Reasons for the March towards Autonomy

 5 Programming
 5.1 Machine Learning

 5.2 Artificial Intelligence

 5.3 ‘Strong’  AI 

 5.4 Ethical Governor

 5.5 Bounded Morality

3Meaning of Autonomy
 1 General Notions of Autonomy
 1.1 Autonomy in Philosophy

 1.2 Autonomy in Technical Discussions

 2 Autonomy Spectra

 3 Dimensions of Autonomy in Autonomous Systems
 3.1 Human-Machine Relation

 3.2 Sophistication of the Machine

 3.4 The Type of Decision Being Automated

 4 Conclusion

4The Why of International Criminal Justice
 1 The History of Individual Criminal Accountability in International Criminal Justice

 2 The Proposed Reasons for International Criminal Justice
 2.1 Retribution

 2.2 Deterrence

 2.3 Truth-Telling

 2.4 Providing Justice for Victims

 2.5 Facilitation of Peace

 2.6 The Expressive Effect of International Criminal Justice

 3 Conclusion

5 AWS  Considered as Prohibited Weapons
 1 Introduction

 2 Weapons Law under International Humanitarian Law
 2.1 Superfluous Injury or Unnecessary Suffering
 2.1.1 Introduction

 2.1.2 History

 2.1.3 What Is the Correct English Wording?

 2.1.4 What Suffering Is Superfluous or What Injury Is Unnecessary?

 2.1.5 Conclusion

 2.2 Inherently Indiscriminate
 2.2.1 Introduction

 2.2.2 Which Cannot be Directed

 2.2.3 Effects that Cannot be Limited

 2.2.4 Conflation between the Law of Targeting and Weapons Law

 2.3 Conclusion

 3 Employing Prohibited Weapons under International Criminal Law
 3.1 Introduction

 3.2 A Nature to Cause

 3.3 Inherently Indiscriminate

 3.4 Annex

 3.5 Comprehensive Prohibition

 3.6 Nullum Crimen

 3.7 Non-international Armed Conflicts

 3.8 Amendment Procedure

 4 Application to Autonomous Weapons Systems
 4.1 Introduction

 4.2 Are  AWS  of a Nature to Cause Superfluous Injury or Unnecessary Suffering?

 4.3 Are  AWS  Inherently Indiscriminate?

 4.4 What Future Could There Be for  AWS  under Art. 8(2)(b)(xx)  ICC  Statute?

 5 Conclusion

6 AWS  Considered as Responsible Actors
 1 Introduction

 2 General Actus Reus and Mens Rea
 2.1 Actus Reus

 2.2 Mens Rea

 3 Actus Reus and Mens Rea in International Criminal Law
 3.1 Actus Reus within International Criminal Law

 3.2 Interpretation of Mens Rea within International Criminal Law

 4  AWS and Mens Rea

 5 Conclusion

 1 Introduction

 2 Theories of Perpetration

 3 Individual Perpetration

 4 Co-perpetration

 5 Indirect Perpetration
 5.1 General Indirect Perpetration

 5.2 Organisationsherrschaft
 5.2.1 History of Organisationsherrschaft

 5.2.2 Incorporation of Organisationsherrschaft by the ICC

 5.2.3 The Interpretation of Organisationsherrschaft by the ICC

 5.3 Conclusion on Indirect Perpetration

 6 Indirect Co-perpetration

 7 Commission Through AWS ?
 7.1 Direct Human Involvement

 7.2 No Direct Human Involvement
 7.2.1 Direct Perpetration

 7.2.2 Joint Perpetration

 7.2.3 Indirect Perpetration

 8 Conclusion

8Superior Responsibility
 1 Introduction

 2 Early History

 3 Post-World War II Jurisprudence
 3.1 Yamashita

 3.2 International Military Tribunal for the Far East

 3.3 Western Prosecutions after World War  II 

 4 Additional Protocol I

 5 The Ad Hoc Tribunals
 5.1 The  ICTY  and  ictr  Statutes

 5.2 Superior Responsibility in the Jurisprudence of the  ICTY  and the  ICTR 
 5.2.1 The Existence of a Superior-Subordinate Relationship

 5.2.2 Knew or Had Reason to Know

 5.2.3 Failure to Take Necessary and Reasonable Measures

 5.2.4 Superior Responsibility of Civilians

 5.3 The Nature of Superior Responsibility at the Ad Hoc Tribunals

 5.4 Closing Remarks

 6  ICC Statute
 6.1 Causality

 6.2 Military Commanders

 6.3 Civilian Superiors

 6.4 Nature of Superior Responsibility under Article 28  ICC  Statute

 7 Applicability of Superior Responsibility to AWS

 8 Conclusion

 1 Conclusion

 2 Ban the Bot?

Treaties, Conventions & Domestic Legislation




All interested in the issue of autonomous weapons systems, and anyone concerned with international criminal law and theories of individual responsibility.
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