Violence for Rent: the Moral and Legal Justifiability of PMSCs.
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This thesis explores to what extent the conduct of private military and security companies (PMSCs) is morally justifiable, and to what extent national and international law standards allow PMSCs to be prosecuted for immoral conduct. The conduct is morally justifiable when the four conditions of the principle of double effect are met. The scrutiny of PMSCs must be proportional to their role. Suing PMSCs for immoral conduct is very complicated, and depends on the intentions and on the legal system of the host state and/or the home state. If the state is willing to prosecute, there are three options: 1) sue individual employees via International Humanitarian Law, 2) sue individual employees via (inter)national criminal law, and 3) sue the company as a legal entity via civil proceedings. This paper confirms the complexity of suing PMSCs, and emphasizes the obstacles in doing so by applying the moral and legal frameworks to the case-studies on Sierra Leone and Iraq. Despite the complex system to prosecute and monitor PMSC activity, there continues to be a gap in the academic literature exploring the unwillingness of states to hold PMSCs accountable for committed human rights violations.