Unaccountable Soldiers: Private Military Companies and the Law of Armed Conflict

Title: Unaccountable Soldiers: Private Military Companies and the Law of Armed Conflict
Authors: McRae, Peter
Date: 2012
Abstract: The use of Private Military Companies (PMCs) has become an increasingly common feature of contemporary armed conflict. Because of their autonomous contractual status, PMCs have presented governments with problems of accountability on several levels, including violations of international human rights and humanitarian law (IHL) standards. This thesis argues that PMCs should be considered to be non-state actors (NSAs), subject to international law from both an International Relations Theory and a Legal Theory perspective. This conclusion is linked to the issue of whether individual PMC employees can be treated as legitimate combatants according to IHL. State practice has not led to a clear understanding of the definition of combatant, a problem which has been compounded by a lack of government policy on the use of PMCs. Using Canadian experience as a case study, the thesis concludes that IHL suggests two options for regularizing the status of PMCs which would both strengthen accountability and uphold the rule of law.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/20580
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -