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Private military and security activity, PMC/PSC regulation, accountability of security contractors, the banning of mercenary practices, and maritime security are some of the issues addressed by the legal documents and official reports listed in this section. CLICK HERE to return to the Frequently Consulted Documents page.


LOI n° 2003-340 du 14 avril 2003 relative à la répression de l'activité de mercenaire (1). J.O N° 89 du 15 Avril 2003, page 6636, Texte n° 2 (NOR: DEFX0200004L). L'Assemblée nationale et le Sénat ont adopté, Le Président de la République promulgue la loi dont la teneur suit:

Version initiale: TEXT | TEXT | PDF (as published in the Journal Officiel de la République Française)

Version en vigueur au 12 octobre 2013: TEXT

This act amends the French criminal code and creates a new offence relating to mercenary activity and introduces a regime of penalties for it. Title III of Book IV of the Criminal Code introduces a new Chapter entitled "From participation in mercenary activity" and consists of five items numbered 436-1 to 436-5: Articles 436-1 and 436-2 define criminal offenses and penalties; Article 436-3 is introduced for the investigation and punishment of such offenses; and Articles 436-4 and 436-5 relate to supplementary penalties for offenders, individuals or other legal entities.


• Senat. Rapport fait au nom de la commission des Affaires étrangères, de la défense et des forces armées (1) sur le projet de loi relatif à la répression de l'activité de mercenaire. Rapport N° 142. Session ordinaire 2002-2003. Annexe au procès-verbal de la séance du 23 janvier 2003: TEXT

This bill seeks to create in our criminal code a new offense relating to mercenary activity. Based on the criteria most widely recognized by international instruments, the bill seeks, first, to define as precisely as possible, acts which concern both individual participation in mercenary activity as well as the organization of such activity. The resulting offenses involve the French nationals and persons ordinarily resident in the French territory, in addition to the jurisdiction of the French criminal courts of law when acts of mercenary activity are committed abroad.


• JOULAUD, M Marc, Député. Rapport sur le projet de loi relatif à la répression de l’activité de mercenaire, au nom de la Commission de la Défense nationale et des Forces armées de l’Assemblée nationale, rapport N ° 671, 7 Mars 2003: TEXT | PDF

Background note: Former French soldiers involved in an attempted coup in the Comoros in 2001 were subsequently extradited to France and imprisoned. Likewise, in Côte d'Ivoire and other countries formerly at war such as Angola and the Congo, the presence of mercenaries is frequently reported. However, in spite of public demands to end the mercenary phenomenon, the persons involved in these activities lack a criminal status as mercenaries under French law. For example, the mercenaries involved in the coup in the Comoros and extradited to France were indicted for "conspiracy." Therefore, the proposed bill seeks to fill this gap by characterizing criminal under French law the activities of mercenaries.


For articles discussing regulation issues visit the PMC REGULATION page



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