22 August 2019

Maas publishes ”International Law Does Not Compute” in MJIL

Matthijs MaasMatthijs Maas, a PhD Fellow at the Centre for International Law, Conflict and Crisis (CILCC), and member of the AI-LeD research group, has published “International Law Does Not Compute: Artificial Intelligence and the Development, Displacement or Destruction of the Global Legal Order” in the Melbourne Journal of International Law’s special focus issue on ‘Law and Technology’.

In the paper, Maas reviews the history of how new technologies have historically affected, shaped, and challenged the instruments, concepts and political foundations of international law. Drawing on a wide range of scholarship, he then reviews three distinct ways in which AI capabilities may come to affect international law, for better or for worse. Specifically, he concludes that (1) while AI raises a host of doctrinal, conceptual and practical issues, many of these could in principle be accommodated by legal development within and through the existing sources of international law; (2) while AI may aid in compliance enforcement in areas such as human rights monitoring, the prospects for legal displacement — a shift towards an ‘automated international law’ — look slim. However, he also concludes that (3) technical and political features of AI may render certain applications erosive or even destructive to key areas of international law.

Citation information:

Maas, Matthijs M. “International Law Does Not Compute: Artificial Intelligence and The Development, Displacement or Destruction of the Global Legal Order.” Melbourne Journal of International Law 20, no. 1 (2019): 29–56: https://law.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/3144308/Maas.pdf

Other papers in the journal special issue are found at: https://law.unimelb.edu.au/mjil/issues/current-issue