Thursday, October 31, 2013

HOW FAR WILL THE DRAGON SWIM? CHINESE WARSHIPS SAIL CLOSE BY OKINAWA


2 Chinese Navy Ships Sail Just Outside Japan Waters Between Okinawa Islets





File:PLAN sailors.jpg
Photo Credit: U.S. Navy


American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies   EU VISITORS WARNING POSSIBLE COOKIES AHEAD

Just a few day ago we brought you the news that the Japanese were drilling with (vice permanently installing) anti ship missiles near Okinawa capable of reaching much of the China Seas .
Now we learn via the linked article from Global Post that China is operating off Okinawa in a manner that some analysts might view as provocative, almost daring Japan to defend itself by permanently installing the anti ship missile system. You can read the entire story by clicking om the link below.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/131029/2-chinese-navy-ships-sail-just-outside-japan-waters-be


                            

TIGERS ON PATROL

Western Fleet of Indian Navy Maneuvers in Littorals Off Gujarat and Maharashtra - See more at: http://www.orissadiary.com/CurrentNews.asp?id=45240


Public Domain Image by Karen Arnold, See more of Karen's work at:
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=33775&picture=tiger-cub-portrait

 As reported by ORISSADIARY.COM. our favorite emerging navy is on the move in annual major exercises off of India's Western Coast. We know that India isn't a perfect nation but it is the sole surviving ancient civilization in this world. There may be echos of the Greek and Roman traditions in Western nations but those civilizations are long dead. India's ancient civilization with its customs, traditions, religions, cuisines, crafts, languages have survived attacks by Islamic and western forces over the centuries. This ancient civilization is also an emerging nation state that is already one of the most important regional powers on earth. Thankfully for the West, while stubbornly independent by the typical Western View India has embraced democracy and is in fact the largest democracy in the world in terms of population.

India, has also adopted English as a commercial language and as one of its official languages making it the largest English speaking nation on Earth. In all of its thousands of years of existence, though invaded; India has never invaded a neighbor. The Indian Ocean is a troubled sea with a terrorist state, Iran sitting on the passage in and out from west, pirates off the African coast, and the Dragon constantly probing from the east with its intention of establishing its "string of pearls" series of naval support bases. While the West can't coordinate or direct the activities of the Indian Navy we may rely on their intentions to behave in a manner compliant with established international maritime law. At all times they are a force for law and order in the Indian Ocean and without that force American, British, and Australian naval forces would have to be greatly expanded at a time when national budgets make just maintaining what we have difficult.

 We always watch these exercises with interest. Out of such we have seen a few quantum leaps in Indian naval capabilities such as successful under way replenishment, and an under water submarine missile launch. Unlike the rest of the English speaking naval world the Tigers aren't trying to maintain what they have they are becoming bigger and better every day. The West has everything to gain from their growing strength yet we seem to make no effort to get closer to this, the world's largest democracy, the largest English speaking nation, the most important regional power on the Indian Ocean, simply because our leaders are befuddled by their hard won and jealously guarded independence. Does anyone think the U.S./British relationship since 1941 could have evolved in 1830?  The Indians haven't been all that long out from under the British thumb. If the English speaking community wants them in the family circle we had better adjust to the fact that they are not the exotic distant cousin seen only on rare holidays. They are already more powerful than some of the older members, they definitely are older as a civilization than all of the members, and on many points they may be wiser. They at least show the wisdom to know to guard their sovereignty carefully. Until they no longer see a partial surrender of such sovereignty as a price of admission to the club we can expect them to hold us at an arm's distance. But even at arms distance, India is a force for peace and order in the world that we need not fear and ought to court on her own terms.

