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War by ContractHuman Rights, Humanitarian Law, and Private Contractors$
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Francesco Francioni and Natalino Ronzitti

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199604555

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604555.001.0001

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Old Concepts and New Challenges

Old Concepts and New Challenges

Are Private Contractors the Mercenaries of the Twenty-first Century?

(p.321) 16 Old Concepts and New Challenges
War by Contract

Marina Mancini

Faustin Z Ntoubandi

Thilo Marauhn

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores whether and to what degree private military and security companies' (PMSCs') contractors may be labelled mercenaries under current international law. On the basis of thorough analysis of recent practice, it reviews whether the established concept of ‘mercenary’ can be adopted to meet the challenges arising from what has been called the ‘privatization of war’. It finds that only a very limited number of PMSCs' contractors fall within the definitions of mercenary laid down in treaty law and stresses the need for new international regulations in order to cope with this new phenomenon.

Keywords:   mercenaries, PMSC contractors, recruitment, direct participation, motivation, nationality, residence, military personnel

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