Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in the Common Security and Defence Policy: Legal Framework and Perspectives for PMSC Regulation
Title: Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in the Common Security and Defence Policy: Legal Framework and Perspectives for PMSC Regulation
Author: FALCO, Valentina
Series/Number: EUI AEL; 2009/25; PRIV-WAR project
The actual and potential role of private military and security companies (PMSCs) within the European Union’s crisis-management operations make it crucial to clarify the legal framework in which their personnel must operate. This is all the more true with respect to their obligations under human rights law (HRL) and international humanitarian law (IHL), in order to prevent possible violations of these legal regimes by private contractors in the context of EU-led civilian and military missions. In principle, HRL and IHL may be binding on private companies acting within the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) not only as a matter of international law, but also as a matter of EU law, to the extent that the Union upholds and incorporates the relevant legal standards. The present paper thus aims to verify whether and to what extent HRL and IHL rules and principles have been integrated into the EU’s legal order, with a particular focus on the CSDP. In view of that aim, the paper surveys existing and potential sources of obligations under HRL and IHL for the personnel engaged in EU crisis-management operations. Finally, by way of conclusion, it endeavours to assess which of these sources may be binding on PMSCs contracted in the framework of the CSDP, and to identify viable regulatory options in order to ensure more effective compliance by such companies with HRL and IHL.
Type of Access: openAccess