Lending an "Invisible Hand" to the Navy: Armed Guards as a Free Market Assistance to Defeating Piracy

By Pizor, Brittany E. | Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, Fall 2012 | Go to article overview

Lending an "Invisible Hand" to the Navy: Armed Guards as a Free Market Assistance to Defeating Piracy


Pizor, Brittany E., Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law


Abstract

Piracy may be viewed to have a romantic past but modern piracy is a serious problem facing the world today. As it becomes increasingly prevalent, piracy barras the world economy with increased costs and dangers to the shipping industry. To assist navies in preventing and deterring piracy, the free market should be allowed to provide private security measures, such as armed guards, to assist in anti-piracy efforts. However, shipping companies cannot invoke the services of private security companies ' armed guards until countries dismantle legal barriers. Right now, countries have anti-gun laws that restrict flagships from having guns on board and coastal countries have anti-gun policies restricting ships passing through their territorial waters from enlisting the help of armed guards. Additionally, armed guards cannot be protected by a self-defense claim it they kill a pirate attempting to attack their ship. To best dismantle these laws, an organization, such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO), should create cohesive, unified policies outlining the requirements and restrictions for ships carrying armed guards. With the support of the IMO, these new regulations can make it possible for merchant ships to protect themselves from pirates and hijackings. This will in turn bolster the efforts of navies and alleviate pressure on the world economy.

CONTENTS

I.   INTRODUCTION

II.  PIRACY REEMERGES IN A GLOBAL SOCIETY

III. SOLE RELIANCE ON NAVIES TO PREVENT PIRACY IS INADEQUATE

IV.  FREE MARKET SOLUTIONS, SUCH AS ARMED GUARDS TO
     PROTECT SHIPS, SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO ASSIST NAVIES BY
     SERVING AS DETERRENTS AGAINST PIRACY

     A. Legal Barriers Make It Difficult for Shipping Companies to Hire
     Armed Guards to Protect Ships

        1. Gun control laws make it difficult for merchant ships to
        allow armed guards to accompany ships

        2. In order for armed guards to protect against piratical
        acts, self-defense must be a viable defense

     B. A Collective International Response Must Support the Free
     Market Assistance of Private Security Companies and Armed Guards

         1. The United Nations must affirmatively support a ship's
         choice to utilize the security companies and armed guards to
         protect against pirates

        2. The individual state navies and the coalition navies must
        utilize assistance from security companies

     C. Criticism Falls Short

          1. Allowing armed guards on ships will not lead to more
          shooting

          2. Ports will not be more dangerous if armed guards carrying
        guns are allowed into ports

        3. Armed guards are not mercenaries

V. CONCLUSION

APPENDIX A: REGULATIONS REGARDING ARMED SECURITY GUARDS'
FLAGSHIP COUNTRY

APPENDIX B: REGULATIONS REGARDING THE ABILITY OF ARMED
SECURITY GUARDS TO ENTER TERRITORIAL WATERS AND
PORTS

I. INTRODUCTION

On the night of December 5th, 2001, pirates stormed a 130-foot expedition vessel off the coast of Brazil. (1) Pirates ran through the vessel shouting and demanding money. (2) Soon, gunfire broke out, and Sir Peter Blake was shot twice in the back. The pirates stole cameras and Omega watches (3) and left one of the world's greatest yachtsmen dead at age fifty three. (4) Blake's friend, Australian yachtsman Chris Packer, learned a hard lesson that night. Thus, three years later, when Chris embarked on his around-the-world tour, be made sure to carry firearms to repel pirates. (5) Twice pirates boarded his ship and twice Packer used his firearms for protection. (6) While in port in Bali, Indonesia, government officials boarded Packer's yacht and arrested him for gun running, a capital offense. (7) Packer sat in a Bali jail uncertain if he would face a firing squad. After three long months, the Indonesian government set Packer free. (8)

Today, piracy is becoming more prevalent and dangerous. (9) Modern piracy is more serious than the piracy of the 1800s because instead of focusing on robbery and taking vessels, pirates now take hostages for high ransoms. …

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