EAP Date (approved for print): 11 July 2011
This paper examines the recent proliferation in unmanned vehicles (UVs) in both military and civilian use. Over the last decade unmanned vehicles have played an increasingly central role in armed conflict and a growing role in civilian affairs. The use of such vehicles is challenging the boundaries of existing legal frameworks and presenting a range of social and ethical concerns. Despite this, there has been a relatively small amount of legal debate on the consequences of removing human operators from vehicles and even less in the way of legal reforms to deal with what is now a practical reality in many environments across the globe.
This article therefore provides an overview of some of the legal, social and ethical issues presented by unmanned vehicles as a précis to further discussion in a special edition of this journal.
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© 2011 Journal of Law, Information & Science and Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania.