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Law of War

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 128435, tabled on 19 February 2018

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.

Answered on

22 February 2018

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:

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.

Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.