Challenging German Support for U.S. Drone Strikes

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On Wednesday, March 13, the Higher Administrative Court of North Rhine-Westphalia in Münster will hear arguments from lawyers representing a Somali herdsman whose innocent father was killed in a U.S. drone strike in February 2012.

The original complaint, filed by lawyers supported by the Open Society Justice Initiative in 2015, argues that allowing U.S. bases on German territory to support such drone strikes violates both the German constitution as well as Germany’s Status of Forces Agreements with NATO, under which U.S. forces are granted the right to operate on its territory while respecting German law. It seeks a judicial declaration that Germany has committed these violations. 

This briefing paper provides background on the case.