Old Concepts and New Challenges
Are Private Contractors the Mercenaries of the Twenty-first Century?
This chapter explores whether and to what degree private military and security companies' (PMSCs') contractors may be labelled mercenaries under current international law. On the basis of thorough analysis of recent practice, it reviews whether the established concept of ‘mercenary’ can be adopted to meet the challenges arising from what has been called the ‘privatization of war’. It finds that only a very limited number of PMSCs' contractors fall within the definitions of mercenary laid down in treaty law and stresses the need for new international regulations in order to cope with this new phenomenon.
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