International and Comparative Regulation of Private Maritime Security Companies Employed in Counter-Piracy

Modern High Seas Piracy, (Douglas Guilfoyle, Ed. Elgar, 2012)

31 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2013

See all articles by James Kraska

James Kraska

Stockton Center for International Law, U.S. Naval War College; Harvard University - Harvard Law School; University of California Berkeley School of Law; Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

This paper analyzes the legal issues surrounding the use of private security companies (PSC)/private maritime security companies (PMSC) and their use of private contracted armed security personnel (PCASP) to protect commercial vessels. In particular, standards and rules are emerging for employment of PCASP to guard ships transiting the High Risk Area (HRA) threatened by Somali pirates in the western Indian Ocean. Flag states, the shipping industry and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) have developed recommendations to states and guidelines for the shipping industry to standardize practice and regulate the use of PCASP. The regulations concern the command relationship between the master and the armed security contractors, appropriate rules for the use of force against threats to the vessel or its crew, questions of liability, and carriage of weapons in the ports of other countries. Most of these issues fall within the prerogative of the flag state. Questions arising from the use by PCASP of weapons against persons on board a foreign-flagged ship, the presence of weapons or use of force in foreign ports, or perhaps in some cases, use of PCASP in territorial seas, may require diplomatic negotiation.

Keywords: PCASP, PMSC, private security, piracy, maritime security, law of the sea, UNCLOS, contract

Suggested Citation

Kraska, James, International and Comparative Regulation of Private Maritime Security Companies Employed in Counter-Piracy (2012). Modern High Seas Piracy, (Douglas Guilfoyle, Ed. Elgar, 2012), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2223751

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