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n Journal for Juridical Science - Private military and security contractors : a face-off with the notion of direct participation in hostilities, in international armed conflicts

Volume 37, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-252X
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Abstract

Private military and security companies (PMSCs) have become a significant feature in recent international armed conflicts. Under international humanitarian law, PMSCs are, for the most part, clothed with civilian status. As civilians, they are precluded from any direct participation in hostilities if they are to ensure their immunity against direct targeting, and yet they are increasingly performing duties once reserved for military personnel. This article analyses the functions traditionally undertaken by PMSCs in light of the International Committee of the Red Cross's (ICRC) interpretation of what constitutes unlawful direct participation in hostilities. This analysis offers advice to PMSCs, and those opposing them, as to what activities might compromise their civilian immunity against attack. This article also explores the legal consequences which result when PMSCs elect to participate directly in hostilities, despite their civilian status.


Private militêre en sekuriteitsmaatskappye (PMSMe) het 'n al meer beduidende rol begin speel in onlangse internasionale gewapende konflikte. In terme van internasionale humanitêre reg, word hierdie PMSMe meerendeels beklee met burgerlike status. Alhoewel hulle as burgerlikes uitgesluit word van enige direkte deelname aan vyandighede (indien hulle verseker wil wees van hul immuniteit tydens direkte aanvalle), verrig hulle toenemend meer take wat vantevore beperk was tot militêre personeel. Hierdie artikel ontleed die funksies wat tradisioneel deur die PMSMe verrig is in die lig van die Internasionale Komitee van die Rooikruis (ICRC) se interpretasie van wat onregmatige direkte betrokkenheid tot vyandelikhede uitmaak. Hierdie ontleding bied advies aan die PMSMe, en dié wat hulle teenstaan, rakende aktiwiteite wat hul burgerlike immuniteit mag aantas. Die artikel ondersoek ook die regsgevolge wanneer PMSMe die keuse maak om direk tot die konflik toe te tree, nieteenstaande hul burgerlike status.

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/content/juridic/37/2/EJC140061
2013-01-01
2016-12-10

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