Can a government be held responsible for the crimes committed by a military contractor? If, for instance, a company like Blackwater Security Consulting contracted by the government commits a crime not ordered by it. If Blackwater Security Consulting then went bankrupt, and the U.S. lost a war to a country, can the U.S. be held financially liable for the crime committed by its military contractor, can it still be held financially liable even if the country did not go bankrupt? Is there some kind of settlement process during peace treaty negotiations?
If Blackwater Security Consulting then went bankrupt, and the U.S. lost a war to a country
It is hard to conceive of a world in which the US actually loses a war and things like courts remain operational. This is discounting situations like Vietnam where the US retreated because it was unable to win decisively and the ongoing cost became unacceptable. Actually losing a war and being occupied implies some kind of post-nuclear mass murder scenario that's difficult to speculate coherently about.
There is 20th century precedent for the criminal prosecution of contractors employed by the government that lost a war - IG Farben senior staff were prosecuted for crimes against humanity.
The US has "opted out" of war crimes prosecution for its military and government. However, that does not cover private contractors, so theoretically they could be prosecuted for war crimes. The US did carry out its own prosecution of Blackwater staff for war crimes.