Human rights and the use of autonomous weapons systems (AWS) during domestic law enforcement

Show simple item record Heyns, C.H. (Christof H.) 2016-06-20T07:53:49Z 2016-06-20T07:53:49Z 2016
dc.description This article is based on a presentation made by the author at the informal expert meeting organized by the state parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) 13–16 May 2014, Geneva, Switzerland. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract Much attention has been paid during the last couple of years to the emergence of autonomous weapons systems (AWS), weapon systems that allow computers, as opposed to human beings, to have increased control over decisions to use force. These discussions have largely centered on the use of such systems in armed conflict. However, it is increasingly clear that AWS are also becoming available for use in domestic law enforcement. This article explores the implications of international human rights law for this development. There are even stronger reasons to be concerned about the use of fully autonomous weapons systems—AWS without meaningful human control—in law enforcement than in armed conflict. Police officers— unlike their military counterparts—have a duty to protect the public. Moreover the judgments that are involved in the use of force under human rights standards require more personal involvement that those in the conduct of hostilities. Particularly problematic is the potential impact of fully autonomous weapons on the rights to bodily integrity (such as the right to life) and the right to dignity. Where meaningful human control is retained, machine autonomy can enhance human autonomy, but at the same time this means, higher standards of responsibility about the use of force should be applied because there is a higher level of human control. However, fully autonomous weapons entail no meaningful human control and, as a result, such weapons should have no role to play in law enforcement. en_ZA
dc.description.department Centre for Human Rights en_ZA
dc.description.librarian am2016 en_ZA
dc.description.uri en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Heyns, C 2016, 'Human rights and the use of autonomous weapons systems (AWS) during domestic law enforcement', Human Rights Quarterly, vol. 38, pp. 350-378. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 0275-0392 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 1085-794X (online)
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Johns Hopkins University Press en_ZA
dc.rights © 2016 by Johns Hopkins University Press en_ZA
dc.subject Human autonomy en_ZA
dc.subject Law enforcement en_ZA
dc.subject International human rights law en_ZA
dc.subject Autonomous weapons systems (AWS) en_ZA
dc.title Human rights and the use of autonomous weapons systems (AWS) during domestic law enforcement en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA

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