States as Clients of Private Military and Security Companies
the Legal Limits of Outsourcing in the Curious Case of Finland
In recent years the Finnish state has developed a practice of contracting Private Military and Security Contractors (PMSCs) to provide security for Finnish officials working in high-risk locations outside Finland. These developments have gone largely unnoticed in the public eye and academia and the article seeks to address the situation by examining the legality of the current practice of the Finnish state in relation to PMSCs. A theoretical framework is presented where this question is situated into a context where outdated legislation concerning states and war coexists with novel forms of conflict and types of actors taking part in these conflicts. Reasons behind the rise of PMSCs during the post-Cold War are also considered and regulations applicable to them under international law are briefly reviewed.
The known facts of the practice of the Finnish state in relations with PMSCs are presented and the legality of this practice is examined from the viewpoint of the Finnish Constitution. It will be argued that in the light of the limited knowledge available concerning the exact practices of the Finnish state in relation to PMSCs, it is possible that the current practice is in conflict with Article 124 of the Finnish Constitution which specifically regulates delegating tasks involving exercise of public powers to private actors.