Document: U.N. Report Calling For Moratoria on Lethal Robots

May 3, 2013 10:14 AM - Updated: May 3, 2013 3:33 PM

From the summary of the U.N. Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial,summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns. The report calls for a suspension of lethal robotic technology until international rules can be drafted:

Lethal autonomous robotics (LARs) are weapon systems that, once activated, can select and engage targets without further human intervention. They raise far-reaching concerns about the protection of life during war and peace. This includes the question of the extent to which they can be programmed to comply with the requirements of international humanitarian law and the standards protecting life under international human rights law. Beyond this, their deployment may be unacceptable because no adequate system of legalaccountability can be devised, and because robots should not have the power of life anddeath over human beings. The Special Rapporteur recommends that States establishnational moratoria on aspects of LARs, and calls for the establishment of a high level panelon LARs to articulate a policy for the international community on the issue.

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
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