The criminal responsibility of private military and security company personnel under international humanitarian law
War by contract : human rights, humanitarian law, and private contractors
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2011
Can private military and security personnel be tried for war crimes in the same way as ‘classical’ military personnel acting in armed conflicts? Might they enjoy exemption from liability because of their unclear formal status under international humanitarian law? Private military and security personnel often act in hostile environments and frequently operate alongside state troops. While private military and security companies (PMSCs) usually claim their compliance with international humanitarian law standards, it cannot be excluded that their employees become involved in criminal conduct under the laws of war. Reported violations range from murder of civilians to inhuman treatment and use of warfare methods prohibited under international humanitarian law. To date, however, no private contractor has been sentenced for committing war crimes. This chapter seeks to understand to what extent such ‘immunity’ might depend on legal conditions, both substantive and procedural, rather than on extra-legal factors.
By entering this website, you consent to the use of technologies, such as cookies and analytics, to customise content, advertising and provide social media features. This will be used to analyse traffic to the website, allowing us to understand visitor preferences and improving our services. Learn more