Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer

The Promise and Perils of International Human Rights Law for AI Governance


This article considers the benefits and pitfalls of international human rights law as a component of artificial intelligence (AI) governance initiatives. It argues that (1) human rights law can serve as an authoritative resource for providing definitions to highly contested terms such as fairness or equality, (2) it can be used to address the problem of international regulatory arbitrage, and (3) it provides a framework to hold public and private actors legally accountable. At the same time, the paper considers recent critiques of human rights law and its application to AI governance, such as (1) lack of effectiveness; (2) inability to effect structural change, and finally, (3) the problem of cooptation. The article argues that while there is room for international human rights in the realm of AI governance, we should look to it with tempered expectations as to its promises and limitations.

Published: 2022-11-14
Pages:166 to 182
Section: Articles
How to Cite
Su, Anna. 2022. “The Promise and Perils of International Human Rights Law for AI Governance”. Law, Technology and Humans 4 (2):166-82.

Author Biography

University of Toronto
Canada Canada

Anna Su is Associate Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. 

Open Access Journal
ISSN 2652-4074