HL Deb 02 November 1998 vol 594 c11WA
Lord Kennet

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will detail the provisions in the Charter of the United Nations, or elsewhere in international law, under which a NATO attack on Serbia is permissible and, if it is permissible, what rules of war, relating to "proportionality", contingent damage to civilians (especially in relation to attacks on facilities suspected of being used to make chemical or biological weapons) and other matters apply. [HL3446]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean)

The legal basis for the use of force can only be considered in the light of all the circumstances at the time. In the exceptional circumstances of Kosovo it was considered that the use of force would be justified on the grounds of overwhelming humanitarian necessity, without Security Council authorisation. The rules of international humanitarian law would of course apply.