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War by ContractHuman Rights, Humanitarian Law, and Private Contractors$
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Francesco Francioni and Natalino Ronzitti

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199604555

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604555.001.0001

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Status of Private Military and Security Company Personnel in the Law of International Armed Conflict

Status of Private Military and Security Company Personnel in the Law of International Armed Conflict

Chapter:
(p.197) 10 Status of Private Military and Security Company Personnel in the Law of International Armed Conflict
Source:
War by Contract
Author(s):

Mirko Sossai

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604555.003.0011

This chapter offers the analytical framework to discuss the status of the private military and security companies' (PMSCs') employees under the law of international armed conflict: it determines the rights and the privileges afforded by the law and the legal consequences deriving from the conduct of those persons. It argues that they can fall within the category of legitimate combatants, once the hiring State establishes a certain qualified factual link between them and its regular armed forces. If not, they are civilians: therefore, PMSC's employees enjoy immunity from attack, unless they take a direct part in the hostilities. Much attention is paid to the Interpretive Guidance on the notion, released by the ICRC in 2009. The chapter seeks to test the approach taken by the ICRC in light of the tasks entrusted to the PMSCs.

Keywords:   armed conflict, legitimate combatants, hiring State, armed forces, ICRC

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