Our research in this area explores the legal and security implications of new technologies, including cyber technology, Artificial Intelligence, autonomous systems and technological developments relating to the outer space. Our staff have participated in, and led, expert studies on the clarification and development of international law in relation to new technologies, including under the auspices of the International Law Association, the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, and the International Panel on the Regulation of Autonomous Weapons.

Highlights from our work in this area:

Tallinn Manual 2.0 on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Operations

Tallinn Manual 2.0 identifies 154 ‘black letter’ rules governing cyber operations and provides extensive commentary on each rule. It expands on the highly influential first edition by extending its coverage of the international law governing cyber operations to peacetime legal regimes and addressing such topics as sovereignty, state responsibility, human rights, and the law of air, space, and the sea. Professor Robin Geiß, Professor Nils Melzer and Professor Christian Tams were among the International Group of Experts and Participants that produced the Manual.


General Editor: Michael N. Schmitt

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9781316630372

Autonomous Weapons Systems: Law, Ethics & Policy

Co-edited by Professor Robin Geiß, this edited collection combines contributions from roboticists, legal scholars, philosophers and sociologists of science in order to recast the debate on autonomous weapons systems in a manner that clarifies key areas and articulates questions for future research. The contributors develop insights with direct policy relevance, including who bears responsibility for autonomous weapons systems, whether they would violate fundamental ethical and legal norms, and how to regulate their development. It is essential reading for those concerned about this emerging phenomenon and its consequences for the future of humanity.


Editors: Nehal Bhuta, Susanne Beck, Robin Geiß, Hin-Yan Liu, Claus Kreß

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9781316607657

Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems: Technology, Definition, Ethics, Law & Security

The rapid evolution of new military technologies poses significant challenges. Autonomous weapons systems in particular are set to revolutionise the ways wars are fought. While completely autonomous weapons systems do not currently exist, already today certain critical functions in weapons systems are capable of operating autonomously. This trend towards gradually increasing autonomy in military systems in general and in weapons systems in particular will continue in the future. With the possibility of autonomous ground, air, surface, subsea, and space vehicles looming, it is likely to affect all domains of warfare. It is against the backdrop that a third CCW informal meeting of experts on lethal autonomous weapons systems was held in Geneva in April 2016. Building on two preceding meetings in 2014 and 2015 that had already underscored the technical, ethical, legal and strategic questions raised by autonomous weapons systems, it was the objective of the third meeting “to discuss further the questions related to emerging technologies in the area of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS), in the context of the objectives and purposes of the Convention of Certain Conventional Weapons”. This volume, edited by our Director Professor Robin Geiß, contains a collection of the expert opinions delivered at this occasion.


Publisher: Federal Foreign Office, Germany

Publication Date: 2017

Taking surveillance apart?: Accountability and Legitimacy of Internet Surveillance and Expanded Investigatory Powers

Professor Robin Geiß is a co-investigator of the NordForsk-funded, multidisciplinary project on “Taking surveillance apart?: Accountability and Legitimacy of Internet Surveillance and Expanded Investigatory Power”. The project aims to produce a deeper understanding of the legal provisions for the powers of intelligence and law enforcement agencies to monitor online communications data, and how surveillance, data collection and analysis is (or will be) regulated.

For more information on the project please click here.