UK NGO (Rights Watch (UK)) commences proceedings against Government for failing to publish legal advice justifying drone strikes in Syria


Rights Watch (UK) has commenced proceedings against the government for its refusal to publish the legal advice which it says provides lawful justification for the killing of three individuals in Syria, including two British citizens.

Rights Watch (UK) has put the government on notice that unless they change their decision and publish the legal Advice within the next seven days, Rights Watch (UK) will issue judicial review proceedings in the High Court against the government.

Yasmine Ahmed, Director of Rights Watch (UK), says of the government’s ongoing refusal to publish the legal Advice:

“Currently there is insufficient information in the public domain for the public to know whether the drone strikes that killed three individuals in Syria, including two British citizens, were done lawfully.

These strikes set a dangerous precedent for UK government activity. The UK government can now kill at will with no oversight. If the only oversight for these actions is internal confidential government legal advice, which the British public never gets to see, that is no oversight at all. To take military action in the name of the British public and not fully inform the public about the legal basis for doing so is undemocratic.

It is imperative that the UK government acts with transparency and publishes the legal advice so that the public can see and interrogate the legality of the government’s actions. The last time we did not probe government legal advice, we went to war in Iraq. We must learn from the past, and remember the importance of upholding the rule of law whenever we act in the name of national security.”


For more information on this release contact Yasmine Ahmed (Director) on 0207 922 7985 / 07531405665 or at

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