May - Jun 18 Events

Security and Justice in the Age of Killer Robots


29/06/2018 - 30/06/2018


10:30AM - 2:30PM


Peter Froggatt Centre, Room 02/017, Queen's University Belfast



Keynote speaker: Professor Noel Sharkey (Sheffield University)

The workshop will begin at 10.30 am on 29th June 2018 as part of the Global Challenge Networking Programme 2017-18, in conjunction with the Political Studies Association Global Justice and Human Rights Specialist Group and the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice.

This workshop will discuss developments in the field of so-called killer robots, or LAWS (lethal autonomous weapon systems), and their impact on questions of security and justice.  These near-future weapons systems are currently the subject of considerable political debate in relation to their implications for international humanitarian law, wider ethical principles and practices, and the possibilities of international arms control or prohibition.  Their technological capacities have a significant bearing on the way we frame concepts such as security and justice, but also on the language of autonomy, agency, the subject, responsibility and rights.  Further, while debates in this area are inherently interdisciplinary - combining technological possibilities with legal and ethical restraints and the evolution of new modes of warfare, academic work engaging these intersections remains largely bound by disciplinary divisions.  A key aim of this workshop is to provide a space for inter- and multidisciplinary debate, and to extend the debate on LAWS to policy-makers, practitioners and activists.

Confirmed speakers:

Prof. Lucy Suchman (Lancaster)

Dr Elke Schwarz (Leicester)

Dr Ian Shaw (Glasgow)

Dr Steve Wright (Leeds Beckett)

These speakers will lead on the Roundtable discussion at 3.00 pm on Friday, 29th June 2018.

Following the Roundtable discussion, the Keynote address will be given by Professor Noel Sharkey at 5.30 pm on Friday, 29th June 2018.

For further information on the workshop, please contact

Dr Birgit Schippers or Dr Mike Bourne