State Department legal adviser defended unmanned drone strikes

On March 26, 2010, State Department Legal Adviser Harold Koh defended the legality of the Obama administration's use of unmanned predator drones. Koh explained that the strikes "comply with all applicable laws" and that the Obama administration policies were aimed at limiting civilian deaths and complying with international law. The defense came as criticism over the use of drones was growing. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed suit in March 2010 seeking information regarding the use of drones by the US in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, which the groups claims may have been unlawful. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Philip Alston had previously voiced concerns that the use of drones in Pakistan and Afghanistan may violate international human rights law in October 2009.

Learn more about unmanned drones and human rights from the JURIST news archive and read about about the legal ramifications of targeted strikes from JURIST Guest Columnist Laurie Blank from Forum.


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