Ince Welcomes FAC Piracy Report

press release
Monday, January 09, 2012

The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee Report on “Piracy off the coast of Somalia”, published today, sets out the findings of the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) enquiry into the efforts of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the UK Government to combat increasing levels of piracy off the coast of Somalia.

 

As part of their enquiry, the FAC invited Ince & Co partner Stephen Askins, who has provided legal advice to the owners and underwriters of a number of vessels hijacked by pirates, to appear before the Committee and provide evidence in connection with some of the legal issues that arise in dealing with the threat of piracy. Among other things, Stephen's input related to the (i) use of private armed security guards (PASGs) and the (ii) payment of ransoms.

 

(i) Use of PASGs
 

The report concludes that “the evidence in support of the use of armed guards is compelling” but that the “Government must provide clearer direction on what is permissible and what is not”. The FAC recommends that, following the Government’s recent announcement that PASGs would be permitted on UK-flagged vessels, clear and unambiguous guidance on the use of armed force should be issued and that this should include provisions that the use of force should be proportionate, necessary and graduated. The report also concludes that a national regulatory structure should be introduced so as to provide a level of quality assurance and ensure that an appropriate approach is followed in all UK-flagged vessels. In respect of the carriage and transfer of weapons by PASGs, the report recommends that agreement be reached with those coastal states through which weapons were likely to need to pass in order to support the use of PASGs.

 

(ii) Ransoms

The report expresses its concern regarding the growth of the payment of ransoms and the escalating costs of piracy to the maritime industry but concludes that, given the commercial realities and the lack of viable alternatives, the Government should address this through the recovery of ransoms and prosecutions rather than making it more difficult for companies to secure the safe release of their crew.  In particular, the report concludes that the Government should not criminalise the payment of ransoms.

 

Stephen Askins commented: "We welcome this wide-ranging report and it would be great to see the UK government taking a lead in this area. A number of the proposed initiatives and recommendations are aimed at protecting commercial vessels and importantly the crews who so often bear the brunt of the piracy attacks. That must be a good thing."
 

Maritime Reporter August 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

China Passes New Pollution Law, Will Cap Coal Consumption

Legislators have approved amendments to China's 15-year-old air pollution law that grant the state new powers to punish offenders and create a legal framework to cap coal consumption,

Marad Celebrates Deployment of Maritime Fuel Cell Project

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) today celebrated the launch of field trials for the first prototype hydrogen fuel cell

Gazprom, OMV Meet on Establishing Nord Stream JV

At a Meeting held at the Gazprom headquarters between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Company's Management Committee and Rainer Seele, Chairman of the Executive Board of OMV,

Maritime Safety

Man Earns Jail Time for Hoax Coast Guard Calls

A man found guilty of making numerous hoax calls to the U.K. Coastguard has been jailed for four months, the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) reported.

Tropical Storm Erika Heads for Florida

Tropical Storm Erika lashed Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands with heavy rain and fierce winds on Friday, moving across the Caribbean and apparently heading for the Dominican Republic,

ClassNK to Issue Guidance on Composite Propellers

Classification society ClassNK announced it will release the world’s first Guidelines on Composite Propellers (Part on Manufacturing/Product Inspection) on August 31.

Government Update

Iranian Ship, Crew Escape Captivity off Somali Coast

An Iranian fishing vessel and its crew have escaped after being held captive for five months by Somali fishermen, maritime piracy experts said on Friday, but it

Migrant Boat Sinks off Libya; 200 Feared Dead

A boat packed with mainly African migrants bound for Italy sank off the Libyan coast on Thursday and officials said up to 200 might have died. A security official in the western town of Zuwara,

Oil Steadies as Equities Rally

Recovering stock markets boost oil prices; U.S. crude on track for first weekly gain in nine weeks. Oil prices steadied on Friday after bouncing back from six-and-a-half-year

 
 
Naval Architecture Navigation Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.4461 sec (2 req/sec)