The legality of using drones to unilaterally monitor atrocity crimes
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Fordham international law journal, Vol. 35, issue 4, May 2012, p. 1121-1163
Diana E. Schaffner
This Note focuses on the legality of employing unmanned aerial vehicles ("UAVs"), often referred to as "drones," to gather information about the commission of atrocities in another state without that state's consent. The relevance of UAVs to the collection and dissemination of visual evidence of atrocity crimes is acute. As states reduce their citizens' free access to technology as a means of retaining power, the resulting difficulty in receiving reliable data on ongoing atrocities will likely increase the value of intermediary mechanisms. UAVs may, therefore, constitute a legitimate intermediary humanitarian interference mechanism, given their ability to provide useful atrocity response services without recourse to force. Because of this, greater attention should be paid to delineating the legal limits surrounding the use of UAVs to deter atrocity crimes.