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Thursday, 23rd June 2011

Drone Attacks, International Law,and the Recording of Civilian Casualties of Armed Conflict

Source: Oxford Research Group (UK)

From the Executive Summary:

The Oxford Research Group’s Recording of Casualties of Armed Conflict Project in their first discussion paper identified all of the elements of the international legal responsibility to identify, bury and record civilian casualties of armed conflict in the same way as military casualties are treated. The project team in the second phase of the project has conducted research which involves applying this international legal obligation to record civilian casualties of armed conflict to the drone attacks that are currently being conducted by the United States Central Intelligence Agency in Pakistan and Yemen. The standards identified in the previous discussion paper are repeated and applied to this current conflict situation.

The project team determined that this situation represents an egregious example of the violation of the various components of the obligation to record civilian casualties. It is complicated by the fact that there are various participants involved in these attacks, all who share the legal obligation. These include the United States government, the Pakistani authorities, the Yemeni government and the non-state actors involved in acts of terrorism being perpetrated in both Pakistan and Yemen.

+ Direct link to document (PDF; 660 KB)



Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »

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