CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Kinley & Murray on Corporations that Kill

Kinley david David Kinley (pictured) and Odette Murray (University of Sydney - Faculty of Law and University of Sydney - Faculty of Law) has posted Corporations that Kill: Prosecuting Blackwater (SHOOT TO KILL: THE LAW GOVERNING THE USE OF LETHAL FORCE IN CONTEXT, S. Bronitt, M. Gani, eds., Hart Publishing, 2010) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

The deaths of 17 civilian Iraqis in Baghdad’s Nisour Square in September 2007 at the hands of Blackwater (now Xe) personnel was as notable for the horrifying manner in which the 17 died as it was for revealing the abject lack of effective regulation and accountability mechanisms that exist for private military corporations engaged in lethal actions. How did this circumstance come to be? What are the dimensions of the growing phenomenon of security and military privatization? What ought to be the framework within which the exercise of public power in private hands is regulated when the power in question is in extremis? And what are the challenges in establishing such control? This article addresses these questions working through the prism of the Nisour Square massacre and its aftermath. It concludes that even if some progress can be made through private sector initiatives, the filling of the current regulatory lacunae must be seen as primarily a task of the contracting-out states themselves, and it is to them that we must look to lobby for change.

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