State Responsibility for Conduct of Private Military and Security Companies Violating <i>Ius ad Bellum</i>

Charlotte Beaucillon, Julian Fernandez and Hélène Raspail

in War by Contract

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199604555
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725180 | DOI:
State Responsibility for Conduct of Private Military and Security Companies Violating Ius ad Bellum

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This chapter discusses the circumstances under which states can be held accountable for a breach of the ius ad bellum, when the acts in question were performed by a private military and security company (PMSC). The definition of the ius ad bellum itself is reconsidered as a corpus of norms, including a prohibition of the use of force but also encompassing obligations to prevent this use of force by private actors such as PMSCs. This lato sensu definition may lead to a recognition of state responsibility irrespective of whether or not the acts of private contractors are attributable to the state. It is argued that when a state cannot be held accountable for the violation of ius ad bellum stricto sensu by a PMSC, as a next step in determining state responsibility, respect of the due diligence principle needs to be examined. Moreover, states may have a duty to harmonise their national legal systems in order to prevent ius ad bellum violations by private actors.

Keywords: state responsibility; imputability; ius ad bellum; self-defence; due diligence; national legislation; uniform law

Chapter.  14199 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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