Private Military and Security Companies and Human Rights

Chapter

Abstract

This chapter addresses the question of whether there are gaps in international human rights law in relation to the activities of PMSCs. To that end, it first examines the grounds of attribution of unlawful acts to states under human rights treaties, which are generally those of general international law. The article argues that international human rights bodies, especially at the Inter-American level, have adopted a broader concept of “agent of the state” at the regional level and draws special attention to the Committee against Torture’s position that largely attributes PMSCs’ acts of torture and inhuman and cruel acts to the contracting state. The chapter addresses also the nature of the state’s obligations regarding PMSCs within the domestic jurisdictions, with a focus on the obligation to protect and to provide effective remedies and access to justice to victims of PMSC abuses. In this regard, there is a clear gap due to the absence in international instruments of norms regarding the civil, criminal, or administrative legal liability of PMSCs and regarding the operation of these rules in a transnational context and the so-called complex environments where PMSCs operate.

References

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Commission of JuristsGenevaSwitzerland

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