Status of private military and security company personnel in the law of international armed conflict
War by contract : human rights, humanitarian law and private contractors
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2011
This chapter offers the analytical framework to discuss the status of the private military and security companies' (PMSCs') employees under the law of international armed conflict: it determines the rights and the privileges afforded by the law and the legal consequences deriving from the conduct of those persons. It argues that they can fall within the category of legitimate combatants, once the hiring State establishes a certain qualified factual link between them and its regular armed forces. If not, they are civilians: therefore, PMSC's employees enjoy immunity from attack, unless they take a direct part in the hostilities. Much attention is paid to the Interpretive Guidance on the notion, released by the ICRC in 2009. The chapter seeks to test the approach taken by the ICRC in light of the tasks entrusted to the PMSCs.
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