FOR THE COMPLETE STORY ON THESE MANEUVERS CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW:
http://www.orissadiary.com/CurrentNews.asp?id=45240


                                        





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Maritime International Law Part 30 Destruction and Your Mission

LIMITS OF DESTRUCTION; PROTECTED PROPERTY, SYMBOLS,AND FORBIDDEN TACTICS: To read the entire series so far in order of occurrence click here:   http://americanadmiraltybooks2.blogspot.com/p/the-enduring-principals-of-maritime.html

File:Berner Iustitia.jpg YOU MAY NOT CAUSE DESTRUCTION BEYOND THE REQUIREMENTS OF YOUR MISSION

 Undefended villages, towns, or cities, civilian vessels that are not part of an enemy's force structure may not be attacked. However, civilian vessels serving the enemy's war effort are legitimate targets of attack. Enemy troops, equipment and supplies encountered in a village or city may be engaged. However if a patrol receives fire from one building in an urban area, fire may be returned to the source only. You may not level a town or village under most circumstances. To quote from the Law of Armed Conflict (NAVEDTRA 112-A):
 \ "The rule is that you should not create more destruction than necessary to accomplish your mission. When you use firepower in a populated area you must attack only the military target."

YOU MAY NOT ATTACK PROTECTED PROPERTY

 Protected property includes buildings dedicated to cultural or humanitarian purposes such as churches, hospitals, clinics, schools, orphanages, or museums. These places remain protected so long as the enemy does not use them for military operations.

YOU MAY NOT FIRE UPON MEDICAL SYMBOLS SUCH AS THE RED CROSS OR RED CRESCENT

 Generally such symbols will be red with a white background. You are obligated to learn to recognize the symbols employed by your enemy,

FORBIDDEN TACTICS

 NEVER HIDE BEHIND MEDICAL SERVICE SYMBOLS. Never mark your position or yourself with a medical service emblem unless you have been designated to perform only medical duties.

THINK TWICE ABOUT FIRING AT A PARACHUTE

Air crewmen abandoning a plane have protected status, similar to shipwrecked sailors. You may not fire on a parachute of an air crewman. Paratroopers on the other hand are legitimate combatants and may be fired upon while still in the air.

DO NOT FIRE AT SHIPWRECKED ENEMY PERSONNEL IN THE WATER AND TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT POSSIBLE UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, TAKE CARE OF THOSE LEFT TO THE MERCY OF THE SEA.

NEVER ALTER YOUR WEAPON OR AMMUNITION TO INCREASE ENEMY SUFFERING.

 The weapons and ammunition issued to you are in full accordance with the Law of Armed Conflict. This law does not allow you to alter the weapon or the ammunition and forbids such ammunition as "dum dum" rounds or hollow point ammunition

TO BE CONTINUED: NEXT, THE ENEMY IN YOUR HANDS. 

MORE ON NOAA'S PAPER CHARTS

EDITORS NOTE:

Our Thanks to Bill Riley of Baltimore's Marine Alliance Group, Inc.
affectionately know as "the Magi" for this contribution and correction
we have added a correction to our original post.If you ever have need for the "wise
men of the maritime" for hull or cargo surveying, accident investigation, or cargo loss investigation consider contacting the MAGI at 410-284-8175.






"There have been a number of stark raving panic articles recently about NOAA ceasing to publish nautical charts. Many of the commentators seem to be people who have never purchased a chart. Just to clarify: NOAA does the surveying and cartography. In the past they have sold paper charts, by mail, through the Government Printing Office outlets, and through ship chandlers. For a number of years recently, the actual printing of charts sold by NOAA was done by the FAA, along with their Air Navigation Maps. This year, the FAA decided to get out of the printing business, so NOAA announce it would stop selling paper charts. This actually makes no difference to the modern user of paper charts. The modern user buys charts from a ship chandler, who prints them on demand from digital files provided by NOAA. These print-on-demand charts are up to date to the latest Notice to Mariners. If you purchased a paper chart from NOAA by mail, you would have to spend time correcting the chart for all the NTMs issued since its printing date, which might be weeks or months ago. The typical ship arriving in Baltimore, for example, needing a paper chart to satisfy a Coast Guard Port State Examination, would call their agent, who would then order the chart from Maryland Nautical Sales, who would print the chart that day. The agent would send a messenger to pick up the chart and deliver it to the vessel, along with an invoice for the chart and a hefty markup for their services to obtain and deliver it."

