Privatized Military Firms’ Impunity in Cases of Torture: A Crime of Humanity?

in International Community Law Review
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Abstract

Over the past few years privatized military firms (PMFs) have allegedly committed all kind of war crimes, including torture. Prisoners’ abuses at Abu Ghraib or indiscriminate firing against civilian vehicles to the rhythm of Elvis Presley’s “Runaway Train” are but a couple of examples of the excesses revealed by the public media. Nonetheless, members of PMFs have hardly been held accountable. “Lawlessness” and “weak laws” have been blamed for these striking cases of impunity. Emphasizing the crime of torture, this article explores the legal framework applicable to PMFs, both from a domestic and an international perspective, and sheds light on ways in which these alleged crimes could be investigated, prosecuted, and tried. The article concludes by questioning the reasons behind the impunity of members of a PMF, even in cases in which their military counterparts were tried and condemned.

Privatized Military Firms’ Impunity in Cases of Torture: A Crime of Humanity?

in International Community Law Review

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References

6)

Singersupra note 4 at 49.

14)

Charles Tilly“War Making and State Making as Organized Crime”in Peter B. Evans (ed.) Bringing the State Back In (1985) p. 169.

16)

Percysupra note 3.

27)

Solissupra note 8 at 203–205.

30)

Solissupra note 8 at 108.

39)

Brookssupra note 28 at 135.

42)

Ballesterossupra note 17 at para. 31.

43)

Human Rights Firstsupra note 7 at 3.

44)

James Risen“Efforts to Prosecute Blackwater Are Collapsing”N.Y. Times20 October 2010 available online at: <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/21/world/21contractors.html?_r=1> (last accessed 23 October 2010).

45)

Human Rights Firstsupra note 7 at 8.

51)

Human Rights Firstsupra note 7 at 2.

54)

Rothe and Rosssupra note 40 at 602.

57)

Solissupra note 8 at 472.

62)

Human Rights Firstsupra note 7 at 15.

63)

CPA/ORD/27 June 2004/17supra note 53 at section 4 para. 4.

72)

Leandersupra note 2.

78)

Solissupra note 8 at 90.

81)

Solissupra note 8 at 88; Human Rights First supra note 7 at 28.

83)

Convention against Torturesupra note 1 Art. 5.1 (a) and (b).

106)

Rothe and Rosssupra note 40 at 602.

107)

Percysupra note 3.

111)

See Christolsupra note 71 at 232–247.

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