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  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: October 2012

4 - Obligations of the host state

Summary

International law imposes a number of obligations on states to take positive steps to prevent, investigate, punish and redress private misconduct in their territory. These obligations derive from the fundamental principle of state sovereignty: since every sovereign state is presumed to exercise exclusive control over its territory, it is also presumed to possess some capacity to control private acts committed in its territory in order to ensure that they accord with international law. It follows that the host state of a PMSC – that is, the state in which the company operates – will be obliged to take certain active measures to control company behaviour in armed conflict.

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