Thompson Chengeta

Position: Fellow at the University of Johannesburg’s South African Research Chair in International Law, and Visiting Scholar at Oxford University’s Faculty of Law

Links: Website

Expertise Areas: International Weapons Law, International Humanitarian Law, International Human Rights Law, International Criminal Law



Dr. Thompson Chengeta studied law at Harvard Law School, University of Pretoria (UP) and Midlands State University (MSU). He is currently a Visiting Scholar at the University of Oxford, Faculty of Law. Thompson is a Fellow at the South African Research Chair in International Law, University of Johannesburg (UJ), an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at MSU, and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Institute of International and Comparative Law in Africa, University of Pretoria (UP).

Thompson has lectured and presented seminars in international weapons law, public international law, international humanitarian law, international human rights law and international criminal law at institutions such as MSU, Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School, Emory Law School, UJ and UP. He has published in the above-mentioned fields in peer-reviewed journals such as the Harvard International Law Journal, Brooklyn Journal of International Law and the New York University Journal of International Law and Policy. He is also the author of the hypothetical cases of the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition that is organised by the Centre for Human Rights and the United Nations (UN) Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Thompson currently serves as an expert member of the International Panel on the Regulation of Autonomous Weapons – an independent and interdisciplinary panel of international experts working in the framework of the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. He is also the Lead Campaigner (Africa) for the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots.

Previously, Thompson has worked on the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial killings during which he participated in the research and drafting of the 2013 Special Rapporteur Report on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Thompson also has experience with the OHCHR and the International Criminal Court.


Chengeta, Thompson, International Law and Autonomous Weapon Systems (Forthcoming, Pretoria University Law Press, 2018).

Chengeta, Thompson et al, ‘The Right to Life and the International Law Framework Regulating the Use of Armed Drones’ (2016) Vol 65 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 791 – 827. [pdf]

Chengeta, Thompson, ‘Defining Meaningful Human Control in Autonomous Weapon Systems’ (2017) Vol 32 NYU Journal of International Law and Politics [pdf]

Chengeta, Thompson, ‘Measuring Autonomous Weapon Systems against International Humanitarian Law Rules’ (2016) Vol 5 Journal of Law and Cyber warfare Issue 1. [pdf]

Chengeta, Thompson, ‘Accountability Gap, Autonomous Weapon Systems and Modes of Responsibility in International Law’ (2016) Vol 45 Denver Journal of International Law Number 1, Fall 2016. [pdf]

Chengeta, Thompson, ‘Dignity and Autonomous Weapon Systems Debate: An African Perspective’ (2016) Vol 13, Brazilian Journal of International law Number 2. [pdf]

Chengeta, Thompson, ‘Can Robocop ‘Serve and Protect’ within the Confines of Law Enforcement Rules?’ (2016) Vol 18 Pace International Law Review 57 – 132. [pdf]

Chengeta, Thompson, ‘Are Autonomous Weapon Systems the subject of Article 36 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions?’ (2016) Vol 23 UC Davis Journal of International Law and Policy Number 1.[pdf]