The paper examines the impact of robotics technology on contemporary legal systems and, more particularly, some of the legal challenges brought on by the information revolution in the fields of criminal law, contracts, and tort law. Whereas, in international humanitarian law, scholars and lawmakers debate on whether autonomous lethal weapons should be banned, robots are reshaping notions of agency and human responsibility in civil (as opposed to criminal) law. Although time is not ripe for the “legal personification” of robots, we should admit new forms of both contractual and tort liability for the behaviour of these “intelligent machines.” After all, this is the first time ever legal systems will hold people responsible for what an artificial state-transition system “decides” to do.


Accountability Agency AI & Law Complexity Contracts Criminal Law Liability Responsibility Robot Tort Law 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ugo Pagallo
    • 1
  1. 1.Law SchoolUniversity of TorinoTorinoItaly

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