Determining the status of private military companies under international law : a quest to solve accountability issues in armed conflicts
P. R. Kalidhass
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Amsterdam law forum, Vol. 6, no. 2, 2014, p. 4-19
Private Military Companies are one of the newest non-state actors in the international scene operating around the globe in different situations as private entities carrying out public works. But their role and responsibility is unknown in international law. To hold them accountable for any violation of legal rules during armed conflicts it is essential to determine their legal status under international law. In the absence of their recognition as a distinctive category of persons under international humanitarian law, inferences could be drawn by reference to other defined categories of persons, namely, combatants, mercenaries and civilians. Based on such inferences the present article examines accountability related issues for any contravention, by civilian-contractors, during armed conflicts.