Nanotechnology is a rapidly developing area of science, and the military is actively making use many of its applications. The international community, including the International Committee of the Red Cross and many scientists, have expressed concern about the adequacy of the current legal framework to respond to potential military applications of nanotechnology.

Our research

At PREMT, Kobi Leins is working on a doctoral dissertation that explores whether the use of nanotechnology enhanced or based weapons is prohibited or limited during armed conflict.

The work explores the adequacy of the current regulatory framework and provides an assessment of some of the legal issues using the example of specific nano-enhanced weapons. In particular, using specific existing examples, consideration is given to whether the existing laws of armed conflict or arms control treaties, adequately cover existing nanotechnology-enhanced capabilities.

Kobi’s research also contemplates potential dual use technology, as well as how States Parties can comply with their obligation to conduct a review of weapons before their use (under Article 36 of 1977 Additional Protocol I) in the face of increasing multi-disciplinary research and extremely complex science.