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Student
Title
Supervisor
Faculty
Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Anastasiia Zakharova
The Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Armed Conflicts: an International Law Analysis
Jurisprudence
(Bachelor’s programme)
2016
This paper is aimed at studying the legality of the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in armed conflicts from the point of International law. The main objectives of the paper are: (1) to qualify unmanned aerial vehicles as a means of warfare under International Humanitarian Law (2) to identify the appropriate of the use of unmanned aerial vehicles according to principles of International Humanitarian Law (3) to clarify the status of the operator of the unmanned aerial vehicle according to the norms of international humanitarian law (4) to analyze of the ratio of the norms of International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law (5) the establish the problems of the using drones in the light of International human rights law.

Based on this research the following conclusions were made: firstly, unmanned aerial vehicles are lawful weapons from the point of view of International Law because it satisfies the principle of non-use of unnecessary suffering and the principle of indiscriminate attack; secondly, the use of unmanned aerial vehicle in armed conflict satisfies the basic principles of International Humanitarian Law: proportionality, distinction and precaution; thirdly, the operators of the drones have the status of civilians who take direct part in hostilities. A consequence of this participation is the loss of protection of civilians and the absence of combatant privilege, so operators can be liable under the laws of the state where carried out the attack; fourth, International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights law are complementary branches of law; fifthly, the use of unmanned aerial vehicle violates the right to life and hypothetically could violate the prohibition of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment. Today, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles raises questions of extraterritoriality and it seems that jurisdiction does not extend to cases of the use of drones without the support of ground forces.

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