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Kantian Ethics in the Age of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

1. Introduction Artificial intelligence and robotics is pervasive in daily life and set to expand to new levels potentially replacing human decision-making and action. Self-driving cars, home and healthcare robots, and autonomous weapons are some examples. A distinction appears to be emerging between potentially benevolent civilian uses of the technology (eg unmanned aerial vehicles delivering...

Human rights implications of autonomous weapon systems in domestic law enforcement: sci-fi reflections on a lo-fi reality

1. Autonomous Weapon Systems (AWS) and human rights: An introduction to the debate Novelists and filmmakers have been speculating on the interaction between human beings and robots for years. Isaac Asimov, in particular, devoted an important part of his bibliography to the issue. He created a world where robots are integrated in our society and...

Jus in bello and jus ad bellum arguments against autonomy in weapons systems: A re-appraisal

1. Introduction The ethical and legal implications of the development and use of weapons systems able to perform the critical functions of target selection and engagement autonomously (ie without any intervention by human operators) are currently in the spotlight. The issue has recently gained widespread media coverage with the launch, on 21 August 2017, of...

Coming Soon…? A reappraisal of the legal and ethical implications of Autonomous Weapons Systems (AWS) ahead of the first meeting of the CCW Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal AWS

Introduced by Elena Carpanelli and Nicole Lazzerini *     The emergence of a new generation of tech-devices, featuring forms of Artificial Intelligence (AI), appears more and more a ‘future present’, rather than science or cinematographic fiction. Several automated and algorithmic decision-making systems are already involved in our daily routine and scientific efforts have turned...

Determining the legal nature and content of EIAs in International Environmental Law: What does the ICJ decision in the joined Costa Rica v Nicaragua/Nicaragua v Costa Rica cases tell us?

The recent joined cases that brought Costa Rica and Nicaragua into conflict before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) concerned the two states’ activities in the border area. In particular, they focused on the dredging of some parts of the shared San Juan river by Nicaragua, and the construction of a road by Costa Rica...

Determining significance for EIA in International Environmental Law

Following the filing of an application in 2010, Costa Rica claimed that Nicaragua had dredged the San Juan River in violation of its international obligations; in 2011, Nicaragua filed its own application arguing that major road construction works alongside the same river were in violation of international environmental law. How to determine significance as the...

Environmental Impact Assessment after the International Court of Justice decision in Costa Rica-Nicaragua and Nicaragua-Costa Rica: Looking backward, looking forward

Introduced by Annalisa Savaresi The practice of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has become part of environmental decision-making routine all over the world. EIAs are aimed at identifying the likely environmental, human health and welfare consequences of projects such as dams, motorways and other major infrastructure, at a stage when it can materially influence decision-making.[1] In...

Is the ILC’s work enhancing protection for the environment in relation to warfare? A reply to Stavros-Evdokimos Pantazopoulos and Karen Hulme

1. Introduction In this reply we would like to follow up on the contributions written by Stavros-Evdokimos Pantazopoulos[1] and Karen Hulme[2] concerning the International Law Commission’s (ILC) work on the topic ‘Protection of the Environment in relation to Armed Conflict.’ Based on our experiences working closely to Special Rapporteur Marie Jacobsson at the ILC,[3] we...

Was the Residual Mechanism’s creation falling squarely within the Chapter VII power of the Security Council?

1. Introduction On 22 December 2010, more than fifteen years after the establishment of the ad hoc tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda (ICTY and ICTR, respectively), the Security Council (SC) adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter the Statute of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Residual Mechanism Statute). SC Resolution...

Of efficiency and fairness in the administration of international justice: Can the Residual Mechanism provide adequately reasoned judgments?

1. The issue This paper discusses some of the structural and procedural innovations that the Security Council introduced in the Statute of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism)[1] and reflects on how some of these developments impact on the exercise of the Mechanism’s judicial function. These innovations constitute a unicum in the field...

Fairness before the Mechanism for the International Criminal Tribunals

1. Introduction The UN Security Council established the Mechanism for the International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) in 2010, to ‘continue the jurisdiction, rights and obligations and essential functions of the ICTY and the ICTR’.[1] The MICT is comprised of two branches – one for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), which commenced its operations on...

The advent of the Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals and the future of (ad hoc) international criminal justice: Questions of legality, efficiency, and fairness

Introduced by Maurizio Arcari and Micaela Frulli   The fate of the two ad hoc criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and for Rwanda (ICTR), established in 1993 and 1994 by the UN Security Council (SC), represents one of the most sensitive cases for international criminal justice since the beginning of the present century....