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War crimes

Selected Works

2016

Articles 1 - 1 of 1

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Combatant's Stance: Autonomous Weapons On The Battlefield, Jens David Ohlin Aug 2016

The Combatant's Stance: Autonomous Weapons On The Battlefield, Jens David Ohlin

Jens David Ohlin

Do Autonomous Weapon Systems (AWS) qualify as moral or rational agents? This paper argues that combatants on the battlefield are required by the demands of behavior interpretation to approach a sophisticated AWS with the “Combatant’s Stance” — the ascription of mental states required to understand the system’s strategic behavior on the battlefield. However, the fact that an AWS must be engaged with the combatant’s stance does not entail that other persons are relieved of criminal or moral responsibility for war crimes committed by autonomous weapons. This article argues that military commanders can and should be held responsible for perpetrating war …