A Brave Idea: Using Social Licence to Regulate the Development of Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems

Umair Ghori, Tarisa Yasin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

International humanitarian law (IHL) is struggling to catch up with military technological development. The international community is increasingly alarmed at the prospect of lethal autonomous weapon systems (LAWS) operating without a human interface. The international community’s concern with autonomous enabling technology in weapon systems is whether weapon systems with the ability to identify, select, and attack military targets with little to no human control can comply with existing IHL rules and be morally and ethically acceptable. This chapter explores an expanded concept of social licence to operate (SLO) to regulate the development of LAWS. The authors believe that it is more efficacious to take a preventative and precautious approach by holding the developers accountable to IHL during the gestation period instead of following a post facto approach. The authors argue that the process involved in issuing or revoking an SLO for the developers of LAWS is already beginning to emerge in IHL. The SLO is only effective during the developmental cycle and would continue as soft law form in regulating the use of LAWS until a more con-crete, treaty-based response emerges. In this sense, the SLO can be seen as a catalyst towards a concerted international response to regulate the develop-ment, deployment, and use of LAWS.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch in Ethical Issues in Organizations
PublisherEmerald
Chapter4
Pages47-72
Number of pages26
Volume27
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-83753-074-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-83753-075-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2023
Event28th Annual Australian Association of Professional and Applied Ethics Conference -
Duration: 11 Aug 202113 Aug 2021
http://aapae.org.au/events/28th-annual-aapae-conference

Publication series

NameResearch in Ethical Issues in Organizations
Volume27
ISSN (Print)1529-2096
NameSocial Licence and Ethical Practice

Conference

Conference28th Annual Australian Association of Professional and Applied Ethics Conference
Abbreviated title28th Annual AAPAE Conference
Period11/08/2113/08/21
Internet address

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