UDC 341:[355.4:007.5
Biblid: 0543-3657, 72 (2021)
Vol. 72, No 1183, pp. 69-85
DOI: https://doi.org/10.18485/iipe_mp.2021.72.1183.4

Review paper
Received: 30 Sep 2021
Accepted: 18 Oct 2021

International Legal Regulation of Autonomous and Automated Combat Systems in Contemporary Armed Conflicts

Jončić Miloš (Miloš Jončić, naučni saradnik, Institut za međunarodnu politiku i privredu), mjoncic@diplomacy.bg.ac.rs

The development of artificial intelligence and management in the field of informatics and cybernetics brought drastic changes in the technical means used in armed conflicts at the beginning of the 21st Century. Technical innovations have made a significant impact on the capability of the Armed Forces. Due to increasing technological progress the Law of Armed Conflict has become inadequate and for that reason has attracted the attention of the doctrine. The use of autonomous and automated combat systems (drones, unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned vehicles and vessels, self-propelled weapons, etc.), which can find targets on their own, do not have a clear legal (international legal) status. Autonomous and automated combat systems themselves are tools, weapons and thus a legitimate military target. The scientific and technological revolution has made significant changes in the field of conducting combat operations, but especially in the area of preparing combat operations and issuing orders for conducting those operations. Thus, the extremely fast and drastic technological development of combat means has doubly influenced the modern conduct of armed struggle. First, he perfected the technique for conducting armed combat and second, according to the principle of feedback, such developed means influenced the emergence of new methods of conducting combat operations and vice versa, the emergence of new demands by military thought for new more sophisticated combat means. The paper aims to define autonomous and automated combat systems and point out possible violations of the norms of international law of armed conflict during the use of these systems. Also, the author points out the legal gaps in the international law of armed conflicts that have emerged with the development of new types of combat systems and their use.

Keywords: automated combat systems, autonomous combat systems, international law of armed conflicts, advanced technologies, modern armed conflicts