Views of the ICRC on autonomous weapon systems

11 April 2016

Views on autonomous weapon systems, including those of the ICRC, continue to evolve as a better understanding is gained of current and potential technological capabilities, the military purpose of autonomy in weapon systems, and the resulting questions for compliance with international humanitarian law (IHL) and ethical acceptability.

Expert discussions of the last three years in the framework of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) and in meetings convened by the ICRC and other organisations have been crucial to enhancing this understanding.

As a contribution to ongoing discussions in the CCW, this paper highlights some of the key issues on autonomous weapon systems from the perspective of the ICRC, and in the light of discussions at its recent expert meeting.

Views of the ICRC on autonomous weapon system