Targeted Killing: Clearing the ‘Fog of Law’


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The UK Defence Committee published a report (25 March 2014 entitled Remote Control: Remotely Piloted Air Systems. It stated inter alia:

157. We welcome the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. We note that he has identified a number of legal questions on which there is no clear international consensus. We recommend that the UK Government engage actively in the debate on these matters and report on progress in its response to our report.

This day conference takes its starting point from the report and concentrates on those legal questions on which there is no clear international consensus. The report further considers a range of lessons identified from operating remotely piloted air systems in Afghanistan. Our team of experts will reflect upon these lessons for future remotely piloted air system programmes.


Professor Michael N. Schmitt
Extraterritorial Lethal Targeting: Deconstructing the Logic of International Law Michael Schmitt is Professor of Public International Law at the University of Exeter. Charles H. Stockton Professor and Chairman of International Law Department at the United States Naval War College, Senior Fellow at the NATO Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, and Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Major General J Thomas CB DSO
UAV Strike Ops: A Commander's Personal Perspective
Jerry Thomas retired from active service in May 2012 after a career spanning nearly 37 years. During this time he commanded on operations at every level up to and including the UK Task Force in Afghanistan in 2006-07. Jerry is now an Honorary Fellow with the Strategy and Security Institute and a part-time PhD student at Exeter. He also chairs the Royal Marines Charity, represents the Royal Marines at various events and does a little bit of defence and security consultancy.


Professor Charles Garraway
Former Stockton Professor of International Law at the US Naval War College. Currently a Fellow of the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex and Vice President of the International Humanitarian Fact Finding Commission. Served for thirty years as a legal officer in the United Kingdom Army Legal Services. Senior Army lawyer deployed to the Gulf during the 1990/91 Gulf Conflict and UK delegate to a number of diplomatic conferences on the law of armed conflict and international criminal law.

Dr Aurel Sari
Lecturer in Law, specializing in international law and military operations. He has published widely on status of forces agreements, peace support operations and the legal aspects of European security and defence policy. Aurel is a member of the ILA Committee on Nuclear Weapons, Non-proliferation & Contemporary International Law, the ILA Study Group on The Conduct of Hostilities under International Humanitarian Law and the Committee of the UK National Group of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War. He is also a member of the editorial board of The Military Law and the Law of War Review.

Dr Annicée van Engeland
Anicée has acted as a consultant for several international organisations and NGOs such as UNDP, ICRC, UNHCR, ILO, IOM, UNDP, CBI, MSF, and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She is a legal research associate for the ABA International Legal Resource Centre. She is currently acting as an expert witness to courts in the UK and the USA, as well as an advisor on Iranian law and Islamic law.