The new autonomous corporate warriors and their implications for humanity

Collins, Pauline (2006) The new autonomous corporate warriors and their implications for humanity. Yearbook of New Zealand Jurisprudence, 9. pp. 15-45. ISSN 1174-4243


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The post-Cold War rise of private military contractors (PMCs) and their impact on the laws of war, in particular International Humanitarian Law (IHL), requires investigation. The need for accountability together with the repercussions for the Geneva Conventions and state sovereignty is immediate. This article is aimed at uncovering some of the implications this growing phenomenon has for society. Issues surround the sufficiency of current international law to regulate PMCs acting in war zones. The development of the laws of war from the Christian ages through Rousseau’s ‘social contract’ to the current times of corporate privatisation of previously held sovereign state domains is considered. The likelihood of successfully subjecting PMCs to prosecution for war crimes in the current climate of regulation is minimal. The idea of states using PMCs for inappropriate gain is discussed along with the threat created by this phenomenon to the stability of national armies. The author concludes the need for investigation, review and control of the privatisation of the military is urgent.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Awaiting copyright advice.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - Department of Law
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 01:00
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:43
Uncontrolled Keywords: international humanitarian law, private military corporations
Fields of Research : 18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180114 Human Rights Law
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2201 Applied Ethics > 220104 Human Rights and Justice Issues
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180116 International Law (excl. International Trade Law)

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