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Unmanned Air Vehicles

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 59205, tabled on 9 January 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Written Answer of 26 September 2016, HL 1779, whether Joint Doctrine Publication 0-30.2, entitled The UK Approach to Unmanned Aircraft Systems, will address the conclusions and recommendations of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Second Report of Session 2015-16, the Government's policy on the use of drones for targeted killing, HC 574, published on 10 May 2016.

Answered on

16 January 2017

In the Government's response to the Joint Committee on Human Rights 4th Report The Government's policy on the use of drones for targeted killing, the Secretary of State for Defence made clear during his evidence session, the Government does not have a 'policy on targeted killing'. Rather it has a policy to defend the UK and its citizens against threats to their security.

The Government takes the view that the existing legal frameworks, including both applicable international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL) are adequate to govern the use of Remotely Piloted Air Systems and, therefore, that there is no need to develop a special regime for the use of these weapons.

All doctrine produced by the Ministry of Defence's Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre is subject to legal review. The current draft of JDP 0-30.2 is no exception and it is compliant with the UK's legal and policy framework that regulates the use of unmanned and remotely piloted aircraft systems.