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Mind the Gap: The Lack of Accountability for Killer Robots

This publication details significant hurdles to assigning personal accountability for the actions of fully autonomous weapons under both criminal and civil law. It also elaborates on the consequences of failing to assign legal responsibility.

Concerns around fully autonomous weapons are compounded by the obstacles to accountability that would exist for unlawful harm caused by these weapons systems. This report analyzes in depth the hurdles to holding anyone responsible for the actions of this type of weapon. It also shows that even if a case succeeded in assigning liability, the nature of the accountability that resulted might not realize the aims of deterring future harm and providing retributive justice to victims.

The original publication can be found on the Human Rights Watch website here.

"No accountability means no deterrence of future crimes, no retribution for victims, no social condemnation of the responsible party... [T]he many obstacles to justice for potential victims show why we urgently need to ban fully autonomous weapons."
Bonnie Docherty, senior Arms Division researcher

Human Rights Watch

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