Q2/2019 - Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (GGE-LAWS)
After the conclusion of the 3rd GGE-LAWS meeting at the end of March 2019, the chairman of the group, the Indian ambassador Amadeep Singh Gill, circulated a non-paper on May 7, 2019, which summarises the current state of the discussion on six pages. The paper also contains all controversial points, put in square brackets.
The paper is based on the general consensus of the GGE-LAWS that international law in the form of the UN Charter of 1945 and humanitarian law (international law of war) in the form of the Geneva Conventions of 1948 must be regarded as the basis for dealing with all issues related to the development and application of lethal autonomous weapons systems.
The Group also unanimously agrees that responsibility for the use of such weapons systems must not be delegated to machines, but must remain in the hands of human beings who can also be held accountable for their actions.
The non-paper lists a number of principles, guidelines and norms to be taken into account in the development and application of lethal autonomous weapons systems, but leaves open the form in which these norms should be made binding under international law. A moratorium on the development of such weapons systems, as it is advocated by some members of the GGE-LAWS, is not addressed in the non-paper. Instead, the paper refers to the "dual use" nature of LAWS and argues that the possibility of abuse of autonomous systems must not lead to a general ban on the peaceful use of these technologies.