Chapter

The Criminal Responsibility of Private Military and Security Company Personnel under International Humanitarian Law

Ottavio Quirico

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/9780199604555.003.0022
The Criminal Responsibility of Private Military and Security Company Personnel under International Humanitarian Law

Show Summary Details

Preview

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.

Keywords: private military and security personnel; armed conflicts; human rights; international humanitarian law; criminal responsibility

Chapter.  12901 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.