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Private Military and Security Company Employees: Are They the Mercenaries of the Twenty-First Century?

EUI Working Paper AEL 2010/5

23 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2010 Last revised: 4 Mar 2011

Marina Mancini

Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria ; LUISS Guido Carli University

Date Written: September 1, 2010

Abstract

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.

Keywords: private military and security companies, mercenaries, Iraq, Afghanistan

Suggested Citation

Mancini, Marina, Private Military and Security Company Employees: Are They the Mercenaries of the Twenty-First Century? (September 1, 2010). EUI Working Paper AEL 2010/5 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1720543 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1720543

Marina Mancini (Contact Author)

Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria ( email )

Department of Law and Economics
Via dei Bianchi 2
Reggio Calabria, 89125
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.giuri.unirc.it/scheda_persona.php?id=746

LUISS Guido Carli University ( email )

Department of Law
Via Parenzo 11
Rome, 00198
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://docenti.luiss.it/diritto-internazionale-penale/

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