Drone strikes, US policy & the law

Date & time
12.30–2pm Friday 2 August 2013
Phillipa Weeks Staff Library, ANU College of Law
Professor Steven Ratner, University of Michigan Law School
Shahzad Akbar, Barrister, Foundation of Fundamental Rights (FFR), Pakistan


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Steven Ratner

The United States government has offered a legal theory for the use of drones based primarily on the jus ad bellum concept of self-defense as well as jus in bello concepts of distinction and proportionality. The US position, now elaborated in a formal paper by the Obama Administration, combines traditional doctrines and new ideas. I will examine whether that policy is and should be the basis for a new set of legal regulations on drone warfare.

Shahzad Akbar

The United States government has been conducting drone strikes within the sovereign territory of Pakistan since 2004, in breach of a plethora of international and domestic laws. According to independent sources, these drone strikes have caused a large number of civilian casualties including those of women and children. I will discuss the impact of drone warfare on civilians in Pakistan and outline the various strategies adopted by the victims to seek redress.


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