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Kaiser, S. Legal Challenges of Automated and Autonomous Systems. German Yearbook of International Law, 60(1), 173-201.
Kaiser, Stefan A. "Legal Challenges of Automated and Autonomous Systems" German Yearbook of International Law 60.1, , 173-201.
Kaiser, Stefan A.: Legal Challenges of Automated and Autonomous Systems, in: German Yearbook of International Law, vol. 60, iss. 1, 173-201, [online]


Legal Challenges of Automated and Autonomous Systems

Kaiser, Stefan A.

German Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 60 (2018), Iss. 1 : pp. 173–201

1 Citations (CrossRef)

Additional Information

Article Details


Author Details

Stefan A. Kaiser, LL.M. (McGill); Visiting Lecturer, Leiden University and Aachen University of Applied Sciences.

Cited By


    ECEMİŞ YILMAZ, Hatice Kübra

    İnönü Üniversitesi Hukuk Fakültesi Dergisi, Vol. 14 (2023), Iss. 2 P.401 [Citations: 0]


With an increasing influence of computers and software, automation is affecting many areas of daily life. Autonomous systems have become a central notion, but many systems have reached only a lower level of automation and not yet full autonomy. Information technology and software have a strong impact and their industries are introducing their own business cultures. Even though autonomy will enable systems to act independently from direct human input and control in complex scenarios, the factors of responsibility, control, and attribution are of crucial importance for a legal framework. Legal responsibility has to serve as a safeguard of fundamental rights. Responsibility can be attributed by a special legal regime, and mandatory human override and fallback modes can assure human intervention and control. It is proposed to establish a precautionary regulatory regime for automated and autonomous systems to include general principles on responsibility, transparency, training, human override and fallback modes, design parameters for algorithms and artificial intelligence, and cyber security. States need to take a positivist approach, maintain their regulatory prerogative, and, in support of their exercise of legislative and executive functions, establish an expertise independent of industry in automation, autonomy, algorithms, and artificial intelligence.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Stefan A. Kaiser: Legal Challenges of Automated and Autonomous Systems 1
I. Introduction: The Evolving Environment 1
A. From the Industrial Revolution to Autonomous Systems 2
B. Autonomy as Action Independent from Direct Human Control 3
C. Autonomy and Connectivity 4
D. Autonomy and Levels of Automation 4
E. Interface with the Real World 4
F. Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence 5
G. Autonomous Weapons 6
H. The Relationship Between Humans and Autonomous Systems 7
II. The Impact of Information Technology and Software 7
A. Common User Interface 8
B. Interoperability 8
C. Safety Culture and Business Culture 9
III. Responsibility, Control, and Attribution 1
A. Legal Responsibility as a Safeguardof Fundamental Rights 1
B. Responsibility and Control 1
1. Responsibility of the Operator 1
2. Responsibility of the Manufacturer and Information Providers 1
3. Attribution of Responsibility by a Special Regime 1
IV. Establishing a Precautionary Regulatory Regime 1
A. Principle of Comprehensive Prime Responsibility 1
B. Fair Sharing of Responsibility 1
C. Transparency 1
D. Waivers and Disclaimers 1
E. Training and Qualification 1
F. Mandatory Human Override and Fallback Modes 2
1. Layered and Hard-Wired Fallback Modes 2
2. Intuitive Fallback Modes 2
G. Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence to Respect Fundamental Rights 2
H. Cyber Security 2
V. Liability 2
A. Different Methodologies: Precautionary Rules and Liability 2
B. Non-Fault Liability 2
VI. Conclusion 2