Jenny S. Lam

Accountability for Private Military Contractors under the Alien Statute

This paper examines private military companies’ potential liability under the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”) for human rights abuses committed abroad while under contract with the U.S. government. Following a review of the existing literature and relevant case law, I conclude that private military companies (“PMCs”) may indeed be held liable under the Alien Tort Statute.  Furthermore, after analyzing the arguments for and against ATS liability and the continued use of PMCs in high-risk situations, I argue that the U.S. government should scale back its reliance on PMCs in situations where private individuals are likely to incur ATS liability.