Event information

1 March 2017, 17:30-19:30


Flyer >

Autonomous Weapon Systems: Ban or Regulate?


Cover page of the book Autonomous Weapons: Law, Ethics, Policy Cover page of the book Autonomous Weapons: Law, Ethics, Policy

Over the last four years, an intense and polemical debate has unfolded about the legality and morality of autonomous weapon systems (AWS), reaching the agenda of the States Parties to Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.  

Should such weapons be banned at the outset or is it possible to manage and regulate their development to ensure compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law? How to do so? Who bears responsibility for their use?

This event, co-organized with the Département de droit international public et organisation internationale of the University of Geneva Law Faculty, will discuss these questions in light of a new edited collection published by Cambridge University Press in 2016 Autonomous Weapons Systems: Law, Ethics, Policy. The volume combines contributions from roboticists, legal scholars, philosophers and sociologists of science in order to recast the debate in a manner that clarifies key areas and articulates questions for future research. Panelists will address some of the arguments raised in this book.


Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Professor of Law, University of Geneva


Nehal Bhuta, Professor of Public International Law and the European University Institute, Co-Editor of Autonomous Weapons: Law, Ethics, Policy

Marco Sassoli, Professor of International Law at the University of Geneva and at the Geneva Academy

Kerstin Vignard, Deputy to the Director and Chief of Operations, UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)



Panel panel ‘(Dis)respecting International Humanitarian Law in today’s armed conflicts: monitoring and reporting’ at the 2024 European Humanitarian Forum News

IHL in Focus Featured at the 2024 European Humanitarian Forum

25 March 2024

Our new research project IHL in Focus – launched at the beginning of the year – has been presented and discussed at the 2024 European Humanitarian Forum, a major yearly event convened by the European Union focusing on prominent humanitarian issues and challenges.

Read more

LLM Students News

LLM Students Address IHL Issues Arising from the 2008 Armed Conflict in South Ossetia

16 May 2024

Students from our LLM in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights took part in a pleading exercise on the 2008 South Ossetia armed conflict between Russia and Georgia.

Read more

Computer screen with warning: civilian infrastucture: do not attack Project

The Digitalization of Armed Conflict

Started in September 2020

This project will explore humanitarian consequences and protection needs caused by the digitalization of armed conflicts and the extent to which these needs are addressed by international law, especially international humanitarian law.

Read more

Neutrotechology Project

Neurotechnology and Human Rights

Started in August 2023

This project addresses the human rights implications stemming from the development of neurotechnology for commercial, non-therapeutic ends, and is based on a partnership between the Geneva Academy, the Geneva University Neurocentre and the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee. 

Read more

Cover of the 2023 Geneva Academy Annual Report Publication

Annual Report 2023

published on July 2024

Read more

Cover of Report Publication

Artificial Intelligence And Related Technologies In Military Decision-Making On The Use Of Force In Armed Conflicts: Current Developments And Potential Implications

published on May 2024

Anna Rosalie Greipl, Neil Davison, Georgia Hinds

Read more