Private Military and Security Company Employees: Are They the Mercenaries of the Twenty-First Century?
Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria ; LUISS Guido Carli University
September 1, 2010
EUI Working Paper AEL 2010/5
This paper investigates whether and in which cases private military and security company employees can be considered mercenaries under international law, in the light of recent practice and academic debate. Firstly, it focuses on the definitions of ‘mercenary’ laid down in international treaties and explores whether they reflect customary international law. Secondly, this paper reviews the various conditions listed in the aforementioned definitions and tries to find out whether and to what degree private military and security company personnel meet them. It argues that none of the said definitions has achieved the status of customary international law and demonstrates that only a very limited number of employees fall within them.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 23
Keywords: private military and security companies, mercenaries, Iraq, Afghanistan
Date posted: December 6, 2010 ; Last revised: March 4, 2011