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(Timely) Symposium on Contractor Accountability Over @ Opinio Juris

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Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Our friends over at Opinio Juris are hosting a neat online symposium discussion of Professor Laura Dickinson’s book Outsourcing War and Peace: Preserving Public Values in a World of Privatized Foreign Affairs. In addition to two posts (so far) from Laura, there are also contributions from Deborah Pearlstein (Cardozo Law), Allison Steiner (Middlebury College political science), and now one from me expressing some concern about too much zeal for accountability given the United States’ strange-but-true prosecution of a South African national under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act for an assault committed against a British national on a NATO base in Afghanistan–the constitutional challenge to which was argued before the Fourth Circuit yesterday…

As Lawfare-rs know, I believe that there’s a lot of (incoherent) overlap between contractor liability (civil and criminal) and larger debates about remedies for national security overreaching. Suffice it to say, Professor Dickinson’s book–and the OJ symposium–only helps to advance that conversation by painting a far clearer picture of the extent of government outsourcing and the problems that the absence of meaningful legal accountability thereby raise.