Ireland made the following intervention at the 27th Session of the Human Rights Council during a panel discussion on the use of armed drones: “While armed drones as such are not illegal, there is a need to address and investigate possible disproportionate civilian causalities caused by their use. […] Though drone technology continues to advance, and the use of drones proliferates, we recall the EU position that the established international law framework constitutes an adequate framework for the use of remotely piloted aircraft. […] There is indeed a need to establish clear international consensus on a number of legal questions. The limitations imposed by international law on the use of lethal force must not be weakened by relaxing interpretations of international legal standards. States must take responsibility for their actions. They must make every effort to avoid civilian casualties, and must take steps to address and investigate harm caused to civilians. States must facilitate prompt, independent and impartial investigations where civilian deaths or injuries are reported. In cases where drone strikes are proven to have been unlawful, access to an effective remedy must be provided. Ireland commends efforts made to date to quantify the use of armed drones, and urges States to be as transparent as possible concerning their use. The release by States of information concerning the extent of use of armed drones, and the numbers and identities of casualties, would constitute a significant step forward in promoting greater accountability. We would be grateful if the experts could outline further potential best practices on declassifying data, particularly in relation to civilian casualties and the use of drones.”
The statement can be found here.