DRONES: THE ROLE OF LOAC, TARGETED KILLING, INTERNATIONAL LAW, AND PRIVACY LAW
University of Kansas
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This qualitative research study directly analyzes the legality of drone usage. This project discusses world policy on drone strikes for counterterrorism purposes and the myths about current-generation drone’s capabilities and implications. This project separates fact from fiction by examining drone effects in three different legal contexts— legality under LOAC, targeted killing for counterterrorism, and privacy laws with a comparative study between the U.S., UK, and India. Using unmanned drones against belligerents put forth major legal issues in modern warfare. In the twenty-first century, the use of drones in military combat operations is one of the most legally controversial issues confronting international humanitarian law (IHL) and the law of armed conflict (LOAC). This research argues that drones should be treated as any other component of the United States’ (U.S.) arsenal. A drone can may be a weapons platform or singular weapon system. This research further argues that drones offer extensive and enhanced opportunities for compliance with LOAC and other relevant laws governing the use of certain weapons use. Further, this research gives an overview of the justifications for targeted killings carried out by drones as a means of warfare. The justifications for targeted drone strikes can break down along three lines operational considerations, theories of self-defense, and moral concerns. The research focuses on targeted killing as it pertains to drones employed as a means of warfare by the U.S. in its War on Terror. Further, this research examines whether the use of drones for targeted killings comports with the IHL. This research also examines the effectiveness of targeted killing. This research analyzes the legality of targeted killing, under both domestic law and international law. Additionally, this research provides a comparative chapter on constitutional, privacy, property, and aviation laws of the U.S., U.K., and India in relation to their respective privacy laws. The purpose of this research is to analyze the government and civilian uses of drones in these three countries and identify the “best-practices” for global application. All three nations have drone regulating agencies such as Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the U.S., Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for U.K., and Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for India. These agencies are license drones, but they do not provide any regulations for privacy issues. This leaves a gap between drone usage regulations and privacy protection of the people. The other areas of law can fill this gap, particularly if the drone has a camera mounted on it. These areas of law are constitutional, common-law torts of nuisance and trespass, as well as the privacy, and data protection laws. Also, this research provides appropriate solutions for drone privacy laws. Finally, this research identifies issues unanswered by this dissertation for the future research projects. The next project will be a comprehensive assessment of the consequences of current-generation drone proliferation in disputed territories and vulnerabilities to cyber-attack.
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