Private military companies (PMCs) and international criminal law : are PMCs the new perpetrators of international crimes ?
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Amsterdam law forum, Vol. 8, no. 1, Spring 2016, p. 28-47
The extensive use of private military companies (PMCs) in conflict areas in the last 30 years has raised concern in the academic community regarding the participation of private companies in the conduct of war. For example, academics incite issues of legitimacy, the role of the state and the legal status of PMCs especially when they take a direct part in the hostilities. In this context, PMCs have been often accused of committing serious crimes during their involvement in the hostilities. The important question regarding their possible criminal activity is whether these serious crimes fall into the category of international law and more specifically international criminal law. This article examines firstly, whether PMCs actually commit serious crimes and secondly, if these crimes constitute violations of international law, namely, international crimes.