Targeted Killings: Recent US Attempts to Create a Legal Framework

39 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2013 Last revised: 5 Nov 2013

See all articles by Christine Gray

Christine Gray

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law

Date Written: February 1, 2013

Abstract

The significant increase in targeted killings by the USA under President Obama has led to growing demands for greater transparency about the legal justification for this controversial use of force. In response several members of the administration have recently made speeches about the legal rules governing targeted killing. This article will consider these speeches and identify some of the key questions that they have left unanswered. These include the nature of the relationship between Al-Qaeda and its ‘associates’, and the links of the various terrorist groups, if any, to the terrorist attacks of 9/11; the categorization of lawful targets; the role of the CIA; the scope and meaning of ‘imminence’; and the establishment and significance of host state consent.

Keywords: targeted killing, self-defence, use of force

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Gray, Christine, Targeted Killings: Recent US Attempts to Create a Legal Framework (February 1, 2013). University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 52/2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2330257 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2330257

Christine Gray (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )

10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom

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