Dr Marta Bo LL.M.

Senior researcher

  • Department:
  • Research strand: In the public interest: accountability of the state and the prosecution of crimes
  • Main fields of interest: International Criminal Law International Humanitarian Law Public International Law


Dr. Marta Bo is a Senior Researcher at the Asser Institute, Associate Senior Researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and Research Fellow at the Graduate Institute for International and Development studies (Geneva). 

Her research focuses on emerginng military technologies, autonomous weapons systems and their compliance with international humanitarina law; criminal responsibility for war crimes committed with autonomous weapon systems; AI and criminal responsibility; automation biases and mens rea for crimes committed with autonomous or automated systems; disarmament and criminalisation.

Marta is responsible for the Asser-Cassese Initiative long-term capacity-building training project for judiciaries in international and transnational criminal law (ICL and TCL), international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights law (HRL).

She has published on international and transnational criminal law, law of the sea and human rights, artificial intelligence and criminal responsibility, autonomous weapons.


Marta holds a Master’s degree in Law from the University of Bologna and an LL.M. in public international law from the University of Leiden. She completed her Ph.D. in international law (2015) at the University of Genova on the topic of human rights violations in the current practice concerning the arrest and prosecution of pirates.

Interests and work:

Marta’s areas of interests are artificial intelligence and criminal responsibility (in particular for war crimes); cognitive biases and criminal reponsibility; international and transnational criminal law; international criminal procedure; the law of the sea and human rights; ICC and complementarity. 

She lectured in several universities, including the University of Amsterdam, the University of Pavia and Bocconi University (Milan).

Marta is a qualified lawyer and she has acquired varied working experience in international criminal tribunals (ICC and ICTY) and NGOs (International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, Peace and Justice Initiative and Antonio Cassese Initiative).

For the Antonio Cassese Initiative Marta has developed, coordinated and implemented capacity-building and training projects in international and transnational criminal law, international humanitarian law and human rights law.






Selected publications:


Bo, M., V. Boulanin, Three lessons on the regulation of autonomous weapons systems to ensure accountability for violations of IHL, ICRC Humanitarian and Law Policy Blog, 2 March 2023.

M. Bo, ‘Three Individual Criminal Responsibility Gaps with Autonomous Weapon Systems’. OpinioJuris, 29 November 2022, available online at http://opiniojuris.org/2022/11/29/three-individual-criminal-responsibility-gaps-with-autonomous-weapon-systems/

Marta Bo, Laura Bruun, Vincent Boulanin, Retaining Human responsibility for the development and use of autonomous weapon systems (AWS), Ensuring state responsibility and individual criminal responsibility for violations of international humanitarian law involving AWS (SIPRI, October 2022)

Failures to Exercise Human Control over Autonomous Weapons Systems-Related Attacks and Criminal Responsibility for War Crimes, Journal of international Criminal Justice (forthcoming 2023)

Meaningful Human Control: An International Criminal Law Account, in Meaningful Human Control of Artificial Intelligence Systems, Jeroen van den Hoven, David Abbink, Filippo Santoni de Sio, Giulio Mecacci, Luciano Cavalcante Siebert (Edward Elgar Publishing forthcoming 2023)

The Individual Criminal Responsibility of Programmers of Autonomous Weapons and Self-Driving Cars, in Human-Robot Interaction in Law and its Narratives: Legal Blame, Criminal Law, and Procedure (S. Gless ed.), CUP (forthcoming 2022)

Autonomous Weapons and The Responsibility Gap in light of the Mens Rea of the War Crime of Attacking Civilians in the ICC Statute, Journal of International Criminal Justice, 2021

Meaningful Human Control over Autonomous Weapons: An (International) Criminal Law Accout, Opinio Juris, 18 December 2020

M.Bo and T. Woodcock, Lethal autonomous weapons, war crimes, and the Convention on Conventional Weapons, The Global, 28 May 2019 available at https://theglobal.blog/2019/05/28/lethal-autonomous-weapons-war-crimes-and-the-convention-on-conventional-weapons/.

Who is Criminally Responsible for the Commission of War Crimes when Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems are deployed in Armed Conflicts?, The Graduate Institute, September 2018, available at https://www.graduateinstitute.ch/communications/news/who-criminally-responsible-commission-war-crimes-when-lethal-autonomous-weapon

The Situation in Libya and the ICC’s understanding of Complementarity in UNSC-Referred Cases, in 25 Criminal Law Forum 2014, 505-540;

EU Counter-Piracy Operations and the Protection of Human Rights at Sea, in Scritti di diritto privato europeo ed internazionale 2015, 267-290;

The Interplay Between International Law and National Law in The First Italian Prosecution of Piracy: the M/V Montecristo Case, XXIV Italian Yearbook of International Law 2015, 289-314;

European Court of Human Rights: Hassan and Others v. France and Ali Samatar and Others v. France, 30 The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law 2015, 551-558;

Piracy at the Intersection between International and National: Regional Enforcement of a Transnational Crime in H. Van der Wilt (ed.) Legal Responses to Transnational and International Crimes, Towards and Integrative Approach, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2017, 71-91.

M. Bo, A. Petrig, The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and Human Rights, in M. Scheinin (ed.) Human Rights Norms in 'Other' International Courts and Tribunals, CUP, 2019. 


Marta in the Media

La absolución de Gbagbo genera un debate sobre el papel de la CPI, interview with Dr Marta Bo (published in El Confidencialeldiario.es, and La Vanguardia), Agencia EFE (19 January 2019).

La Cour pénale internationale fragilisée après l’acquittement de Laurent Gbagbo, interview with Dr Marta Bo (published in La Libre Afrique and Le Devoir), Agence France-Presse (15 January 2019).

Pressure mounts on war crimes court after Gbagbo blow, interview with Dr Marta Bo (published in The IndependentDaily MailYahoo News, and The Citizen), Agence France-Presse (15 January 2019).

Ancillary activities

Member of the Board of the Antonio Cassese Initiative 

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