Drones as Self-Defense: the need for a Drone Court

How is the principle of self-defense used to legitimize the US drone strikes? Amos Guiora (Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Center for Global Justice at the S.J. Quinney College of Law) analyzes the applicability of existing international law to conflicts between states and non-state actors. Based on the Department of Justice White Paper on the legality of a ‘lethal operation directed against a US citizen who is a senior operational leader of Al Qaeda or an associated force‘, Professor Guiora argues that the current US policy on drones is largely illegal, immoral and ineffective. He proposes a ‘criteria-based approach’ to targeted killing, and the establishment of a ‘Drone Court’.

On October 16th, Professor Guiora defended his Ph.D.-thesis at Leiden University. Bruno Braak interviewed him the next day.

For more information on Professor Guiora please refer to his profile at the University of Utah; his Wikipedia-page; the article ‘Drone Policy: a Proposal Moving Forward‘; and his article ‘Targeted killing’s ‘flexibility’ doctrine that enables US to flout the law of war‘ in The Guardian. His book ‘Legitimate Target: A Criteria-Based Approach to Targeted Killing’ (2013) can be ordered online.