International law requires that, before any new weapon is developed, purchased or modified, the legality of its use must be determined. This book offers the first comprehensive and systemic analysis of the law mandating such assessments – Article 36 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions. Underpinned by empirical research, the book explores the challenges the weapons review authorities are facing when examining emerging military technology, such as autonomous weapons systems and (autonomous) cyber capabilities. It argues that Article 36 is sufficiently broad to cover a wide range of military systems and offers States the necessary flexibility to adopt a process that best suits their organisational demands. While sending a clear signal that law should not simply follow technological developments, but rather steer them, the provision has its limits, however, which are shaped and defined by the interpretative decisions made by States.
Natalia Jevglevskaja is a Research Fellow at University of New South Wales, Sydney. Previously, she was a Lecturer and a Research Fellow at UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy where she focused on the application of international law to State operations in the cyber domain, and the law, ethics and value sensitive design of emerging military and security technology. She holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne.