Title: Drone attacks during armed conflict: quest for legality and regulation

Authors: Mohammad Bitar; Benarji Chakka

Addresses: VIT-AP School of Law (VSL), VIT-AP University, Andhra Pradesh, India ' VIT-AP School of Law (VSL), VIT-AP University, Andhra Pradesh, India

Abstract: With the advancement of new technologies, drones are now extensively employed in combat operations, unlike surveillance, where it is causing greater violations than expected. Drones reduce human losses and ensure precision target strikes, say advocates. Most modern conflicts occur in metropolitan areas, such as Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, and Ukraine, where civilians and military forces coexist without conforming to IHL. Combatant drone operators struggle to identify and attack targets using technology that respects differentiation. Drones cannot tell protected items from allowed targets. This article examines the legality of drone strikes under IHL and the permitted range of their use to controls and constraints that can be implemented to guarantee drone attacks are legitimate under existing law. Drones are not innately unlawful and are 85.96% accurate in attacks. Determining whether drones obey IHL requires a subjective analysis of each situation. This article is theological research based on primary and secondary sources. The essay supports a treaty restricting drone usage in armed conflicts.

Keywords: unmanned aerial vehicles; UAVs; drones; armed conflict; international humanitarian law; IHL; accountability; targeted killing; distinction.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIPM.2023.134058

International Journal of Intellectual Property Management, 2023 Vol.13 No.3/4, pp.397 - 411

Received: 22 Sep 2022
Accepted: 12 Nov 2022

Published online: 10 Oct 2023 *

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