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Borrowed Weapons – Is a Register the answer? The “Giles Noakes Legacy”

The April 2017 edition of “The Bridge” printed an article I wrote in January which questioned the BIMCO amended guidance on Clause 10 of GUARDCON issued in November 2016 relating to “rented” and “borrowed” weapons. The article therefore did not reflect the further changes BIMCO made in February 2017 and in the week before his […]

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Qatar – Legal Implications for Shipping   »

A war of words exploded on 5th June 2017 as Saudi Arabia and three of its biggest allies (UAE, Egypt and Bahrain) severed diplomatic ties with Qatar. Riyadh accused Qatar of backing radical Islamist groups and since then Libya, Yemen and the Maldives have also joined in the boycott. With President Trump backing Saudi Arabia, […]

The "Wcry" ransomware uses a weapons-grade exploit published by the NSA-leaking group calling themselves the Shadow Brokers.
Ransomware and Cyberterrorism – Is it legal to pay to unlock your computer?   »

The IT world is reeling from what is described as an unprecedented cyber-attack which has manifested itself in the form of a denial of access “ransomware” locking computers and threatening to delete data if the demand for a payment of US$300 in bitcoins is not paid. It is said to have affected 200,000 computers in […]

Piracy in the Sulu Sea – The “new Somalia” or a limited threat?   »

The National Counterterrorism Centre describes the Abu Sayyaf Group (“ASG”) as “the most violent of the Islamic separatist groups operating in the Southern Philippines” and it has as one of its aims the promotion of an independent Islamic State in western Mindanao. It is on the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s proscribed list. It is […]


UK Flagged Vessels exposed to greater risk in Indian Ocean?

There is a possibility that the UK government may have inadvertently exposed UK flagged vessels to a greater risk of hijacking and to have also undermined the deterrent effect of the widespread arming of ships in the Indian Ocean.   The deployment of armed guards on UK flagged vessels is only allowed in “exceptional circumstances […]

Seaman Guard Ohio – Indian decision shocks PMSCs   »

A recent decision of the Tuticorin Court in the Seaman Guard Ohio case in India prohibiting automatic weapons altered so they can fire single shots will be of concern to private maritime security operators taking weapons into Indian waters. Seaman Guard Ohio a floating armoury registered as a “utility” boat in Sierra Leone, anchored off […]


Nigeria’s blacklisting of crude oil tankers

Update: As of 8 September 2015, the tanker ban was lifted and in place a requirement for all vessels to sign a Letter of Comfort “indicating that such Vessel will not be involved in any illegal activity” (screenshot of memo). The wording of such letters is likely to be unacceptable to P&I Clubs. If you have any queries […]

Ransoms revisited   »

US Executive Order signals change of approach to payments to terrorists, in contrast to UK’s Counter Terrorism and Security Act. On 24th June 2015 President Obama issued an Executive Order which set out the conclusions to the recent US review on dealing with hostages. Like the UK, the US had a strict policy against even […]

Authorities must not confuse refugees with pirates   »

Can the tactics deployed against Somali pirates really work in a desperate struggle against immigrants from north Africa to Europe, given the continent’s legal obligations to migrants and refugees? It is estimated that 80,000 people have attempted to cross the Mediterranean from Libya to Europe in the past year. The EU is seeking a UN […]

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