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Corporate Civil Liability.irrc_mongelard

Corporate Civil Liability.irrc_mongelard - Volume 88 Number...

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Corporate civil liability for violations of international humanitarian law Eric Mongelard * Eric Mongelard has a Master in international humanitarian law (University Centre for International Humanitarian Law, Geneva); he is a member of the Quebec Bar. Abstract The fact that international humanitarian law violations are in the vast majority of cases prosecuted in criminal courts does not mean that a civil liability for these violations does not exist. This article seeks to explore the concept of civil liability of corporations involved in violations of international humanitarian law by providing an overview of the different legal issues raised by this concept and its implementation in both common law and continental law systems. In recent years there have been much discussion and media reporting about international humanitarian law violations by states and the question of individual criminal liability for such violations. The issue of corporate liability is likewise now attracting broad media attention. Civil liability of companies 1 and violations of international humanitarian law are therefore familiar concepts not only for legal specialists but also for the public. However, they are rarely addressed together. And yet companies are increasingly operating in places which would have been inconceivable only a few years ago, namely in areas of armed conflict. Although companies working in conflict areas or in support of armed forces do not constitute an entirely new phenomenon, the conflict in Iraq, where foreign companies providing security and other support services appeared on the scene * The author wishes to thank Professors Marco Sasso `li and Eric David for their invaluable comments on the various drafts of this article. Volume 88 Number 863 September 2006 665
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almost at the same time as the US army, is an extreme example of the role private entities can play during hostilities. Companies can play many different roles in an armed conflict and may beca l ledupontotakepartinitinvar iousways .Intheear lystagestheycan be a source of revenue for the belligerents, and this can cause the fighting to goon longer than it might have done otherwise. In Colombia, for example, oil companies were obliged to pay a special contribution towards restoring lawand order, which took the form of a special tax of $1.25 a barrel. In 1996 this tax brought the Colombian government a total revenue of $250 million. 2 In Angola, dur
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Corporate Civil Liability.irrc_mongelard - Volume 88 Number...

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