Chapter

Adjudicating Human Rights Violations Committed by Private Contractors in Conflict Situations before the European Court of Human Rights

Giulia Pinzauti

in War by Contract

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199604555
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604555.003.0009
Adjudicating Human Rights Violations Committed by Private Contractors in Conflict Situations before the European Court of Human Rights

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This chapter analyses the challenges to the supervision and adjudication of human rights breaches committed by PMSCs in wartime before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). It argues that, to the extent that PMSCs act on government contract, the ECtHR could review alleged violations of human rights committed by the company's employees. Some of the major problems would be the Court's interpretation of the notion of extraterritorial jurisdiction, and whether it is confined to the espace juridique of the contracting states. Other hurdles include the attribution of the contractors' conduct to the state and the precise definition of the state's positive obligations. All in all, while the outsourcing of certain functions to private actors renders adjudication more difficult in that it weakens the ties between the violation and the state, it is no impedime.

Keywords: European Court of Human Rights; private actors; jurisdiction; espace juridique; positive obligations; attribution; immunity; Bankovic; Al-Saadoon; Al-Skeini

Chapter.  11504 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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