Because international human rights and humanitarian law traditionally binds only state action, courts must reconceive the state so that nominally nonstate activity, such as the acts of private military contractors, fits within this legal framework. I summarize state action cases under U.S. constitutional law and the nascent jurisprudence in U.S. courts involving the application of international law norms to government contractors. I also consider holding nonstate actors accountable for violations of international law norms through ordinary U.S. domestic law tort suits. Yet, even in this context delineating the public/private divide is a core part of the analysis.
Dickinson, L.A. (2011), "The State Action Doctrine in International Law", Sarat, A. (Ed.) Special Issue Human Rights: New Possibilities/New Problems (Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Vol. 56), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 213-232. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1059-4337(2011)0000056009
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