10:00 am EDT - 11:30 am EDT

Past Event

The 5th Annual Breyer Lecture: Mary Ellen O’Connell on autonomous weapons and international law

Thursday, April 05, 2018

10:00 am - 11:30 am EDT

Brookings Institution
Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC

The introduction of artificial intelligence and robotics to future scenarios of warfare is posing new challenges to national and international codes of law, ethics, and human rights. Technological advances are fast outpacing the deliberative process of public debate and law-making that should determine the rules for the design and use of such lethal technologies. Ongoing talks at the United Nations to regulate such weapons are raising a host of complex questions around who is responsible for their development and deployment on the battlefield of the future.

The fifth annual Justice Stephen Breyer lecture on international law addressed these issues from legal, ethical, and military perspectives.

This year’s keynote remarks were made by Mary Ellen O’Connell, the Robert and Marion Short professor of law at the University of Notre Dame Law School. She was joined for a panel discussion by Jeroen van den Hoven, professor of ethics and technology at Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands, and Maj. Gen. Charles J. Dunlap, USAF (Ret.), professor of the practice of law and executive director of the Center on Law, Ethics and National Security at Duke University’s School of Law. Bruce Jones, vice president and director of the Foreign Policy program at Brookings, and Mayor Pauline Krikke of The Hague made introductory remarks and Ted Piccone, senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings, moderated the discussion.