Litigating Abuses Committed by Private Military Companies
Title: Litigating Abuses Committed by Private Military Companies
Author: RYNGAERT, Cedric
Series/Number: EUI AEL; 2009/05; PRIV-WAR Project
External link: www.priv-war.eu
One of the main tools for 'socializing' private military contractors (PMCs) is litigation. The threat of litigation may encourage contractors to set up their own corporate social responsibility and accountability mechanisms with a view to preventing them being hauled before courts. The article identifies the jurisdictional opportunities and pitfalls of criminal (public law) and civil/tort (private law) litigation against PMCs in domestic courts. The focus lies on litigation for human rights abuses, with special emphasis on US proceedings, the US being the home and hiring state of the majority of PMCs active in overseas conflict zones. It is argued that, because the chances of success of tort litigation are, in fact, rather limited in the US, given the many procedural obstacles, the criminal law avenue may prove to be more promising, if at least prosecutors show more leadership in bringing cases. Also at a deeper accountability level, criminal litigation may be preferable on the ground that criminal punishment sends a stronger accountability and deterrence signal than a mere money judgment.
Subject: Law; Regulation; Human Rights; Security; Accountability; Socialisation; Civil-military Relations
Type of Access: openAccess