Brooklyn Journal of International Law

First Page



Lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) have recently become the subject of debate among scholars, world leaders, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and the popular media. While the dangers of autonomous robotics have existed for decades in science fiction, technology has only recently made the implementation of robots capable of military combat a real possibility. With the advent of this technology, many government leaders, politicians, scientists, and business leaders are advancing the argument that just because autonomous weapons can exist does not mean they should. Some countries, however, have demonstrated a strong interest in the continued developing LAWS, making universal disarmament unlikely. This Note attempts to find a practical compromise by examining the unique characteristics of the weapons themselves, considering the various arguments for and against them, and drawing guidance from successful disarmament regimes.