Has the UK looked at the legal status of Starstreak?
The request reads:
Dear Ministry of Defence,
Please could I receive documentation (including terms of reference, evidence examined or notes thereof, review documentation, inter-departmental communications and written conclusions and recommendations) of the review of the legality of the Starstreak missile system (various variants) undertaken in relation to Article 36 of the Geneva Conventions Additional Protocol I (1977) and the
2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions.
It is very unlikely that this request will produce any actual documents – because despite the legal rhetoric it is unlikely that any formal analysis has been undertaken post Convention on Cluster Munitions, especially if the government’s previous response on the utility of these weapons against ground based targets is anything to go by.
As a bit of context, this submission comes a week after the UK has continued work in the UN Convention on Conventional Weapons for agreement on a Protocol that would provide legal cover for the US and others to continue using cluster munitions.
It is shaping up into an unfortunate pattern – working to finalise an instrument that rolls back the ban on cluster munitions previously agreed, and trying to ignore the fact that the UK is continuing to produce, trade and use weapons that may be banned under the original treaty. Although the latter is more amenable to media attention and so political anxiety, it is the former that brings with it far greater humanitarian risk.