Regulating private military companies: Options for the UK Government

This report puts forth a reasoned argument as to why the UK Government should take steps to control the activities of mercenaries and private military companies operating out of the UK and proposes options for prospective legislation.

It describes the evolution of the mercenary phenomenon from an historical perspective and the growing need to draft legislation to control the activities of private military companies. It also accounts for the principal actors providing private military services, namely, mercenaries, private military companies and private security companies. Examining the legal basis upon which prospective UK legislation should be formulated, the report draws on relevant obligations under international law. It also looks at the introduction of national legislation and laws in other supplier countries as useful to drawing best practice for such an exercise in the UK.