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  • Print publication year: 2015
  • Online publication date: November 2017

Chapter VII - Summary, Overall Conclusions, and Final Observations


The price of greatness is responsibility.

Sir Winston Churchill


The State use of private contractors providing military and security services is an increasingly popular practice that has notably found its expression in various areas around the world in the era of globalization. In conflict zones, PMSCs have been deployed to carry out numerous tasks ranging from the provision of training and advice to the interrogation of prisoners and actual participation in hostilities. What has come to light, are several violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, that have been committed by the personnel of these corporations. These breaches reveal the impotence of not only domestic and transnational legal frameworks, but also international law to deal with the issues of control, oversight, and accountability with respect to PMSCs. The main aim of the present study is to investigate the possibility of application of the State responsibility doctrine to PMSC operations in conflict-affected areas. Having analyzed the phenomenon of privatization of war and security and the possibility of invoking international responsibility of hiring, host, and home States for the unlawful conduct of these legal entities and their employees breaching international law, the main focus of this final Chapter is on providing a summary, drawing some general conclusions, and making final observations with regard to the posed research questions. The main question of the study is:

“To what extent should and can States be held responsible for the misconduct of PMSCs, taking place in conflict areas and constituting breaches of international humanitarian and human rights law?”

The investigation concerned the extent and circumstances of attribution of the misconduct of PMSCs and their personnel under the law of State responsibility and the scope and circumstances of the application of positive State duties under international humanitarian and human rights law to the deployment of private contractors in conflict zones.


It has been established that currently States rely heavily on the employment of PMSCs and outsource a large variety of tasks to these non-State entities in times of war and peace.

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