The power to regulate on-board protection of merchant vessels lies with the flag state. However, the national models of regulation are not developed in a unilateral vacuum. In fact, the whole concept of flag state jurisdiction and legislative power has to be understood and exercised on the national level in close relation with the general regime of the international law of the sea. The aim of the article is therefore two-fold: first, it aims to provide a background for the country reports in this special issue by giving a brief insight into the problem of piracy in the twenty-first century and the international approaches towards this problem. Here the article also provides an insight into the legal background by presenting the concept of piracy in the law of the sea and connected law enforcement powers. Thus, this part of the article provides the overall context in which the discussions concerning on-board protection and the development of national regulations have occurred. Second, the article analyses the issue of on-board protection from the perspective of the legal framework in international law, as well as relevant international soft-law instruments, influencing the development on the national level. On-board protection of vessels as such is not regulated in the international law; however, international law provides a form of general legal setting, in which flags states navigate. Thus, this article aims to draw a picture of the international context in which flags states develop their specific legal approach.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Piracy, international law, law of the sea, onboard protection of merchant vessels, use of force
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.5553/ELR.000128, hdl.handle.net/1765/119113
Series Erasmus Law Review
Journal Erasmus Law Review
Citation
Feldtmann, B. (2019). On-board Protection of Merchant Vessels from the Perspective of International Law. Erasmus Law Review, 11(4), 209–220. doi:10.5553/ELR.000128