Liisa Janssens

Scientist Emerging Disruptive Technologies and Law

‘In order to establish Responsible AI in law enforcement and military operations, I combine theoretical and applied scientific research on the nexus of law, philosophy and AI technology.’

Research area

‘As lead scientist of an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the unit Defense, Safety & Security TNO I combine theoretical and applied scientific research on the nexus of law, philosophy and AI technology (applied mathematics). In different engineering teams, I am the lead for formulating new questions on how to responsibly navigate AI development processes. In operational projects, for example, my role is to find new (technical) requirements and to build taxonomies and databases, all informed by ethics and the Rule of Law. This approach is necessary to establish (Responsible) AI applications which can be implemented in society.’


‘I hold expert-positions as a scientist in international governmental bodies, namely Expert Member of NATO's Data AI Review Board, the European Defence Agency and I am (on personal title) appointed by the European Commission as a Reserve Member of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies.’

Recent results


‘The Design of AI in Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems and the Rule of Law’ is a forthcoming NATO-TNO report which will be distributed amongst all NATO Allies. The main questions we aim to answer in this research are: How can we develop and/or procure adequate AI applications which adhere to the Rule of Law in the context of military operations? And how can we strengthen the (international) Rule of Law when we want to make use of AI in military operations?’

Law Enforcement

‘The Design of AI in Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems for the National Police and the Rule of Law’ is a forthcoming Dutch National Police TNO report which will be distributed amongst the stakeholders within the Justice and Security Domain. In this report technical requirements for AI in Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems, which can be linked to the AI Act, are scoped in order to align with the Rule of Law.’

Position paper

‘The civil-military applicable method that is presented in the paper ‘Responsible AI and the Rule of Law’ is based on multiple years of experience working as a scientist with a background in law and philosophy amongst technical scientific experts inside and outside TNO.’

Selection of Publications

Scientific Books

by Emre Bayamlioglu; Irina Baraliuc; Liisa Albertha Wilhelmina Janssens; Mireille Hildebrandt Eds.
Amsterdam University Press

In BEING PROFILED:COGITAS ERGO SUM 23 scholars engage with the issues, underpinnings, operations and implications of micro-targeting, data-driven critical infrastructure, ethics-washing, p-hacking and democratic disruption. These issues have now become part of everyday life, reinforcing the urgency of the question: are we becoming what machines infer about us, or are we?

[ 2016 ] The Art of Ethics in the Information Society - Mind You
by Liisa Janssens Ed.
Amsterdam University Press | University of Chicago Press
Technologies are often implemented prior to questioning their ethical consequences. We are all users and makers of the information society; therefore it is key to awaken everyone’s imagination concerning ethics and technology.

Scientific Articles

[ 2023 ] Clarifying Military Advantages and Risks of AI Applications via a Scenario
by Liisa Janssens LLM MA
Official Outcome of the UN IGF Official Outcome of the UN IGF Data and Artificial Intelligence Governance Coalition The Quest for AI Sovereignty, Transparency and Accountability Preliminary version presented at the United Nations Internet Governance Forum 2023, Kyoto, Japan

This paper illustrates the necessity to adhere to the tenets of the Rule of Law in order to establish responsible deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in military theatres. Tenets of the Rule of Law are accountability, transparency and contestability; these tenets function together in the mechanisms of the Rule of Law. Examples of existing Rule of Law mechanisms of the legislative, executive and judicial powers are: (re)shaping legislation and formulating (new) policies. AI can be seen as an Emerging Disruptive Technology (EDT) to Rule of Law tenets and mechanisms which disruptiveness needs to be addressed.

[ 2021 ] The Juridical Landscape of Countering Unmanned Aircraft Systems
by Heleen Huijgen and Liisa Janssens
Joint Airforce Power Competence Centre (JAPCC, NATO)

In our chapter we especially reflected on how the review process of the study, development, acquisition or adoption of new means and methods of warfare, in article 36 AP I, might have to evolve with regard to C-UAS systems that make use of emerging technologies such as data- and code-driven applications

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