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This is a sample of key articles dealing with diverse regulation issues, perspectives, and case studies. The authors include scholars, practitioners, organizations, and company representatives. Covering these articles should give you a good overview of the regulations debate, as well as its evolution since the late 1990s. To further your knowledge of the field and have a better idea of the pieces of regulation discussed, please visit the LEGAL DOCUMENTS pages. We also suggest you visit the INDUSTRY OPINION pages, as the sample of documents we currently offer largely focus on regulation issues.
More topics soon!


BROOKS, Doug and Shawn Lee RATHGEBER. The Industry Role in Regulating Private Security Companies. The Canadian Consortium on Human Security. Human Security Bulletin, vol. 6, issue 3. March 2008: TEXT | PDF

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Private sector support for military and stability operations is not new, but there is clearly greater public interest in these ‘contingency contractors’ now, as well as legitimate interest in ensuring effective regulation particularly for the evolving role of “Private Security Companies” (PSCs). PSCs are a small subset – five percent – of contingency contractors but their prominence and significant security role in post-conflict environments make them the focal point for regulation..


HOLMQVIST, Caroline. Private Security Companies: The Case for Regulation, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. SIPRI Policy Paper No. 9, January 2005. PDF

CONCLUSIONS: (...) Substantive issues are raised by the use of private security actors that simply cannot be addressed through regulation. Even if the processes by which companies are hired were formalized (e.g., in open and clear tendering processes) and if it were possible to regulate who hires them to operate and where, and how firms deliver their services (with adequate vetting of personnel, human rights standards and punishment for individual wrongdoers), there still remain significant losses when a private company performs services in this sensitive area of policy. (...)


ISS Boardroom. Conference Report on Regulation of the Private Security Sector in Africa. Compiled by the Defence Sector Programme, Institute for Security Studies. Pretoria, South Africa, April 19-20 , 2007: PDF

On 19 and 20 April 2007 the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) organised a conference on the Regulation of the Private Security Sector in Africa under the auspices of the ISS project of the same name, which is co-funded by the International Development Research Council (IDRC) and the United Nations University (UNU).

Sabelo J Ndlovu-Gatshen. Weak States and the Growth of the Private Security Sector in Africa: Whither the African State?

Foaleng H Mpako. Private Security Activities and the Nexus between Natural Resources and Civil Wars in Africa,

J J Messner. Ethical Security: The Private Sector in Peace and Stability Operations

Jeffrey Isima. The Private Security Sector and the Opportunities for Security Sector Reform in Africa

Andy Bearpark and Dr Sabrina Schulz. The International Regulation of Private Security Companies: Lessons Learnt for Africa

Jamie Williamson. The Position of PMCs and PSCs in International Humanitarian Law
Katherine Fallah. Regulating Private Security Contractors in Armed Conflict: International Humanitarian Law and the Principle of Distinction
Anthony Minnaar. Oversight and Monitoring of Non-State/Private Policing: Dealing with Misconduct, Use of Force and Criminal Activities by Private Security Practitioners in South Africa
Jan Kamenju The Private Security Industry in Kenya
Hamilton Sipho Simelane. The State, Security Dilemma and the Development of the Private Security Sector in Swaziland
Markus Dutly. The Swiss Initiative on Private Military and Security Companies
Meike de Goede. Case Study: DRC
Raenette Taljaard. Case Study: South Africa
Solomon Kirunda. Case Study: Uganda


KRAHMANN, Elke. Controlling Private Military Services in the UK and Germany: Between Partnership and Regulation, European Security, vol. 13, no. 2, 2005, pp 277- 295. [The article is no longer available as a free download; no abstract provided by the journal; thus only listed for reference purposes]

PDF of related article, entitle by the authos as 'Controlling Private Military Services in the UK and Germany: Between Partnership and Regulation']

Krahmann, Elke. Regulating private military companies: What role for the EU? Contemporary Security Policy, vol 26, no 1, 2005, pp 1-23. [The article is no longer available as a free download; no abstract provided by the journal; thus only listed for reference purposes]: Journal page

Lindemann, Marc. Civilian Contractors under Military Law. Parameters, Autumn 2007, 83-94. [The article is no longer available as a free download; no abstract provided by the journal; thus only listed for reference purposes]: Journal page

LIU, Hin-Yan. Leashing the Corporate Dogs of War: The Legal Implications of the Modern Private Military Company. Journal of Conflict and Security Law (2010) vol 15, no 1, pp. 141-168: PDF

ABSTRACT: The modern private military company (PMC) is a company that provides martial services through a corporate legal framework, and as such is the contemporary heir to private force providers of the past. This paper challenges the idea that modern PMCs operate in an alleged legal ‘vacuum’, and instead shows that there is a wide array of potentially applicable instruments. This paper addresses this patchwork of law primarily through the lens of mercenarism, first through proscribing interna- tional instruments followed subsequently by utilizing South Africa and the United Kingdom as the poles of their domestic counterpart responses. The rights and obli- gations of PMCs and its employees are then considered in the context of Interna- tional Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law, and tentative steps are taken towards considering their liability for war crimes. An attempt is made to advocate for state responsibility of PMC actions to both control their operational excesses and encourage states to address the phenomenon in a unified fashion. At the same time, the paper acknowledges the fact that state responsibility is not the panacea as claimed by some commentators; an analysis of a case study involving the sale of the Indonesian military’s services to private interest shows that the privatization of forces is more than simply about the form of its organizational structure. The paper concludes that the PMC activity should nevertheless be included within the state framework to utilize the strength of both International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law.


