The Airspace Tribunal: Towards a New Human Right to Live Without Physical or Psychological Threat From Above

Anthony Downey, Shona Illingworth, Andrew Hoskins*, Renata Salecl*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationSpecial issue


    It is important not to mistake this new ecology of exposure, of the myriad ways in which citizens are rendered knowable and vulnerable, as one that involves a greater visibility of threats and therefore, intelligibility. The history of human suffering is one of the hiding and showing of victims, perpetrators and the forces of destruction, and the shifting relationship between representation, knowledge, recognition and action. In the digital era, however, the conditional relationship between seeing, believing and responding is fundamentally ruptured. There is, in sum, a fundamental crisis of representation that Law, particularly International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law, is struggling to come to terms with.

    This is apparent in:

    The complex entanglement of threats which make it increasingly difficult to discern a focused point for interrogation and intervention;

    The immediacy, scale and complexity of information and data from which threats might be identified, which serves both to overwhelm and also to render humans effectively ‘out of the loop’ in critical decision-making;

    The related and massive breakdown in trust in organisations and institutions charged with protecting civilians amidst interconnected social media ecologies, in which disinformation, propaganda and psychological war enter at the weakest (least regulated) point and become globally viral; and

    The obscurities of the ‘black box’ architectures that drive and support Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a means of prosecuting increasingly autonomous methods of kinetic and non-kinetic warfare.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages266
    Specialist publicationDigital War
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 31 May 2024


    • visual culture
    • global security
    • data analysis
    • trauma
    • AI challenges
    • climate emergency
    • Environment
    • Humanitarian crisis


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