This article examines the legal issues pertaining to the use of civilian armed guards on board Danish-flagged ships for protection against piracy. The Danish model of regulation is interesting for several reasons. Firstly, the Danish Government was among the first European flag States to allow and formalise their use in a commercial setting. Secondly, the distribution of assignments between public authorities and private actors stands out as very pragmatic, as ship owners and contracting private security companies are empowered with competences which are traditionally considered as public administrative powers. Thirdly, the lex specialis framework governing the authorisation and use of force in selfdefence is non-exhaustive, thus referring to lex generalis regulation, which does not take the special circumstances surrounding the use of armed guards into consideration. As a derived effect the private actors involved rely heavily on soft law and industry self-regulation instrument to complement the international and national legal framework.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Piracy, Private security companies (PSC), Privately contracted armed security personnel (PCASP), Use of, force, Denmark
Persistent URL,
Series Erasmus Law Review
Journal Erasmus Law Review
Frier, C. (2019). Armed On-board Protection of Danish Vessels Authorisation and Use of Force in Self-defence in a Legal Perspective. Erasmus Law Review, 11(4), 221–232. doi:10.5553/ELR.000129