n Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - A new way forward for the regulation of the private military and security industry

Volume 48, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



Today, private military and security contractors (PMSCs), with their specialised skills and ability to deploy rapidly, outnumber traditional armed forces in conflict zones. Questions around their status, what they can be contracted to do, and their regulation under existing international law, are becoming more pressing. The domestic regulatory regime has proved to be inconsistent, jurisdictionally limited, and notoriously slow to enforce accountability against PMSCs. Since the draft PMSC Convention was tabled in 2009, it has failed to mature into a binding international convention. The year 2014 saw the proposal of an independent ISO-type certification process for PMSCs. In this article, we argue that a multi-layered, complementary, best-practice approach, which draws on existing industry self-regulation, the draft PMSC Convention, robust domestic enforcement on the basis of , and independent accreditation processes can collectively constitute a new way of regulating this industry.

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