Finding a Path Through The Autonomous Weapon Systems Stalemate
Despite many years of debate, international agreement on what should be done to mitigate the risks of autonomous weapon systems is far from agreed. Critics suggest we desperately need a prohibition before this small window of opportunity passes us by. Conversely, proponents argue there is a moral imperative to develop these weapons as quickly as possible, to achieve greater compliance with international humanitarian law. While both arguments are defensible, the author considers the answer is found in the middle of these positions. A set of soft law guidelines recognises the reality that, in the current international context, a prohibition or strict new regulations are extremely unlikely to occur. Yet, soft law guidelines can assist to mitigate the very real risks that autonomous weapons will raise. The guidelines proposed by this dissertation will build upon those agreed at the meetings of the Group of Governmental Experts and will seek to balance risk mitigation, with widespread acceptance.