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Title: The legal regime applicable to private military and security company personnel in armed conflicts
Author: Janaby, Mohamad
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 2072
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2015
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Private military and security companies (PMSCs) have been extensively used to provide military and security services in various armed conflicts. Aspects of their use have generated concerns that the personnel of these companies are no more than modern mercenaries. This thesis clarifies the legal regime applicable to such companies in armed conflicts. This regime includes both the legal status and legal regulation of PMSC personnel. The aim of this thesis is not to create a new status for PMSC personnel, but to clarify which of the existing legal statuses adopted by international humanitarian law (IHL) can apply to them. This status relies completely on the actors to whom these companies supply their services, and the sort of mission in which they are involved. This approach is not employed in the literature. Most attention has been paid to the use of PMSCs by States. This is not, however, the only scenario whereby PMSCs become engaged in armed conflicts. PMSCs provide their services to other actors such as the United Nations (UN), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and armed groups. Consequently, one definitive status cannot be applied in all situations. Different types of status can be applied in accordance with the nature of the particular PMSC involvement in armed conflicts. Accordingly, the three statuses established by IHL can apply to PMSC personnel; namely those of “mercenary”, “combatant” and “civilian”. Two environments classify the personnel of PMSCs as mercenaries; this is when they provide their services to a State party to an international armed conflict and to an armed group in non-international armed conflicts. Mercenary status is not applicable to the use of PMSCs in UN peacekeeping operations or providing protection to NGOs, because in both circumstances neither can be considered as a party to an armed conflict. PMSC personnel can be categorised as “combatants” when hired to provide their services to States and when they are used as UN peacekeepers. They are most likely to be classified as “civilians” if they are not “combatants”. There are two types of civilians; “civilians accompanying armed forces of a party to an armed conflict”, and “normal civilians”. The former categorisation only applies in international armed conflict, while the latter can apply to all other PMSC involvement in armed conflicts. Appropriate regulation of PMSCs depends on the legal status of their personnel. Therefore, this thesis asserts that IHL can regulate the activities of PMSCs. Additionally, international human rights law can apply to PMSCs and their personnel.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Government of the Republic of Iraq
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Private military companies (International law) ; Private security services