 Best regards, 
William M. Riley Marine Surveyor,
 Maritime Alliance Group, Inc.



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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

BEASTIE ON NON BIPED FISH THIEVES

 A "BEASTIE" SPECIAL MID WEEK PICK!






A LOT OF PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS SINCE IT WAS ON THE POPULAR HUFFINGTON POST SITE. BUT JUST IN CASE YOU MISSED OUR EVER WATCHFUL EPIC FISH FIGHT EDITOR, BEASTIE, DEFINITELY CAUGHT IT AND LINKS YOU TO IT.

SOME TIMES JUST HOOKING AND LANDING YOUR FISH ISN'T ENOUGH SOME OF THOSE NON BIPED FISH EATERS OUT THERE MAY PINCH YOUR CATCH! CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO WATCH THE VIDEO. AND REMEMBER WHEN IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, EVEN AT A CROWDED MARINA, WATCH YOUR CATCH!
CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW:

WATCH YOUR CATCH!

MYSTERY BARGES, GOOGLE AS A BARGE OWNER?

TWO BARGES LOOKING LIKE MASSIVE BARRACKS OR HOTEL BARGES BUT ABSENT SOME OF THE NECESSARY ACCESS AND EGRESS SYSTEMS HAVE APPEARED IN BOTH SAN FRANCISCO AND PORTLAND. THEY MAY BOTH BE OWNED BY GOOGLE. WHAT MIGHT GOOGLE BE DOING IN THE BARGE BUSINESS?


File:US Navy 031009-N-9693M-002 The U.S. Navy Barracks Craft Auxiliary Personnel Lighter Sixty One (APL-61) is moored alongside the U.S. Naval Academy's Dewey Seawall.jpg
U.S. NAVY Photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Damon J. Moritz of a Navy Barracks Barge. Note the two entrances framed by awnings and fire escape like stairs and compare with the photos of the barges in the linked article.
A strange looking barge similar to a traditional barracks barge used by the military or "hotel" barges used by the offshore oil industry appeared in Portland, Oregon's harbor earlier this month. However this barge and an identical one seen in San Francisco lack certain features that maritime observers would associate with a barracks or hotel barge. Whatever their purpose the owners aren't issuing press releases or answering questions. But vessels have owners and they are traceable. In this instance both vessels have the same owner, a corporation separate from but linked to , GOOGLE. So what might Google be doing in the barge business? The story by Tom Bell of the PORTLAND PRESS HERALD reveals some impressive investigative research and the probable mission for these barges. We won't tell you what the mission of the barges is here, for that you need to read Tom Bell's report using the link below. 
Mystery Barges

 However we do have an observation not carried in Mr. Bell's story. In our on going series on maritime international law anyone following the posts would note that there is a lot of international regulation of surface navigation rights and bottom rights such as mineral rights and benthic fisheries management. Other than requiring submarines to navigate on the surface in territorial waters and some internationally delegated management duties for migratory fisheries international law has had little to say about adjacent coastal states rights in the WATER COLUMN beyond the territorial sea.

 The surface navigation rights have kept the surface pretty much in the commons, while the Offshore Continental Shelf and Exclusive Economic Zone conventions have placed the bottom to about 200 miles off shore in many cases squarely under the soverignity of the adjacent coastal state. If Mr. Bell is right about these barges they will probably be exercising well established surface navigation rights and if moored within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, they will will be moored to a bottom under a known and predictable regulatory schematic. However if operated outside of territorial waters (12 miles from shore) the technology these barges would utilize if Mr. Bell is correct exploits the temperature differentials and/or related kinetic energy generated by the water column. We've know about this technology for decades but previously there have been few applications of it. If these barges signal a growth trend in the use of ocean water column temperature differentials and other water column sources of kinetic energy we hope the technology can be proven in territorial waters.

