Court: Germany must press US over Yemen drone strikes

Legal Issues

A court in Germany ruled Tuesday that the government has partial responsibility to ensure U.S. drone strikes controlled with the help of an American base on German territory are in line with international law, but judges stopped short of ordering the ban that human rights activists had called for.

The case was brought by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights on behalf of three Yemeni plaintiffs, who allege their relatives were killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2012. A lower court had dismissed their case in 2015, concluding at the time that the government had fulfilled its legal duties and was within its rights to balance them with “foreign and defense policy interests.”

The Muenster administrative court said in a statement that available evidence suggests the Ramstein U.S. air base in southern Germany plays “a central role” for the relay of flight control data used for armed drone strikes in Yemen.

Judges ordered the German government to take “appropriate measures” to determine whether the use of armed drones controlled via Ramstein is in line with international law and, if necessary, to press Washington to comply with it.

“The judgment from the court in Muenster is an important step toward placing limits on the drone program as carried out via Ramstein,” said Andreas Schueller, a lawyer with the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights. “Germany must now face up to its responsibility for these strikes.”

The German Foreign Ministry said it would study the ruling.

“The German government is in regular and confidential contact with the United States about the role the U.S. air base Ramstein plays in the U.S.’s international deployment of unmanned aircrafts,” the ministry said in a statement.

A spokesman for U.S. Air Force Europe said the Ramstein base is used to “conduct operational level planning, monitoring and assessment of assigned airpower missions throughout Europe and Africa.”

“The U.S. Air Force does not launch or operate remotely piloted aircraft from Germany as part of our counter terrorism activities,” Lt. Col. Dustin M. Hart said in an emailed comment.

Related listings

  • DC-area sniper shootings case to have Supreme Court hearing

    DC-area sniper shootings case to have Supreme Court hearing

    Legal Issues 03/19/2019

    The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider Virginia’s plea to reinstate the life-without-parole sentence of a man who as a teenager participated in sniper shootings that terrorized the Washington, D.C., region in 2002.The justices said they...

  • Japan court OK's Nissan ex-Chairman Ghosn's release on bail

    Japan court OK's Nissan ex-Chairman Ghosn's release on bail

    Legal Issues 03/01/2019

    A Tokyo court approved the release of former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn on 1 billion yen ($8.9 million) bail on Tuesday, rejecting an appeal by prosecutors to keep him jailed, a lawyer for the auto executive said.He could be freed as soon as Wednes...

  • High court upholds texting suicide manslaughter conviction

    High court upholds texting suicide manslaughter conviction

    Legal Issues 02/01/2019

    The involuntary manslaughter conviction of a young woman who encouraged her boyfriend through dozens of text messages to kill himself was upheld Wednesday by Massachusetts' highest court.The Supreme Judicial Court agreed with a lower court judge who ...

Car Accident Lawyers in New Rochelle, New York

If you have gotten in a car accident, it could seriously change your life. Whether the accident was caused by the other party’s fault or a fault of your own, you’ll want to to make sure that you are ready to prepare yourself for any cases that might follow.

Immediately following any type of car accident, it is important to take certain steps to ensure that the courts will treat you with respect and fairly. First, assess your mental and physical condition. Make sure right after the accident, you document any information regarding the accident and situation, it can be of great help later on.

You’ll want to make sure that you seek professional help for any medical conditions you may be experiencing. Do not wait to seek medical attention, you’ll want to make sure that you have documented evidence of the injury that was caused by the accident. The amount of treatment is also taken into consideration in every case.