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Private Security, Public OrderThe Outsourcing of Public Services and Its Limits$
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Simon Chesterman and Angelina Fisher

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199574124

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574124.001.0001

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The responsibility of states

The responsibility of states

(p.25) 2 The responsibility of states
Private Security, Public Order

Olivier De Schutter

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the varied efforts to use the international law of state responsibility to hold states in which private military and security companies (PMSCs) are registered or incorporated (home states) accountable for their conduct. It examines whether, under international law, the home state is obliged to control its companies. Must such a state allow its courts to adjudicate claims filed against these companies? Home states can be held responsible for PMSC actions when the company is a mere fiction used to pursue state interest, if governmental authority has been delegated to it, or if it is in fact under state direction or control. Such ‘easy cases’ do not capture the growing instances of PMSCs being employed by private entities (rather than states), however.

Keywords:   privatization, private military and security companies, PMSCs, responsibility, human rights, accountability

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