New paper: Governing autonomous weapon systems

February 3rd 2020 - 11:00
Governing AWS - HCSS

New paper out now! To read, click here.

The international community has been vividly discussing ways to control the use of autonomous weapon systems (AWS) by military forces. Throughout the process, both legal and non-legal solutions have been proposed aiming to improve accountability, ethical and legal standards, and verifiability of the autonomous systems.

HCSS surveyed the landscape of proposed solutions in order to identify potential gaps in the regulatory regime and additionally conducted an interactive session with experts from various related fields to identify the practical shortcomings of the regime.

This study identified that the current regime is sufficient to address the risks and threats of autonomous weapon systems. At the same time, further efforts are necessary to strengthen the regime.

Accordingly, the following recommendations are presented to policymakers:

•             promote domestic and international legal compliance;

•             increase technical literacy in order to streamline technological solutions in policymaking;

•             implement legal and ethical standards in the relations with contractors; 

•             strengthen cooperation of epistemic communities to improve the exchange of knowledge;

•             take the lead in the process of translating domestic standards into international principles.

Would you like to know more? Download the paper here, or click on the PDF button on the right.


Photo creditNaval Surface Warriors

Dr. Tim Sweijs is the Director of Research at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. He is the initiator, creator and author of numerous studies, methodologies, and tools for horizon scanning, early warning, conflict analysis, national security risk assessment, and strategy and capability development. Tim has lectured at universities and military academies around the world. His main research interest concerns the changing character of contemporary conflict. Tim is a Senior Research Fellow at the Netherlands Defence Academy and an Affiliate at the Center for International Strategy, Technology and Policy in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology.