SNT Really makes reality: Technological Innovation, Non obvious warfare and the challenges to international law

Science and Security Programme

Project Team:

Principal Investigator:

Professor Guglielmo Verdirame, King’s College London


Professor James Gow, King’s College London

Dr Rachel Kerr, King’s College London

Award Information:

The nature of the actors in contemporary warfare and the changing technological capabilities available to them – most often and obviously epitomised by notions of cyber warfare – fundamentally challenge both existing international law and the state-centric paradigm of the use of armed force. The project will identify the range of scientific and technical innovations that present the most acute challenges, and investigate the legal and ethical dimensions of those challenges in terms of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. A key contribution will be to bring together in a series of workshops technology experts who have practical and operational understanding with international legal experts in order to identify the chief technical characteristics and features of a range of innovative developments and to reflect upon the ethical and legal dimensions of their exploitation in the context of obvious and non-obvious warfare.

Project website:

Further information:

This project is part of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Science and Security Programme, jointly funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The Science and Security Programme is part of the wider RCUK Global Uncertainties Programme, which runs from 2008-2018.

Project dates: May 2013- November 2014