• Ugo Pagallo
Part of the Law, Governance and Technology Series book series (LGTS, volume 10)


Robots are affecting tenets of current legal systems in a twofold way. First, robotic technology is inducing a number of critical legal loopholes, which are proper of the criminal law field, e.g., the employment of autonomous robot soldiers in battle. Significantly, Christof Heyns, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, urged in his 2010 Report to the UN General Assembly that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convene a group of experts in order to address “the fundamental question of whether lethal force should ever be permitted to be fully automated.” On the other hand, we have to determine whether the behaviour of robots falls within the loopholes of the system, necessitating the intervention of lawmakers at both national and international levels, as they did in the early 1990s when establishing a new class of computer crimes. Besides the immunity of military and political authorities for the use of robots in battle, a second class of hard cases concerns how the growing autonomy of robots affects key notions of the system, such as reasonability, predictability, or foreseeability, on which an individual’s fault depends. This is the class of hard cases that criminal lawyers share with experts in tort law and contracts.


Artificial Agent Criminal Liability Strict Liability Intentional Stance Military Necessity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

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

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