SIPRI is pleased to launch a new film that examines the challenges posed by emerging technologies to the legal review process imposed by Additional Protocol I of the 1949 Geneva Convention. It is the first in a series of in depth films exploring major contemporary themes in peace and security, featuring a range of key voices.
Alongside the film, SIPRI launches a report and a compendium to provide useful insights for practitioners and to support greater transparency in the area of weapon reviews.
Article 36 of Additional Protocol I of the 1949 Geneva Conventions imposes an obligation on states to conduct a process, often referred to as a ‘weapon review’, to assess the lawfulness of the procurement of all new weapons. The film–as part of the new SIPRI Searchlight series–begins by laying out this concept, before then examining challenges and potential opportunities of assistance to states for carrying out reviews.
The film features perspectives from academia, civil society, and national armed forces and is led by SIPRI’s Dr Vincent Boulanin, researcher on emerging military and security technologies at SIPRI.
‘In Depth: Article 36 Legal Reviews – Managing the challenges posed by technological change’ should be of relevance to anyone interested in the checks and balances in place to monitor technological change in weapons, means and methods of warfare. The collection of interested and target parties are reflected in the wide range of contributions to the film itself.
New SIPRI report explores how requirements of Article 36 apply to key emerging technologies
Alongside the launch of the film, SIPRI also launches a written report 'Article 36 reviews: Dealing with the challenges posed by emerging technologies' that presents key takeaways from the Article 36 conference convened by SIPRI in September 2017.
The report is designed to aid practitioners with the review of weapons, means and methods of warfare that build on three key emerging area of technology: cyberwarfare, artificial intelligence and robotics, and meaningful human enhancement. The report identifies key legal issues, practical challenges and provides interpretative point of guidance.
SIPRI supports transparency in the area of Article 36 reviews with compendium
The 'SIPRI Compendium on Article 36 reviews' is intended to encourage more widespread compliance with the obligation of Article 36 and support confidence building in the area of legal reviews by describing how the review process is conducted in the following countries: Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The film and report are based on interviews and discussions in September 2017 at the SIPRI conference on Article 36 reviews and emerging technology. The conference was hosted in partnership with the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and the Department of National Defence of Canada. The film was supported by the Department of National Defence of Canada.