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Law’s Impunity

Responsibility and the Modern Private Military Company

By: Hin-Yan Liu
Media of Law’s Impunity
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Published: 24-09-2015
Format: EPUB eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 384
ISBN: 9781782259626
Imprint: Hart Publishing
RRP: £26.09
Online price : £14.35
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Loren Epson

About Law’s Impunity

When faced with those who act with impunity, we seek the protection of law. We rely upon the legal system for justice, from international human rights law that establishes common standards of protection, to international criminal law that spearheads efforts to end impunity for the most heinous atrocities. While legal processes are perceived to combat impunity, and despite the ready availability of the law, accountability often remains elusive. What if the law itself enables impunity?

Law's Impunity asks this question in the context of the modern Private Military Company (PMC), examining the relationship between law and the concepts of responsibility and impunity. This book proposes that ordinary legal processes do not neutralise, but rather legalise impunity. This radical idea is applied to the abysmal record of human rights violations perpetrated by the modern PMC and the shocking absence of accountability. This book demonstrates how the law organises, rather than overcomes, impunity by detailing how the modern PMC exploits ordinary legal processes to systematically exclude itself from legal responsibility. Thus, Law's Impunity offers an alternative to conventional thinking about the law, providing an innovative approach to assess and refine the rigour of legal processes in the ongoing quest to end impunity.

Table Of Contents

1. Law's Impunity
2. The Modern Private Military Company
3. Law's Failure to Marginalise and Criminalise Mercenary Activity
4. Passive Private Military Company Impunity
5. Active Private Military Company Impunity
6. The Future of Private Military Impunity
7. Conclusion


“The scholarship of the author and the quality of data analysis make the book an essential read for researchers concerned, not only with the PMC phenomenon, but mainly with questions of impunity in international astonishing work bridging complex concepts with a contemporary empirical analysis of the important issue of PMC.” –  Marcos Alan S V Ferreira, Journal of Human Security

Law's impunity is a well-written, thorough, and thought-provoking monograph. It provides a wealth of information and analysis concerning the history, practice and law applicable to private military companies, and then builds on this foundation by offering a compelling analysis of law's failures and potentially counter-productive efforts when it comes to regulating and holding such companies to account.” –  Shane Darcy, Business and Human Rights Journal Vol 1

“Overall this book is an insightful guide for any critical legal scholar concerned with the questions of PMCs, corporate liability and, of course, the concept of impunity ... Liu's brave and controversial vision of law as a source of impunity challenges the traditional way of perceiving impunity, and tells a critical story of law's inability to embrace the myriad challenges posed by PMCs.” –  Katerina Galai, University of Sussex, British Yearbook of International Law

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