DiscoverLaw and the Future of WarAutonomy in Weapons and the Law - Tim McFarland
Autonomy in Weapons and the Law - Tim McFarland

Autonomy in Weapons and the Law - Tim McFarland

Update: 2020-12-02
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In this episode, Dr Simon McKenzie talks with Dr Tim McFarland about autonomy in weapons systems: what it is, why it is important, and how it should be understood for the purpose of the law of armed conflict. They talk about the meaning of 'autonomy', and how the concept is used in the context of weapons systems, and what gets lost in debate about their morality and legality. They also discuss some of the legal principles that are particularly important, including distinction, proportionality and the obligation to take precautions. 

Dr Tim McFarland is a Research Fellow at the University of Queensland School of Law. His current research focuses on the legal challenges connected with the defence and security applications of science and technology, with a particular focus on the impact of autonomous systems. His broader research interests include the law of armed conflict and international criminal law. He is the author of Autonomous Weapon Systems and the Law of Armed Conflict (Cambridge University Press, 2020).

For further readings, a basic primer on autonomy and autonomous weapons systems, and links to some further resources, are available on our website.  

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Autonomy in Weapons and the Law - Tim McFarland

Autonomy in Weapons and the Law - Tim McFarland

UQ Law and the Future of War