Extraterritorial targeting by means of armed drones: Some legal implications

02 September 2015 Jelena Pejic

The use of "drones" has grown exponentially over the past decade, giving rise to a host of legal and other issues. Internationally, it is the utilization of armed drones by States for the extraterritorial targeting of persons that has generated significant debate. This article attempts to outline some aspects of the relevant legal framework, with a focus on the international law applicable to drone strikes in situations of armed conflict. It briefly addresses the jus ad bellum and then centres on the jus in bello, addressing, in turn, questions related to when there is an armed conflict, what the rules on targeting are, who may be targeted and where persons may be targeted. 

About the author

Jelena Pejic
International Committee of the Red Cross

Jelena Pejic is Senior Legal Adviser in the Legal Division of the International Committee of the Red Cross, based in Geneva.