The Government is facing a legal challenge over the decision to target Islamic State fighters in Syria without Parliamentary approval.

It is understood that military commanders who planned the strike demanded lawyers were present at all stages of the process according to the Sunday Times, to ensure the operation was legally watertight. It was reported that the Director of Special Forces was determined to have “legal top cover” before approving the mission.

However, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and Baroness Jones have joined with human rights charity Reprieve to take the first step towards a judicial review.

They have penned a letter to the Defence Secretary and Attorney General:

“The Raqqa strike, and the intention of the Government to pre-authorise targeted killings in the future in countries where the UK is not at war, is of concern to the claimants and many others.

The concern is heightened by the lack of clarity about the circumstances in which the Government reserves the right to kill British citizens outside of an armed conflict.

Such a lack of clarity as to the test which is being applied by the Government in deciding whether to pre-authorise the targeted killing of British nationals or individuals overseas raises real and serious concerns over the lawfulness of the Government’s past and expected resort to the use of lethal force.

It is unclear what, if any, policies, procedures and/or safeguards are in place to ensure that this ‘new departure’ is only exercised in accordance with domestic and international law.”

The Financial Times had previously reported that ministers believe enough opposition MPs would support military action in Syria for the Government to secure narrow approval in parliament for the expansion of RAF air strikes against ISIL. The newspaper reported that a senior Government source said they were “cautiously optimistic” the votes of Labour MPs in the House of Commons would outweigh those of Conservative rebels, who helped defeat David Cameron on military action in Syria two years ago.

Last week David Pannick QC placed a comment piece in The Times where he argued that the guidelines for drone strikes and cases where action is taken as a matter of national security should be made public.

21 COMMENTS

  1. From what i understand the intel on these strikes was time sensitive and had to be acted on. I feel sorry for the likes of cameron they cant win if they do something they are wrong, if they do nothing and an attack goes ahead they in the wrong.

    Maybe these people would be interested in going out to syria / iraq and talking to isis about the situation.

    These people need to get a grip and need to understand they will make the situation worse these people need wiping out and sooner the better.

  2. From what i understand the intel on these strikes was time sensitive and had to be acted on. I feel sorry for the likes of cameron they cant win if they do something they are wrong, if they do nothing and an attack goes ahead they in the wrong.

    Maybe these people would be interested in going out to syria / iraq and talking to isis about the situation.

    These people need to get a grip and need to understand they will make the situation worse these people need wiping out and sooner the better.

  3. Whatever your nationality if you join ISIS you give up all rights and privileges so don’t be surprised if you get zapped. We expect our governments to protect us from terrorism so why do some people moan when they do. As far as ISIS is concerned there are no rules, the Geneva Convention does not apply.

  4. Actions such as this by the Green party will ensure they remain a protest group on the fringes rather than a serious political movement.

  5. You almost want one of these do-gooders to have to endure a situation where the armed forces are required to get them out of the mire. Perhaps they may have more of a perception of real-life and not the ‘nicey-nicey’ world they live in. Or, if they are that bothered about the protection of such terrorists, then perhaps the likes of Caroline Lucas and Baroness Jones would like to spend the weekend with such people – of course not. These attention seeking goons are using a weak argument to get headlines because their policies (which no one cares about) are as strong as wet toilet paper.

  6. When politicians who have never fought become involved in the day to day military decisions we may as well pull the armed forces out and disband the lot. We either trust the military experts or we do not have an armed service.

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