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Unmanned Air Vehicles

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 30th January 2020.

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Photo of Emily Thornberry Emily Thornberry Shadow Foreign Secretary

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the international legal framework is for the use of drones in conflict zones.

Photo of Anne-Marie Trevelyan Anne-Marie Trevelyan Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)

Remotely piloted aircraft may or may not carry arms, depending on their function. The use of force in armed conflict, regardless of the method of delivery, is governed by International Humanitarian Law (IHL). IHL regulates both the choice of weapons and the means and methods of warfare. Guidance to our armed forces on the interpretation and application of IHL is found in Joint Service Publication 383 The United Kingdom Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict; and Joint Doctrine Publication 0-30.2 Unmanned Aircraft Systems sets out UK Defence doctrine for the use of such systems, including the legal framework and moral and ethical issues.

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