German Court: Govt Must Question If US Drone Strikes Are Legal

Lawyers see case as limiting US drone operations out of Germany

The Munster Higher Administrative Court has offered a ruling Tuesday calling on the German government to take “appropriate measures” related to US drone strikes launched from the Ramstein Air Base.

At the least, the court says Germany must determine if the drone strikes are in line with international law, and that they should also be prepared to press the US government to shift its policy to get back into line with international law.

This was built around lawsuits by three Yemenis who had relatives killed in US drone strikes which flew out of the Ramstein base. US courts rejected legal complaints surrounding the killings, but the Munster Court was willing to hear the case, and confirmed that Germany has obligations to protect people who “legitimately fear a danger for their lives and safety” from attacks coming out of Germany.

The German government argued that they saw no indications of US violations in the attacks, but the court found that the government had never properly assessed the facts, and needed to do so to make such assurances sustainable.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of