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27 Swiss. Rev. Int'l & Eur. L. 305 (2017)
The Role of Private Military and Security Companies: Corporate Dogs of War or Civilians Operating in Hostile Environments

handle is hein.journals/sriel27 and id is 317 raw text is: 


The Role of Private Military and Security Companies:

Corporate Dogs of War or Civilians Operating

in Hostile Environments?

Frauke Renz*

Private Military and Security Companies perform a wide range of roles during non-international armed
conflicts. While many of those roles have been assessed thoroughly, the roles of contractors involved in com-
bat air patrol missions have remained understudied. Major militaries worldwide are increasingly relying on
drone warfare and make use ofprivate contractors throughout the process. It is thus essential to assess the legal
status of those contractors under international humanitarian law to determine their rights and how those
correspond to their contractual obligations. This article argues that contractors analyzing intelligence are
likely to directly participate in hostilities while those piloting and operating the drones potentially perform
an inherently governmental function and thus blur the line between the public and the private sector. Their
work might even qualify as membership of an armed group with a continuous combat function, thus depriv-
ing them of the revolving door benefit.

Table of Contents
I.   Introduction
II. Legal Status of Private Contractors under IHL
     A. General Overview
     B. Mercenaries
     C. Fighter Status
     D. Members of Armed Forces
     E. Direct Participation in Hostilities
     F. Membership of an Armed Group
     G. Preliminary Conclusion
III. Rights of Contractors Depending on their Status
     A. Right to Self-Defense and Defense of Others as Business Model
     B. Challenges Arising for Individual Employees
IV. Comparative Case Study
     A. Different Roles of Contractors
     B. Contractors Flying Combat Air Patrol Missions
V.   Conclusion

   Frauke Renz, MLaw and LL.M. Tsinghua is Pacific Forum CSIS Non-Resident Fellow, Founder of
   IR.Asia and PhD Candidate at the University of Bern. She can be reached at frauke.renz @international-
   relations.asia. The author would like to thank Prof. Dr. Judith Wyttenbach and Prof. Renee de Nevers for
   their valuable comments on an earlier draft of this paper and Prof. Sass6li for the in-depth discussions
   about PMSC and IHL.

Volume 27 (2017), Number 3

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