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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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Accountability to whom?

Accountability to whom?

(p.46) 3 Accountability to whom?
Private Security, Public Order

Angelina Fisher

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the possibilities for ensuring that accountability takes into account the interests of those most affected by PMSC conduct. It focuses on ‘downward’ accountability — accountability of private companies to the victims of their conduct — and concludes that conditions under which victims of PMSC abuse may seek legal accountability of the companies are limited under many domestic regimes as well as under international law. Attention must therefore be shifted to creating grievance mechanisms as an alternative means of augmenting PMSC accountability to victims. The chapter proposes a mechanism for PMSCs that draws on experience of other private industries, including those discussed in the subsequent chapters. To be effective, such a mechanism must enjoy legitimacy with both the industry and the local populations, be accessible to the public, be transparent with regards to process and the outcome, engage relevant multi-stakeholders in productive dialogue, have a predictable and fair process, and empower local populations.

Keywords:   private military and security companies, PMSCs, accountability, victims, human rights, international humanitarian law

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