Yesterday the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, delivered a public lecture on ‘Autonomous Weapons Systems: The Future?’ in front of a diverse audience from across the University and beyond. The lecture was part of a two-day programme of events developing greater collaboration between CGHR, its associates, and this UN mandate.
Prof. Heyns, who is also Professor of Human Rights Law at the University of Pretoria, was appointed a Special Rapporteur by the Human Rights Council in 2010. Since then he has worked on issues ranging from the policing of demonstrations and the death penalty to military drone-strikes. He has also been at the forefront of the debate about the challenges for the laws and ethics of armed conflict posed by the development of Autonomous Weapons Systems (formerly known as Lethal Autonomous Robots).
For more information on the background to the event and Professor Heyns' involvement with the debate over the use of these weapons, see here.