Law of War

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 22nd February 2018.

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Photo of Clive Betts Clive Betts Chair, Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, Chair, Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish his Department's (a) legal framework and (b) guidance on the use of lethal force.

Photo of Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The use of military force is governed by applicable UK and International Law. The UK Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict sets out UK practice and is available at the following internet address:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/jsp-383-the-joint-service-manual-of-the-law-of-armed-conflict-2004-edition.

As the Government has stated previously there is no separate policy or legal guidance on the use of force outside of an armed conflict. Rather it has a policy to protect the UK and its citizens against both armed attacks and imminent threats of armed attack. In implementing this policy it may draw on a wide range of options including, in extremis, the use of lethal force. As such a decision to use lethal force outside of an armed conflict would be conducted on a case by case basis.

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