LEANDER, Anna. Regulating the Role of PMCs in Shaping Security and Politics. Copenhagen Business School. Institute of Intercultural Communication and Management Working Paper, no 84, May 12, 2006. PDF

ABSTRACT: This paper focuses on the way PMCs shape security policies and more generally political priorities. Linking up with classical thinking about "civil-military relations", it suggests that preoccupation with security professionals’ role in shaping politics is as important when these professionals are privately organised in PMCs as it is when they are enrolled in public armed forces. The paper shows that existing regulation has not been adjusted to account for this fact and that the significance of regulating PMCs’ role in shaping politics is profoundly underestimated. It therefore argues that putting the issue of regulating "civil-PMCs relations" on the agenda is essential.


Articles discussing regulation from a security industry perspective can be found in the INDUSTRY DOCUMENTS page

MALAN, Mark and Jakkie CILLIERS. Mercenaries and Mischief: The Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Bill. Institute for Security Studies, Occasional PaperS, no 25, South Africa, September 1997. PDF

CONCLUSIONS: (...) Legislation which blurs the distinction between legitimate and peaceful outreach programmes, on the one hand, and mercenary activities on the other, is likely to retard the cause of peace and stability, while enhancing the legitimacy of those profiting from armed conflict. South Africans may yet be justly proud of progressive legislation that successfully counters the private fuelling of armed conflicts, especially if this translates into effective regulation which does not infringe on the basic constitutional rights of peace loving citizens – but they cannot embrace the Foreig n Military Assistance Bill in its present form.


LEHNARDT, Chia. Regulating the Private Commercial Military Sector: Workshop Report. New York University, School of Law, Institute for International Law and Justice, December 1-3, 2005: PDF

SUMMARY: This document outlines some of the main themes raised during the discussions at a closed off-the-record workshop held from December 1-3, 2005 at the Greentree Foundati on Estate, Manhasset, New York. Forming the policy component of the IILJ’s research project on the regula tion of private military comp anies, the meeting’s key objective was to discuss governance of commercial military firms providing combat services and training. Participants included representatives from four groups — providers, consumers, governments and academics. Contributions were non-attributable.


ORTIZ, Carlos. Regulating Private Military Contractors: Legal Frameworks, Political Hurdles. World Politics Review, Feature Article, June, 14, 2011: TEXT

CONCLUSIONS: (...) The framework used by the U.S. to regulate PMCs already offers a key blueprint for other governments to consider in the absence of any other equally robust framework at the national level. However, this is a responsibility that needs to be acknowledged by both state suppliers and users of PMCs. Codes of conduct, although not legally binding or universally applied, deal with issues not necessarily covered by national or international regulation, and they should therefore be taken more seriously. (...)


ORTIZ, Carlos. Regulating Private Military Companies: States and the Expanding Business of Commercial Security Provision, in Global Regulation. Managing Crises After the Imperial Turn. L. Assassi, D. Wigan and K. van der Pijl (eds), 2004, pp. 205-219. PDF

CONFERENCE ABSTRACT: (...) If the monopoly of violence remains one of the prerogatives of the state, it seems paradoxical that states maintain authority at the same time as delegating it. This paradox can be understood in light of contradictory pressures state authorities are subject to, negotiating the conflicting demands for the maintenance of state power, and those implied in the neo-liberal attitudes towards public management and global markets. A flexible regulatory mechanism would be one that adequately mediates between these contradictory requirements. (...)


TALJAARD, Raenette. Implementing South Africa’s Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act. Chapter 9 in Private Actors and Security Governance. BRYDEN, Alan and Marina CAPARINI (eds). Zürich, Verlag Münster, 2006. PDF

INTRODUCTION: This Chapter seeks to analyse the South African state’s attempts to regulate the activities of private military and security companies through the implementation of the Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act (RFMA), enacted by the new democratically-elected South African government in 1997. This country-specific case study is done against the broader backdrop of significant gaps and ambiguity concerning private security firms in public international law, and a clear failure of the field of civil-military relations to adequately grapple with and respond to the profound conceptual, legal, political, practical and moral dilemmas inherent in the emergence and increase of private security actors. (...)


ROTHWELL, Donald R. Legal Opinion on the status of non-combatants and contractors under international humanitarian law and Australian law, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, December 24, 2004. PDF

PARAGRAPH 26: Australian law has the capacity to extend to Australian-based operators in foreign conflict zones on a number of grounds. These extend to jurisdiction based on: • Nationality • Universality • Conferred jurisdiction of the host State.


SINGER, Peter W. The Law Catches Up to Private Militaries, Embeds. DefenseTech, January 2007: TEXT

KEY POINT: It has now come out that a tiny clause was slipped into the Pentagon's fiscal year 2007 budget legislation. The one sentence section (number 552 of a total 3510 sections) states that "Paragraph (10) of section 802(a) of title 10, United States Code (article 2(a) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice), is amended by striking 'war' and inserting 'declared war or a contingency operation'.".



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