10 novembre 2013

OUVRAGE : L. Cameron, V. Chetail, Privatizing War: Private Military and Security Companies under Public International Law

David ROY

A growing number of states use private military and security companies (PMSCs) for a variety of tasks, which were traditionally fulfilled by soldiers. This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the law that applies to PMSCs active in situations of armed conflict, focusing on international humanitarian law. It examines the limits in international law on how states may use private actors, taking the debate beyond the question of whether PMSCs are mercenaries. The authors delve into issues such as how PMSCs are bound by humanitarian law, whether their staff are civilians or combatants, and how the use of force in self-defence relates to direct participation in hostilities, a key issue for an industry that operates by exploiting the right to use force in self-defence. Throughout, the authors identify how existing legal obligations, including under state and individual criminal responsibility should play a role in the regulation of the industry.


1. The limits on the right to resort to PMSCs
2. The international responsibility of states and its relevance for PMSCs
3. Legal means through which PMSCs are bound by IHL
4. The legal rules applicable to PMSCs and their personnel
5. The implementation of responsibility arising from violations of international law by PMSCs

Lindsey  CAMERON, Vincent CHETAIL, Privatizing War: Private Military and Security Companies under Public International Law, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013 (754 pp.)

Lindsey Cameron, University of Geneva
Lindsey Cameron is a Legal Adviser for the International Committee of the Red Cross. Prior to joining the ICRC, she worked as a researcher in the faculty of law at the University of Geneva. She has also worked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in the Balkans and at the Court of Appeal for Ontario in Canada.

Vincent Chetail, Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva
Vincent Chetail is Professor of Public International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. He is also Director of the Global Migration Centre and formerly the Research Director of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. His main field of interest relates to the various branches of international law applicable in times of armed conflicts.

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