GGE on LAWS issues draft report after second 2019 meeting

The Group of Governmental Experts on Emerging Technologies in the Area of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (GGE on LAWS) has published an advanced version of its 2019 report. The report reflects progress made by the group on substantive issues, including the adopting the guiding principles affirmed in 2018, which include aspects such as the applicability of international humanitarian law (IHL) to all weapons systems, and the need to retain human responsibility for decisions on the use of weapons systems. The group identified an additional principle, which states that human-machine interaction should ensure that the potential use of LAWS is in compliance with applicable international law, in particular IHL. The GGE also continued discussions, without reaching an agreement, on possible policy options for addressing the humanitarian and international security challenges posed by emerging technologies in the area of LAWS. The four possible categories put forward in 2018 were reiterated – a legally binding instrument, a political declaration, further discussions on the application on existing international law obligations, and no further legal measures – but no agreement was reached.