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Panel discussion on the challenges of new technologies in warfare

25-03-2014 Event

The panel marks the inauguration of the ICRC's conference cycle entitled "New technologies and the modern battlespace: Humanitarian perspectives".

Event Info

Where: ICRC Humanitarium, 19 Avenue de la Paix, Geneva

When: 25.03.2014


Watch the whole conference:


In recent years, a wide array of new technologies has entered the modern battlefield, giving rise to new methods and means of warfare, such as cyber attacks, armed drones and robots.  While there can be no doubt that IHL applies to them, applying pre-existing legal rules to new technologies may raise the question of whether the rules are sufficiently clear in light of the new technologies' specific characteristics and foreseeable humanitarian impact.

Each of these new technologies raises a host of issues, which the first Research and Debate Cycle proposes to discuss. From March to June 2014, several publics events will be organized at the Humanitarium in Geneva and elsewhere, with a view to addressing the novel humanitarian, legal and ethical challenges posed by new technologies. In particular, this introductory panel will present the various ethical, legal, scientific, and military issues that new technologies raise for humanitarian law and action, and which the subsequent events will strive to answer.


  • Dr. Roberta Arnold, LLM, Attorney, Researcher at the Military Academy at ETH Zurich, Chair for Strategic Studies
  • Dr. William Boothby, Associate Fellow, Emerging Security Challenges Programme, Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Laurent Gisel, Thematic Legal Adviser, Legal Division, ICRC
  • Prof. Marco Sassòli, Professor and Director, Department of Public International Law and International Organization, University of Geneva
  • Prof. Noel Sharkey, Emeritus Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Professor of Public Engagement, University of Sheffield, and Chairman of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control
  • Moderated by Dr. Nils Melzer, Senior Fellow and Senior Programme Advisor, Emerging Security Challenges Programme, Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP)  


Follow the First Research & Debate Cycle: keep informed of upcoming events, podcasts, interviews and reference documents on New Technologies and the Modern Battlespace


See also