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In 2002, the UN Panel of Experts on Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo issued its final report.2 In it, the Panel included a list it had compiled of companies involved in the war economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Panel, which had been mandated by the Security Council to examine the DRC war economy and make recommendations about sanctions and other measures, stated that ‘[b]y contributing to the revenues of the elite networks, directly or indirectly, those companies and individuals contribute to the ongoing conflict and to human rights abuses’.3 The Panel appended to its report several lists: one identified ‘companies on which the panel recommends placing financial restrictions’ and a second consisted of names of ‘persons for whom the Panel recommends travel and financial restrictions’. A third list identified businesses alleged to be ‘in violation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises’.4
Chapter 7 examines the law governing the coercive or violent appropriation of property in armed conflict. The chapter focuses on the crime of pillage and related regulation of property during armed conflict under International Humanitarian Law and through an analysis of the conventions and jurisprudence at international tribunals, addresses the extent to which these respond to the problems of militarization, predation, and irregular warfare.
Chapter 9 examines the increasing number of cases involving allegations of crimes by commercial actors in situations of armed conflict, in particular under domestic criminal statutes. The chapter examines various forms of liability to understand the nature of this turn to corporate criminal liability for certain activities associated with war economies.
Chapter 8 examines the law governing the exploitation of people’s labour by fighting organizations. The chapter focuses on the international crimes of enslavement and forced labour in armed conflict, as well as the recruitment of children, with a focus on how prohibitions and crime definitions apply to the predatory exploitation of labour in the context of irregular warfare.
Chapter 3 examines the international law attempts to regulate the financial aspects of war economies, in particular through UN sanctions. The chapter examines UN sanctions, in particular assets freezes and commodity sanctions, counterterrorism financing, attempts by the Council to police natural resource extraction in war zones, and efforts to create standards governing the regulation of commodity chains from conflict zones.
Chapter 5 examines the international law rules governing the mobilization of people to fight in wars. The chapter examines Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programmes in the context of UN peace operations, the internatinoal crimes of forced conscription, and child soldier recruitment. The chapter summarizes attempts to regulate the global private military and security industry, including through self-regulation, and the increasing attempts by states to criminalize foreign fighters under counterterrorism laws.
Chapter 6 provides a historical introduction to the origins of rules protecting people and property in war, in particular resulting from the development of the nineteenth-century laws of war into modern International Humanitarian Law (IHL). The chapter sets out the norms protecting property from unlawful appropriation in time of war (such as the crime of pillage) as well as the norms protecting labour against exploitation (including the crimes of enslavement and forced labour).
Chapter 4 examines international attempts to regulate the acquisition of weapons by those at war. The chapter examines the development of export controls, the disarmament regime, and Security Council arms embargoes as part of the normative background to the Arms Trade Treaty (2014).
The Introduction frames the issue of war economies regulation from an international law perspective and defines the key concepts and frameworks used in the book. It describes the issues that arise at the nexus of economic activity and war, including the militarization of economic activity and the risk of predation, and identifies two kinds of economies as relevant: economic activity for the war and economic activity in the war zone. The chapter concludes by outlining the chapters in the rest of the book.
The book concludes in Chapter 10 with an analysis of the options for the design of strategies for war economy regulation, both in the war zone as well as with respect to the global flows that intersect with violent conflict. The chapter argues that, whether in the defense of human rights, the regulation of armed conflict, or the preservation of international peace and security, there is ample normative content in international law to regulate predatory economic behaviour in the context of irregular warfare. In addition, international institutions have developed an unexpectedly dense body of administrative practice relevant for the regulation of these war economies. However, the normative content and administrative practice remain fragmented and biased in their application. Despite signs of normative coherence in the system, there is at present no consensus on a regulatory strategy for responding to the economic dimensions of today’s wars.
Part I outlines the international law applicable to economic activity both for the war and in the war zone. It begins by briefly outlining the difference between premodern and modern international law norms governing the acquisition of labour and property in war. The two sets of norms were radically different. As systems of warfare in Europe changed from premodern plunder-based warfare to modern industrial-based warfare, international law overturned and replaced norms regulating plunder and the taking of slaves, with norms that sought to protect labour and property from appropriation and exploitation in war.