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Killer Robots: UK Government Policy on Fully Autonomous Weapons

This 5-page policy paper describes the United Kingdom’s current doctrine on fully autonomous weapons as confused and lists a number of areas where policy needs further elaboration if it is not to be so ambiguous as to be meaningless.

Whilst considering that unmanned and automated systems will take on a growing role in its military forces, 1 the UK Government has committed in parliament that the operation of weapon systems will always remain under human control. This commitment provides a positive basis for discussing the effective control of autonomous weapons for the future.

This publication can be found on the Article 36 website here.

The UK has so far argued that an international ban on weapons that can “set and engage targets without further intervention from human operators once activated” is unnecessary because existing international humanitarian law is adequate.

Article 36

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