Mercenaries and the law
Smith, R. C.(2004). Mercenaries and the law. New Zealand International Review, 29(4), 11-15.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2118
The International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries arose from understandable African concerns about the influence of European mercenaries in the continent during decolonisation in the 1960s and early 1970s. These same concerns also gave rise to a vary adverse treatment of the concept ‘mercenary’ in Protocol 1 (1977) to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. However, these events do not justify, in 2004, further anti-mercenary measures and, particularly, they do not require the ratification of the convention against mercenary activity, about which even the existing small number of parties have considerable doubt. As the British Foreign Secretary said in his foreword to an official green paper on the subject, ‘Today’s world is a far cry from the 1960s when private military activity usually meant mercenaries of the rather unsavoury kind involved in post-colonial and neo-colonial conflicts’.
New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
This is the published version of an article published in the journal: New Zealand International Review. Used with permission.