New rules for drone use?

The British parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights on Tuesday called for a clear legal framework for drone attacks. Such legislation is vital, some commentators agree. Others stress that the threat of terrorism makes drone missions indispensable.

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The Guardian (GB) /

Only clear rules can pre-empt murder charges

An internationally-adopted legal framework on the use of drones is also very much in the interests of those who coordinate strikes against human targets, The Guardian writes:

“In the early days of drones it may have been possible to simply say that the UK, like the US, uses drone strikes on terrorists because it can. But times have moved on. ... One of these days there is the danger that, without a more clearly defined legal framework, RAF officers sitting in a base in this country may find themselves under investigation for a murder charge. It would be far better to pre-empt that possibility by agreeing an international legal code of the kind that has governed other lethal forms of weaponry, than by refusing to engage until it is too late.”

The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

No alternative to drones without ground forces

As things stand now the British government has no choice but to use drones to take out terrorists , the Daily Telegraph writes:

“As Downing Street is not prepared to commit ground forces against Isil, it has no option other than to resort to drone strikes when British intelligence assets identify terror cells that are plotting attacks against the British mainland. For some, this might represent a form a moral cowardice. Surely it would be better to send in a SAS team to detain them and bring them back to Britain to stand trial? But this is simply not feasible in territory controlled by Isil’s fanatics, where anyone deemed to be an enemy of the self-styled caliphate is likely to face summary execution.”