Drone attacks, international law, and the recording of civilian casualties of armed conflict
Susan Breau and Marie Aronsson
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Suffolk transnational law review, Vol. 35, no. 2, summer 2012, p. 255-299
This article is drawn from a discussion paper of the Oxford Research Group's Recording of Casualties of Armed Conflict. - Photocopies.
This article examines a few of the international legal issues associated with civilian casualties of CIA drone attacks, with a focus on the existing obligation of states who participate in armed conflict to record civilian casualties of armed conflict. In order to discuss the obligations with respect to civilian casualties, there are threshold legal issues that must be canvassed. The first major issue analyzed is what type of law applies to drone attacks and civilians casualties. Assuming that these attacks take plalce within the legal context of an armed conflict, a second threshold issue is the distinction between civilians and combatants, particularly in the complex arena of terrorism. The final issue is to determine which of the parties is responsible for identifying and accounting for the casualties.