In July, the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC) and the Oxford Martin School's Programme on Human Rights for Future Generations (HRFG) hosted a closed expert meeting with the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, on the topic of "Targeted Killings, Drones and the Right of Life". Chaired by Dapo Akande, Co-Director of ELAC and HRFG, the workshop was convened to discuss the legal framework governing the use of drones for targeted killings, the subject of the UN Special Rapporteur's forthcoming report to the United Nations General Assembly. The workshop was attended by over 20 academics, members of civil society and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Also in attendance was Ben Emmerson QC, UN Special Rapporteur on Counterterrorism and Human Rights who will also be submitting a report to the UN General Assembly on accountability for drone strikes. The workshop considered the interaction between (I) the right to life under international human rights law, (ii) the principles of international humanitarian law relating to targeting in time of armed conflict; and (iii) the right of States to act in self defence against non-State actors under the international law relating to the use of force. Discussion at the workshop was facilitated by a background paper prepared by Dapo Akande, with the assistance of Lawrence Hill-Cawthorne.
(l-r): Dapo Akande, Ben Emmerson QC, Christof Heyns