Status of PMSC Personnel in the Laws of War: The Question of Direct Participation in Hostilities
Title: Status of PMSC Personnel in the Laws of War: The Question of Direct Participation in Hostilities
Author: SOSSAI, Mirko
Series/Report no.: EUI AEL; 2009/06; PRIV-WAR Project
External link: www.priv-war.eu
The legal status of private military and security company personnel under the law of international armed conflicts determines the rights and the privileges afforded by the law and the legal consequences deriving from the conduct of those persons. In order to verify whether they may be considered combatants or civilians, it is important to analyze their relationship with the hiring State as well as the function they perform. The issue of ‘direct participation in hostilities’ arises in this context: the article focuses on the most controversial activities carried out by private contractors. Since a precise definition does not exist, it looks into the different approaches and explains why a narrow interpretation of the term is preferable. Finally, this article argues that the notion contributes to establish specific limits on the State practice of hiring military companies.
Subject: Law; Regulation; Human Rights; Security; Accountability
Type of Access: openAccess