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Article

Access_open Armed On-board Protection of Dutch Vessels: Not Allowed Yet But Probably Forthcoming

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2018
Keywords vessel protection, private armed guards, state monopoly on force, masters position, state control
Authors Paul Mevis and Sari Eckhardt
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article provides an overview of the developments about the armed on-board protection of Dutch vessels under Dutch law. The Dutch position has changed over the years. In 2011, the starting point was that private security companies (PSCs) are not to be allowed. It was expected that adequate protection of Dutch vessels could be provided by vessel protection detachments (VPDs). Although not considered as an absolute statutory bar, the state monopoly on force was considered the main argument against PSCs. After optimising the use of VPDs and given the development in other countries, the approach changed into a ‘VPS, unless …’-approach. Under the new Protection of Merchant Shipping Act that is expected to come into force in the second half of 2019, PSCs can be employed only if no VPS is available. This article gives an overview of the argumentation in this change of view over the years. It also explores the headlines, criteria and procedures of the new law and some other topics, including the position of the master under the upcoming law. In line with the other country reports, it enables the comparative study in the last article of this special issue.


Paul Mevis
Paul Mevis is professor of criminal law and criminal procedure at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Sari Eckhardt
Sari Eckhardt holds a master’s degree in criminal law and has worked as a student assistant at the Rotterdam Erasmus University’s Department of Criminal Law and is currently working at De Bont Advocaten.
Article

Access_open Armed On-board Protection of Danish Vessels Authorisation and Use of Force in Self-defence in a Legal Perspective

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 4 2018
Keywords piracy, private security companies (PSC), privately contracted armed security personnel (PCASP), use of force, Denmark
Authors Christian Frier
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines the legal issues pertaining to the use of civilian armed guards on board Danish-flagged ships for protection against piracy. The Danish model of regulation is interesting for several reasons. Firstly, the Danish Government was among the first European flag States to allow and formalise their use in a commercial setting. Secondly, the distribution of assignments between public authorities and private actors stands out as very pragmatic, as ship owners and contracting private security companies are empowered with competences which are traditionally considered as public administrative powers. Thirdly, the lex specialis framework governing the authorisation and use of force in self-defence is non-exhaustive, thus referring to lex generalis regulation, which does not take the special circumstances surrounding the use of armed guards into consideration. As a derived effect the private actors involved rely heavily on soft law and industry self-regulation instrument to complement the international and national legal framework.


Christian Frier
Christian Frier is research assistant at the Department of Law, University of Southern Denmark. He obtained his PhD in Law in March 2019.
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