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Regulating privatisation of “war”: the role of the EU in assuring the compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights (PRIV-WAR)
Start date: 01 Jan 2008, End date: 30 Jun 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The goal of the research project is to assess the impact of the extensive use of private military and security companies in situations of armed conflict and to discuss the regulatory framework at national, European and international levels, to assure compliance with international humanitarian law and human rights. Though this is not a new phenomenon, the fear motivating commentators and activists was that private companies operate in a legal vacuum. Although there is growing consensus now in the literature that the situation actually resembles more a complex patchwork of norms, the key question still remains whether and how these existing norms can be effectively applied and whether they need to be supplemented with new norms. Specific objectives are: to promote a better understanding of the phenomenon of the privatisation of war; to clarify the legal status of PMCs/PSCs employees under international humanitarian law; to foster knowledge on the impact of private military activities on the enjoyment of human rights; to analyse international responsibility and accountability of the corporations; to examine the existing regulation at national and EU levels, to explore the ways the EU could regulate PMCs/PSCs. The current proposal seeks to highlight the crucial role of the EU in three respects, which to date have not received much attention in the literature. First, the proposal will seek to offer insights into how the EU can and should develop a unified position on the international regulation of PMCs/PSCs. Second, the work to be undertaken will assess the need for and potential of harmonization of the EU member states’ domestic approaches towards PMCs/PSCs. Lastly, the present proposal will offer advice to policymakers on the development of a regulation scheme at the supranational level. To date, the existing literature on such schemes has largely neglected the role of the EU could and should play in this regard."
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