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Government's policy on use of drones for targeted killing

Inquiry

The Government has not published any formulated policy on the use of drones for targeted killing. As a result there is a lack of clarity about the policy; about whether and how the legal frameworks of international humanitarian law, international human rights law and ordinary criminal law apply; and about the relevant legal tests and principles that apply to the use of lethal force in such circumstances.

It is not clear how the relevant decision-makers test the sufficiency of evidence, who checks that the tests are satisfied, and what the framework of accountability is. The uncertainty not only makes accountability difficult, it potentially exposes front line personnel to criminal liability for the unlawful use of lethal force.

Reports, special reports and government responses

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4th Report - The Government’s policy on the use of drones for targeted killing: Government Response to the Committee’s Second Report of Session 2015-16: Fourth Report of Session 2016-17
Inquiry Government's policy on use of drones for targeted killing
HC 747 / HL Paper 49
Report
2nd Report - The Government's policy on the use of drones for targeted killing
Inquiry Government's policy on use of drones for targeted killing
HC 574 / HL Paper 141
Report

Oral evidence transcripts

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16 December 2015
Inquiry Government's policy on use of drones for targeted killing
Witnesses Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, Secretary of State for Defence.
Oral Evidence
9 December 2015
Inquiry Government's policy on use of drones for targeted killing
Witnesses Jennifer Gibson, Reprieve, Sir David Omand, Chair, Birmingham Policy Commission, and Professor Thomas Simpson, Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy, University of Oxford.
Oral Evidence
Reprieve (DRO0026)
Professor Sir David Omand (DRO0025)
Dapo Akande (DRO0024)

Contact us

The Committee is unable to look into individual cases

  • Email: jchr@parliament.uk
  • Phone: 0207 219 2793 (general enquiries) | 020 7219 8430 (media enquiries)
  • Address: Joint Committee on Human Rights, Houses of Parliament. London. SW1A 0AA