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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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State Responsibility for Conduct of Private Military and Security Companies Violating Ius ad Bellum

State Responsibility for Conduct of Private Military and Security Companies Violating Ius ad Bellum

Chapter:
(p.396) 20 State Responsibility for Conduct of Private Military and Security Companies Violating Ius ad Bellum
Source:
War by Contract
Author(s):

Charlotte Beaucillon

Julian Fernandez

Hélène Raspail

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604555.003.0021

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

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