Dr Berenice Boutin

Senior researcher

  • Department:
  • Research strand: Regulation in the public interest: Disruptive technologies in peace and security
  • Main fields of interest: New Technologies and Artificial Intelligence Public International Law


Dr Bérénice Boutin is Senior Researcher in International Law at the Asser Institute, Coordinator of the Research Strand on Disruptive Technologies in Peace and Security, and project leader of the NWO-funded  project Designing International Law and Ethics into Military Artificial Intelligence (DILEMA). Her research explores the mutual impacts between new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, and international law. This includes the role of international law in the governance and regulation of technologies, and the impact of new technologies on core notions and concepts of international law.

The DILEMA project explores interdisciplinary perspectives on military AI, with a focus on legal, ethical, and technical perspectives on safeguarding human agency over military AI. It analyses in particular subtle ways in which AI can affect or reduce human agency, and seeks to ensure compliance and accountability by design. For more information on the project, research team, and research results, see the project’s website.

The Research Strand on Disruptive Technologies in Peace and Security conducts research on technologies that have disruptive implications for international security and international law, such as military AI, data-driven warfare, biochemical weapons, and conventional weapons or dual use technologies with a disruptive potential. Our research focuses, in particular, on the development of the international regulatory framework for the military and security applications of disruptive technologies. Two main lines of enquiry guide our research: on the one hand, we question how legal norms and ethical values can shape technologies, and on the other hand we analyse how technologies challenge our legal and ethical concepts.

Dr Boutin currently co-supervises two PhD candidates: Taylor Woodcock and Klaudia Klonowska. She is the coordinator of the Asser Institute’s Winter/Spring Academy on Artificial Intelligence and International Law training programme, member of the Editorial Board of OXIO, and Associate Fellow with the SHARES Project.

She previously received funding from Gerda Henkel Stiftung for a research project on the Conceptual and Policy Implications of Increasingly Autonomous Military Technologies for State Responsibility Under International Law (2018-2019). She has been Managing Editor of the Netherlands Yearbook of International Law (2016–2019), and Research Fellow at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) (2015–2018).

She has presented her work at various international venues including the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law (Cambridge), the United Nations Headquarters (New York), the Commission Nationale Consultative des Droits de l’Homme (Paris), the Swedish Defence University (Stockholm), the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (Warsaw), the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (Malta).

She completed her PhD at the University of Amsterdam (2015) on the topic of Allocation of International Responsibility in Collaborative Military Operations, under the supervision of Professor André Nollkaemper, as part of the SHARES Project on Shared Responsibility in International Law.


  • State Responsibility in Relation to Military Applications of Artificial Intelligence, 36(1) Leiden Journal of International Law, pp. 133-150 (2023), available on SSRN (2022)
  • Aspects of Realizing (Meaningful) Human Control:  A Legal Perspective (co-authored with Taylor Woodcock), in: Robin Geiß and Henning Lahmann (eds.), Research Handbook on Warfare and Artificial Intelligence (forthcoming), available on SSRN (2022)
  • The Continuing Saga of State Responsibility for the Conduct of Peacekeeping Forces: Recent Practice of Dutch and Belgian Courts (co-authored with Nataša Nedeski), 50 Netherlands Yearbook of International Law, pp. 310–332, available on SSRN (2021)
  • Legal Questions Related to the Use of Autonomous Weapon Systems, Briefing Paper, Commissioned by the Advisory Committee on Public International Law (CAVV) in relation to the AIV/CAVV Advisory Report on Autonomous Weapon Systems: The Importance of Regulation and Investment (2021)
  • The Interplay of International Obligations Connected to the Conduct of Others: Toward a Framework of Mutual Compliance Among States Engaged in Partnered Warfare, 96 International Law Studies (Naval War College), pp. 529–548 (2020)
  • Guiding Principles on Shared Responsibility in International Law (co-authored with André Nollkaemper, Jean d’Aspremont, Christiane Ahlborn, Nataša Nedeski, and Ilias Plakokefalos), 31(1) European Journal of International Law, pp 15–72 (2020)
  • State Responsibility in Relation to Military AI Technologies: Mapping the Issues, Background Paper (2020)
  • Shared Responsibility for Cyber Operations, 113 AJIL Unbound, pp 197–201 (2019)
  • Technologies for International Law & International Law for Technologies, Blog of the Groningen Journal of International Law (2018)
  • Artificial Intelligence and International Law: Exploring Issues of Responsibility and Regulation (co-authored with Haye Hazenberg and Jeroen van den Hoven), position paper, TU Delft Pilot Program on Responsible Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals, Project 12 (2018)
  • Responsibility in Connection with the Conduct of Military Partners, 56 Military Law and the Law of War Review, pp 57–86 (2018)
  • Attribution of Conduct in International Military Operations: A Causal Analysis of Effective Control, 18(2) Melbourne Journal of International Law, pp 154–179 (2017)
  • Administrative Measures in Counter-Terrorism and the Protection of Human Rights, 27(1–2) Security and Human Rights (2016), pp 128–147
  • Towards a European Position on the Use of Armed Drones? A Human Rights Approach (co-authored with Christophe Paulussen and Jessica Dorsey), ICCT Report (2016)
  • The Role of Control in Allocating International Responsibility in Collaborative Military Operations, Doctoral thesis, University of Amsterdam (2015)
  • Case note, The Netherlands v Nuhanovic, Dutch Supreme Court, 6 September 2013, Oxford Reports on International Law, ILDC 2061 (NL 2013) 
  • Responsibility of the Netherlands for the Acts of Dutchbat in Nuhanovic and Mustafic: The Continuous Quest for a Tangible Meaning for “Effective Control” in the Context of Peacekeeping, 25(2) Leiden Journal of International Law (2012), pp 521–535

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