Prof. Lotrionte Speaks at St. John's University on Drones

On April 13, 2012, Professor Lotrionte took part in a panel event at St. John's University, entitled "When Drones Attack: The Legal and Political Implications of U.S. Policy."  The panel brought together leading experts in international law, humanitarian law and U.S. constitutional law to examine key questions raised by the United States' use of drones.  Co-panelists included Jeffrey Walker of St. John's School of Law, Michael Lewis of Ohio Northern School of Law, Michael Newton of Vanderbilt Law School, and Markus Wagner of the University of Miami School of Law.

According to St. John's website, drones have revolutionized war and counterterrorism operations. Remotely controlled, unmanned aerial vehicles allow intelligence and military personnel to conduct surveillance and attack targets from half a world away. This technology has vastly increased the capabilities of the U.S. to target terrorists and has broadened its capabilities in Afghanistan and other countries.  The panel addressed the legal and political implications of using drones by focusing on key questions, including:

  • Under what circumstances do drone attacks violate the sovereignty of foreign states?
  • Can a drone attack be considered an act of aggression?
  • How will drone technology affect the way armed conflicts are fought and regulated in the future?
  • Was the targeted killing of U.S. citizen Anwar Al-Awlaki constitutional and consistent with international humanitarian and human rights law?
  • What are the legal and political ramifications for waging wars remotely in the future?

For more information, please visit St. John's website.