Disruptive Military Technologies

Started in February 2020

Context

New (military) technologies are set to revolutionize the ways wars are fought. Significant advances in the fields of cyberspace, artificial intelligence, robotics and space technology are at the forefront of contemporary geopolitical power struggles and are already bringing about major transformative shifts in military and humanitarian affairs. Developments in the area of nanotechnology, human enhancement and genetic engineering are also raising a range of ethical and legal concerns. Undoubtedly, these developments will have far-reaching and not yet fully understood consequences for future humanitarian protection needs and the humanitarian and international legal framework at large.

Objectives

This project aims at:

  • Staying abreast of the various military technology trends
  • Promoting legal and policy debate on new military technologies
  • Furthering the understanding of the convergent effects of different technological trends shaping the digital battlefield of the future.

NEWS AND UPCOMING EVENTS

Cable network photo News

Assessing the Impact of Novel Technologies for Humanitarian Protection in Armed Conflict

10 May 2022

Our new Working Paper 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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World Map News

Three Papers Map Contentious Issues Related to the Application of International Law to Military Cyber Operations

22 June 2021

Three new Working Papers – researched by the Geneva Academy in the context of our research on disruptive military technologies – address some of the main issues of contention concerning the application of international law to military cyber operations.

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RESEARCHERS

Picture of Marco Roscini

Marco Roscini

Swiss IHL Chair and Professor of International Law at the University of Westminster

Professor Roscini's research areas include the international law of armed conflict, the use of force in international law, international cyber security law, nuclear non-proliferation law, and the history of international law.

Chiara Redaelli

Research Fellow

Chiara Redaelli's areas of expertise include international humanitarian law, jus ad bellum, and international human rights law.

Publications

Cover of the Publication

The Future Digital Battlefield and Challenges for Humanitarian Protection: A Primer

April 2022

Henning Lahmann

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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cover of the publication

PROTECTING SOCIETIES: ANCHORING A NEW PROTECTION DIMENSION IN INTERNATIONAL LAW IN TIMES OF INCREASED CYBER THREATS

February 2021

Robin Geiss and Henning Lahmann

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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cover of the publication

Protection of Data in Armed Conflict

February 2021

Robin Geiss and Henning Lahmann

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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cover of the publication

Protecting the global information space in times of armed conflict

February 2021

Robin Geiß and Henning Lahmann

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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Past Events

Cyber Operations, Armed Conflicts and International Law

23 June 2022, 17:30-18:30

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ESIL Lecture: Disruptive Military Technologies

26 February 2020, 14:00-16:00

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MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Glasses before a computerm screen News

Mapping the Societal Risks and Potential Humanitarian Impact of Cyber Operations

27 June 2022

Our new Working Paper Societal Risks and Potential Humanitarian Impact of Cyber Operations provides an up-to-date assessment of existing risks and protection needs in light of contemporary and future military cyber capabilities.

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Portrait of Said Condo Ndoli News

Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict: What Alumni Say

10 June 2022

Said Condo Ndoli is the Head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) sub-delegation in Timbuktu, Mali and graduated from our Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict in 2021.

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A Blackwater Security Company MD-530F helicopter aids in securing the site of a car bomb explosion in Baghdad, Iraq, on December 4, 2004, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Event

Private Military Companies and the Future of Conflict

7 December 2022, 14:00-15:30

This panel discussion – co-organized with ICoCA – will consider the growing importance of PMCs and the role ICoCA might play in promoting human rights observance and strengthening accountability of these actors in armed conflicts.

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Côte d'Ivoire,  Abidjan, military instruction center in Akandjé. An ICRC dissemination session on international humanitarian law for the 1st bataillon of commando paratroopers. Short Course

The Implementation of International Humanitarian Law

7 February - 21 March 2023

This online short course will cover the ‘nuts and bolts’ of implementation, including national legislation, dissemination and training, and discuss the mechanisms such as the International Fact-Finding Commission, as set out in the treaties.

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Syria,  Aleppo, great Umayyad mosque. Destructions. Short Course

The Interplay between International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

10 February - 14 March 2023

This online short course focuses on the specific issues that arise in times of armed conflict regarding the respect, protection and fulfilment of human rights. It addresses key issues like the applicability of human rights in times of armed conflict; the possibilities of restricting human rights under systems of limitations and derogations; and the extraterritorial application of human rights law.

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Mine Project

Business, Human Rights and Conflict-Affected Regions

Completed in July 2021

This project aimed at identifying and clarifying policies and practices for states and businesses, including public and private investors, across the full ‘conflict cycle’ and the ‘protect, respect and remedy’ pillars of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

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Screen Shot of Obsolete, a game made for the 7DFPS project in 7 days. Download for PC and Mac Project

Disruptive Military Technologies

Started in February 2020

This project aims at staying abreast of the various military technology trends; promoting legal and policy debate on new military technologies; and furthering the understanding of the convergent effects of different technological trends shaping the digital battlefield of the future.

Read more

Cover page of the study Publication

From Words to Deeds A Study of Armed Non-State Actors’ Practice and Interpretation of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Norms: Research and Policy Conclusions

published on September 2022

Annyssa Bellal, Pascal Bongard, Ezequiel Heffes

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