Private Military and Security Companies in Non-international Armed Conflicts: Ius ad Bellum and Ius in Bello Issues
The ius ad bellum analysis hinges upon the distinction between the right of the government to make recourse to private military and security companies (PMSCs) to maintain internal law and order or to repel an aggression and the prohibition to use PMSC for combat purposes or other action on the part of armed groups. Several arguments are presented to the effect that the right of the government to use foreign armed force, including services provided by PMSCs, is subject to a number of limitations. As to the ius in bello inquiry, the analysis of the notion of armed forces as applicable in a non-international armed conflict shows that in very few instances can PMSC members fall under the category of a state's armed forces. The vast majority of PMSC members qualify as civilians. The question of the responsibility of armed groups for which PMSCs provide services is also examined.
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