At this IISS event the UK Attorney General, Jeremy Wright, explained the UK’s position on the application of international law on self-defence. He set out the legal basis for British military strikes against terror targets overseas, and stressed that it is vital for the UK to retain the right to deploy lethal force in self-defence against terrorists who would harm the country.

In particular he discussed the concept of 'imminence' and, for the first time, outlined in detail the legal considerations that would be discussed before action was taken in self-defence against an imminent attack. His full prepared speech is now available to read.


The Rt Hon Jeremy Wright QC MP is the Conservative MP for Kenilworth and Southam. He studied at the Inns of Court School of Law and was called to the bar in 1996, specialising in criminal law. He served as a member of the Justice Committee and founded the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia in 2007. He was made an Opposition Whip in 2007 and became a Government Whip in 2010. Prior to his appointment as Attorney General in July 2014, he was Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Justice as Minister for prisons and rehabilitation.


This event was chaired by Adam Ward, Director of Studies, IISS. It took place in the Lee Kuan Yew Conference Room, Arundel House, 13–15 Arundel Street, Temple Place, London WC2R 3DX*.

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Event details

Discussion Meeting
The Right Honourable Jeremy Wright QC MP, Attorney General, UK
Arundel House, London
Wednesday 11 January 2017, 5–6pm GMT