Document Type


Publication Title

Denver Journal of International Law and Policy

Publication Date

Fall 2011



Page Number



drone warfare, international criminal law, humanitarian law, human rights law


Criminal Law | Human Rights Law | International Law | Law


Before we consider the specifics of drone warfare, we must remember two predicate points. Firstly, the discipline of international criminal law has never been healthier as the era of accountability is irreversibly underway. While the challenges of administering justice in the midst of profound political and personal passions remain, there is no current shortage of young and inspired advocates who wish to contribute. Furthermore, they do so against the backdrop of a developed discipline. It cannot be forgotten that the discrete discipline that we term international criminal law, and that many of us teach in our law schools, has taken form and root only over the past fifteen years. Thus, any discussion of drone warfare must be cognizant of the backdrop of criminality and prosecutorial prerogatives that did not exist until relatively recently. The long list of leaders and policymakers that have been held accountable bears witness to the authority of the criminal law regime. This pool includes a rogue's gallery of political leaders and powerful personalities. Moreover, individuals at the leadership level will be those that authorize drone warfare in the future. No one is truly above the law in this modern era.



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