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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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Adjudicating Human Rights Violations Committed by Private Contractors in Conflict Situations before the European Court of Human Rights

Adjudicating Human Rights Violations Committed by Private Contractors in Conflict Situations before the European Court of Human Rights

Chapter:
(p.149) 8 Adjudicating Human Rights Violations Committed by Private Contractors in Conflict Situations before the European Court of Human Rights
Source:
War by Contract
Author(s):

Giulia Pinzauti

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604555.003.0009

This chapter analyses the challenges to the supervision and adjudication of human rights breaches committed by PMSCs in wartime before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). It argues that, to the extent that PMSCs act on government contract, the ECtHR could review alleged violations of human rights committed by the company's employees. Some of the major problems would be the Court's interpretation of the notion of extraterritorial jurisdiction, and whether it is confined to the espace juridique of the contracting states. Other hurdles include the attribution of the contractors' conduct to the state and the precise definition of the state's positive obligations. All in all, while the outsourcing of certain functions to private actors renders adjudication more difficult in that it weakens the ties between the violation and the state, it is no impedime.

Keywords:   European Court of Human Rights, private actors, jurisdiction, espace juridique, positive obligations, attribution, immunity, Bankovic, Al-Saadoon, Al-Skeini

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