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The digitalization of warfare proceeds quickly, as witnessed during the international armed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2020 or the current invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
A key question related to the increasing employment of digital technologies in warfare – artificial intelligence/machine learning, drones, swarms, or ‘human enhancement’ technologies – is whether the existing legal frameworks, including international humanitarian law (IHL), are up to the task when it comes to the efficacy of the law of armed conflict and the protection it affords.
Written by Dr Henning Lahmann, our new Working Paper The Future Digital Battlefield and Challenges for Humanitarian Protection: A Primer provides an overview of the various novel technologies that together form part of the ‘future digital battlefield’ and assesses some of the implications they have for humanitarian protection in armed conflict.
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Based on the discussions during a high-level expert workshop conducted in August 2021, the paper identifies five main aspects regarding humanitarian protection that merit further research:
Without attempting to provide definitive answers, the paper gives an overview of these issues and hints at possible legal solutions.
‘This paper frames the entire topic of our research project ‘Disruptive Military Technologies’ on a general level, identifies the most contentious legal issues, and thus serves as a very good basis for subsequent research we will carry out within this project’s scope’ explains Professor Marco Roscini, Swiss IHL Chair at the Geneva Academy.
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Ars Electronica Center
At a multi-stakeholder consultation, business, academia, civil society and state representatives discussed the gaps and ways forward in applying the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to regulate business conduct in the technology sector.
Edward Millett, enrolled in our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights tells us about the programme and life in Geneva.
This event marks the launch of our LLM alumna Jelena Plamenac’s award-winning book ‘Unravelling Unlawful Confinement in Contemporary Armed Conflicts’ published by Brill.
This short course, which can be followed in Geneva or online, provides an overview of the evolution of the rules governing the use of force in international law, focusing on military intervention on humanitarian grounds and the creation of the United Nations collective security system. It then addresses the concept of the responsibility to protect.
This project examined how IHL could be more systematically, appropriately and correctly dealt with by the human rights mechanisms emanating from the UN Charter, as well as from universal and regional treaties.
Medical Aid for Palestinians / Ezz Al Zanoon
This project aimed to ensure better protection of and assistance for persons with disabilities in situations of armed conflict or its aftermath by identifying legal obligations to protect and assist persons with disabilities during conflict, and the policies and practices required to put these obligations into effect.