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Leading the way; making a difference Click to edit Master title style LEGAL ASPECTS OF THE USE OF PRIVATE ARMED GUARDS Hellenic Mediterranean Panel 29.

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Presentation on theme: "Leading the way; making a difference Click to edit Master title style LEGAL ASPECTS OF THE USE OF PRIVATE ARMED GUARDS Hellenic Mediterranean Panel 29."— Presentation transcript:

1 Leading the way; making a difference Click to edit Master title style LEGAL ASPECTS OF THE USE OF PRIVATE ARMED GUARDS Hellenic Mediterranean Panel 29 th March 2012 Michele White General Counsel, INTERTANKO

2 Leading the way; making a difference Armed guards a commercial necessity or slippery slope? – 117 attacks ; 46 successful hijacks – 39% – 151 attacks ; 25 successful hijacks – 17% – attacks up; success rate down again - BMP and military intervention insufficient - Wider use of private armed guards - No ship with PAGs successfully hijacked - Financial cost – in USD 500 million? - Who do you trust? Standards? - --Regulation/Accreditation? - Standard contracts – GUARDCON? Overview

3 Leading the way; making a difference Use of Armed Guards Who are the PMSCs? – –Private companies – –Private individuals – ex military (Royal Marines; US Navy Seals; Yemeni coastguard?) – –Governed by national not international laws – –Not military – –Not police – –BUT – they may use lethal force

4 Leading the way; making a difference Do you need Armed Guards? Risk Assessment – –Current threat levels (MSCHOA, UKMTO, IMB, INTERTANKO Security Alerts) – –Ship’s proposed route – –Ship’s vulnerability – size, freeboard, manoeuvrability, BMP measures – –Ship’s cargo – –Risk of use of armed guards – misuse firearms, liability, escalation, compliance with national and international laws

5 Leading the way; making a difference What to look for? Checklist – –General – – PMSC Background Information – –Selection and Vetting of individuals – –Training the team – –Insurance cover for the PMSC – –Size, Composition of the PCASP Team and their Equipment – –Command and Control of Onboard Security Team – –Management of Firearms and Ammunition from Embarkation to Disembarkation – –Rules on the Use of Force – –Reporting and Record Keeping – –Familiarisation for Master and the crew

6 Leading the way; making a difference Use of Force Are PMSC’s allowed : – –To carry weapons? – –To repel a piracy attack – –To seize, arrest, detain and handover – –To actively interdict pirates Duty to render assistance Relationship with the Master Jurisdiction?

7 Leading the way; making a difference Carriage of Firearms Mainly National/Domestic Laws   Law of the Flag of the ship   Port/coastal state Types of solution   Regulations on embarkation/disembarkation   Licensing individuals or particular type of weapon   Export/end user licences Soft law   IMO Guidelines   National guidelines   Industry guidelines

8 Leading the way; making a difference Repelling an attack? Private armed guards can use force to: – –Defend from an attack – –Includes right to self defence/defence of others – –May include use of lethal force in extreme Private armed guards may not: – –Delay, disrupt or seize a pirate ship Governed by: – –Domestic criminal law – –Soft laws on PMSCs

9 Leading the way; making a difference Seize, arrest, detain, interdict? Seizure on account of piracy – –Warships/government ships only Arrest, detain, handover? – –SUA Convention Interdict pirates – –Warships/government ships only

10 Leading the way; making a difference Duty to Render Assistance? Treaty obligations including: International Convention on Search and Rescue International Convention on Safety of life at Sea (SOLAS) Duty of ships with PMSCS to render assistance to: Other merchant vessels in distress Alleged pirates in distress BUT not absolute obligation assess danger to ship, crew and passengers

11 Leading the way; making a difference The Master and the PMSC Who decides on use of force? – –The master? – –PMSC? Considerations – –Master ultimate responsibility for safety – –Individual’s right to self defence – –Expertise of PMSC – –Contractual clauses

12 Leading the way; making a difference Jurisdiction - What if….? Greek Flag Vessel UK PSC and armed guards Exchange of fire Somali pirate killed Ukrainian crew injured Pollution incident High seas? Territorial Waters? Who decides?

13 Leading the way; making a difference Thank you


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