Debating the use of combat drones

The legal and ethical issues surrounding the use of combat drones in military action will come under the spotlight during a debate at Newcastle University later this week.

The ‘Law and War’ event will cover the increased use of drones – unmanned aerial vehicles – in modern warfare and the role of lawyers in enabling strikes.

The event has been organised by Northumbria and Newcastle Universities Martin Luther King Peace Committee, Newcastle Stop the War Coalition, and the Politics / Space / Power geography research group at Newcastle University.  It is also part Freedom City 2017, a city-wide programme marking the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. receiving an honorary degree at Newcastle University.

Dr Nick Megoran from the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University, said: “Lawyers are being used by governments to enable controversial drone strikes that often kill civilians. This event will ask how we can honour Dr King’s legacy by harnessing the power of the law to challenge new practices of warfare and produce cultures of peace.”

Speakers at the Law and War event will include author and activist Chris Cole, former chair of Fellowship of Reconciliation, the internationalist Christian peace organisation of which Dr King was a member.

The ‘Law and War: From Martin Luther King Jr. to drone warfare’ event takes place Wednesday 1 March, 6.00 – 7.30pm at Newcastle University, Daysh Building G.07, Claremont Road.

Freedom City 2017 takes place at venues across Newcastle and Gateshead throughout the year, culminating in a series of centrepiece events in November 2017. For more information about Freedom City 2017, visit