Autonomous Weapon Systems under International Law

  • Berkant Akkus

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This dissertation supports the findings of scholars who argue that meaningful human control can resolve the difficulties associated with AWS. However, international law offers no definition of this term, so jurisprudence concerning the concept of ‘control’ as a means of determining accountability is used to inform a definition in this dissertation. Tests, which include the strict control test and the effective control test, are discussed to examine ideas around 'dependence’ and ‘control’, which are central to accountability. It is concluded that meaningful human control over a system of weapons can only exist when a human being is responsible for the functions of the system that relate to the selection of a kill target and the decision to execute an action. That is, human input is required for the completion of the most important functions of a weapons system. If that input is absent, the system should be incapable of carrying out these functions
Date of Award2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorRyszard Piotrowicz (Supervisor) & Marco Odello (Supervisor)

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