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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Law of the Sea is falling short

Interesting letter to the editor in the Bangkok Post Law of the Sea is falling short in light of the civilian armed escort issue:
As the Malacca strait is used for international navigation and has been subject to disturbance from pirates for some time, Malaysia and the other states bordering the strait should exercise their jurisdiction according to the spirit embodied in article 100 of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: Duty to cooperate in the repression of piracy.

In the spirit of international cooperation, the armed escorts licensed by Singapore or other states for the purpose of repressing piracy should be considered as ships authorised to that effect under article 107 of the same convention, which reads: "A seizure on account of piracy may be carried out only by warships or military aircraft, or other ships or aircraft clearly marked and identifiable as being on government service and authorised to that effect."
The author identifies himself as lecturer in International Law.

More on the armed escort issue here and here with this interesting twist on the various governmental concerns about the escort ships
Glenn Defense Marine’s Weatherford also insisted his company’s armed vessels were a legitimate tool for vulnerable ships to protect themselves.
“We are no different to an armed security service protecting a building on land in any country,” Weatherford said.
And despite the concerns surrounding the vessels, the IMO, BARS and Glenn Defense Marine all report that there have not yet been any armed conflicts between the patrol vessels and pirates.

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