The AdvanFort Company yesterday announced that it has initiated a new series of “White Papers” on laws, regulations, government policies and other subjects of interest to the counter-piracy community by publishing an analysis by world-renowned maritime lawyer John A.C. Cartner on critical questions governing the use of armed guards.
Cartner’s “The Rule of Mammon or the Rule of Law?” is now available on Piracy Daily, the publication launched earlier this year at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. In it the designated Proctor in Admiralty by the Maritime Law Association of the United States notes that: “If laws proscribe and prohibit, there are cases of crimes that all systems of law proscribe and prohibit. These are crimes against all humanity.”
“Piracy is the oldest of these crimes and no matter whether there is Rule of Law or rule by law, piracy is prohibited as a crime,” Cartner wrote. “In international law there is the concept of jus cogens. This means a crime within certain fundamental, overriding principles of international law, from which no derogation is ever permitted.”
Focusing on the role played by armed guards, including those of private maritime security companies (PMSCs) that have won praise for their actions in beating back pirate threats in the Gulf of Aden and around the Indian Ocean, Cartner underlined the fact that, “ultimately armed guards are present to protect property from theft and to protect persons against injury.”
“However, under the Rule of Law such actions must be lawful as to property and marauder and defender,” concluded Cartner, a frequent Piracy Daily columnist and the principal author of The International Law of the Shipmaster (2008).
The AdvanFort Company, one of the world’s leading PMSCs, is a sponsor of Piracy Daily.
AdvanFort, June 19, 2013