Unlimited Use of Armed Drones in the Fight Against Terrorism in Syria? Germany Must Oppose the Erosion of International Law

Germany’s involvement in the anti-ISIS coalition in Syria and Iraq is based on an overly broad interpretation of international law, particularly Article 51 of the UN Charter.

This expansive interpretation of the right to self-defense, an exception to the prohibition of the use of force set out in Art 2(4) of the UN Charter, is one of the many ways in which states violate international law in the fight against international terrorism.

The US has proposed a number of legal justifications for a more expansive position, which are now echoed by other states, often in connection with the debate on the use of armed drones. Germany has largely followed the US approach on its legal argumentation, undermining long-standing international law principles including a narrow understanding of states’ right to self-defense as a way to limit the use of force and avert resort to war.

The Position Paper published by the ECCHR analyses Germany’s role in the global use of armed drones and demands the German government to change its policy on international law.


Date: 20/Sep/17
Author: ECCHR

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