The military is one of the most eager users of new technology. The armed forces of developed countries quickly to adapt for their purposes advances in general scientific knowledge and engineering, whether it be nuclear fission or velcro. Some armed forces fund significant research and development projects, which sometimes have major spill-over effects to the society at large, as, for example, with computer networks or satellite navigation systems. But new technologies generate governance problems. Such problems have particular urgency when these technologies are used by the military for offensive purposes.

PREMT researchers investigate the legal and ethical issues that arise from novel applications of science and technology in the military context. We consider problems that are specific to particular technologies, as well as questions that relate to technological change more broadly. A particular focus of our research is the law of armed conflict (international humanitarian law), arms control and disarmament law, and human rights law.

PREMT is based at Melbourne Law School and is co-directed by Rain Liivoja and Tim McCormack.


PREMT researchers are engaged in research along multiple avenues. Three of these consider international law that is applicable across multiple scientific or technological domains:

Other research projects focus on the legal implications of particular applications of technology in the military context: