“Research Handbook on Remote Warfare” Features William C. Banks on Cyber Conflict

Featuring an essay on “Developing Norms for Cyber Conflict” by INSCT Director William C. Banks, the Research Handbook on Remote Warfare, edited by Cornell Law School Vice Dean Jens David Ohlin, has been published by Edward Elgar Publishing. 

“Professor Ohlin has brought together a diverse group of talented scholars and practitioners to assess drones, cyber operations, and autonomous systems from a completely novel perspective—remoteness.”

The handbook (also offered as an e-book) is described as an essential read for academics and students of jus ad bellum, national security law, international humanitarian law, human rights, and modern warfare techniques and the complex legal issues they create.

Essays examine how the practice of armed conflict has changed radically in the last decade and addresses in particular the legal implications of remote warfare and its significance for combatants, civilians, policymakers, and international lawyers.

http://www.e-elgar.com/shop/research-handbook-on-remote-warfarePrimarily focused on the legality of targeted killings by drones, cyber attacks, and autonomous weapons, chapters offer compelling insights, challenge assumptions, and give a variety of international perspectives on the use of force, humanitarian law, criminal law, and human rights law. Suggestions are made for the future development of law to control the limits of modern remote warfare, with a particular focus on the possibility of autonomous weapons.

In his essay, Banks reviews the state of the law when it comes to disruptive intrusions—cyber attacks on critical infrastructure, for instance—by state and non-state actors and the complexity of creating a “more fully-formed international law” of cyber conflict and even cyber warfare.

Writes Banks, “Developing an international consensus on the norms for cyber conflict will not be easy. The state of doctrinal international law is only partly to blame. At least as important as constraints are the political differences among states and non-state actors in shaping cyber norms. In addition, the facts needed to make the normative judgments in this fast-paced
realm of changing technologies are now and will be for the foreseeable future hard to come by and even more difficult to verify. Law will play catch up, as it should, but the lag between evolving technologies and normative stability in cyber operations may be a long one.”

In his review of the handbook, the University of Exeter’s Michael Schmitt observes that, “Professor Ohlin has brought together a diverse group of talented scholars and practitioners to assess drones, cyber operations, and autonomous systems from a completely novel perspective—remoteness. In doing so, he and his team shed new and important light on topics that lie at the heart of future conflict. Additionally, by focusing on remoteness, this handbook breaks loose from the intellectual stove-piping that characterizes our often-predictable assessments of emergent methods and means of warfare. It yields valuable insights into a characteristic of weaponry and tactics that will increasingly define warfare in the decades to come. It is a must-read for anyone concerned with international law in the battlespace.”


Part I The Concept of Remoteness in Warfare
1. Remoteness and Reciprocal Risk
Jens David Ohlin
2. The Principle of Distinction and Remote Warfare
Emily Crawford
3. Modern Drone Warfare and the Geographical Scope of Application of IHL: Pushing the Limits of Territorial Boundaries
Robert Heinsch
4. The Characterisation of Remote Warfare under International Humanitarian Law
Anthony Cullen
5. Remoteness and Human Rights Law
Gloria Gaggioli
6. Exploiting Legal Thresholds, Fault-Lines and Gaps in the Context of Remote Warfare
Mark Klamberg
Part II Remotely Piloted Vehicles and Cyber Weapons
7. Drone Strikes: A Remote Form of Self-Defence?
Nigel D. White and Lydia Davies-Bright
8. Drone Warfare and the Erosion of Traditional Limits on War Powers
Geoffrey Corn
9. Developing Norms for Cyber Conflict
William C. Banks
10. Some Legal and Operational Considerations Regarding Remote Warfare: Drones and Cyber Warfare Revisited
Terry D. Gill, Jelle van Haaster, and Mark Roorda
Part III Remoteness Through Autonomous Weapons
11. Remote and Autonomous Warfare Systems: Precautions in Attack and Individual Accountability
Ian S. Henderson, Patrick Keane and Josh Liddy
12. Autonomous Weapons Systems: A Paradigm Shift for the Law of Armed Conflict
Robin Geiß and Henning Lahmann
13. Making Autonomous Targeting Accountable: Command Responsibility for Computer-Guided Lethal Force in Armed Conflicts
Peter Margulies
14. The Strategic Implications of Lethal Autonomous Weapons
Michael W. Meier
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