  Beyond the territorial sea the water column resources are under addressed in international law and the UN could conceivably interject itself. Decades ago when the U.S. announced that it had a ship ready to mine manganese nodules from the deep sea floor beyond the outer continental shelf the UN quickly passed a resolution placing the deep ocean floor in the global commons and declared that no one should engage in deep seabed mining without a permit from the UN and paying into a trust fund for the international community. At first the U.S. appeared to be in defiance of the UN policy though it did not use its Security Counsel veto power, as the ship set up operations off of Hawaii. Years later it was revealed that the ship was never intended for mining operations, that was just a cover story for an attempt to raise a sunken Soviet nuclear submarine. You can read the entire story of this bogus deep sea mining/ submarine salvage adventure in either of the two books depicted below. Just click on the book cover icons to learn more.



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 Assuming that Mr. Bell's research is correct we may be looking at a development that could speed the development of the international law of the ocean water column, or we could be looking at something all together different. History tells us that not everything in the maritime world is exactky what it seems.

MARITIME INTERNATIONAL LAW PART 28

LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS

EDITOR'S NOTE: SOME HOW WE ACCIDENTALLY POSTED PART 29 OF THIS SERIES BETWEEN PARTS 27 AND 26. You can simply scroll down to find part 29. Today we publish part 28 for the first time. We apologize for the error. Everything is in proper sequential order in the evolving E book linked to below. If you are joining us late, you can read the entire series there in order of planned publication anytime. 
To read the entire series so far in order of occurrence click here:   http://americanadmiraltybooks2.blogspot.com/p/the-enduring-principals-of-maritime.html
File:Berner Iustitia.jpg   LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS:

 LAw enforcement actions particularly under U.S. Coast Guard authority are subject to more severe limitations on the use of deadly force than those found under the Law of Armed Conflict. The Coast Guard Commandant's use of force policy guides Coast Guard and naval units on which Coast Guardsmen may be embarked in such operations. The Coast Guard Commandant's Use of Force Policy precludes firing at anyone who has not shown a weapon and the hostile intent to use it. The policy forbids firing at fleeing felons who have not used deadly force. Contrast this with the Law of Armed Conflict which allows pursuit and fire upon fleeing enemy forces unless or until they turn to surrender. The Commandant's Use of Force policy anticipates that Coast Guard law enforcement patrols may be subject to armed attack by military or paramilitary forces. The Commandant's policy incorporates the Law of Armed Conflict for such engagements. Upon the judgement of the senior commissioned officer present that an attack is by military or paramilitary forces, the Coast Guard personnel may repel such an attack in conformance with the Law of Armed Conflict. The most important change this shift would make in terms of Coast Guard tactics is that any opposing force member could be fired upon without sighting a weapon. Even suspected positions could be fired upon if fire would not carry to a prohibited target and the tactic is not prohibited by any relevant local  Rules of Engagement.

 Unfortunately, many Coast Guard patrol elements have no commissioned officer present. It is doubtful that anyone would prosecute a senior petty officer who adopted more aggressive tactics to repel an attack that came with military-like force. However, such a petty officer, without a ruling by a commissioned officer that the attack is military in or paramilitary in character would be ill advised to pursue, cut off, and ambush such attackers as allowed under the Law of Armed Conflict. Such a Coast Guard petty officer could pursue, cut off, confront, and attempt to arrest such attackers returning fire if fired upon or threatened with a weapon.

TO BE CONTINUED: NEXT, MORE DETAILED RULES ON THE LAW OF ARMED CONFLICT

NEWS FLASH NEGOTIATIONS UNDERWAY FOR KIDNAPPED U.S. MERCHANT MARINERS



THE STORY FROM ABC NEWS RADIO:




U.S. Navy Photo


NEW YORK) -- A U.S. government official tells ABC News that third-party negotiators “have made contact” with the group holding two U.S. citizens hostage in Nigeria.

“They’re going to pay it,” the official said of the ransom demand. The amount of money being sought has not been relayed to government officials dealing with the situation in New York and Washington.

Read On ABC News Radio: http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/#ixzz2j8IKOWbN


READ OUR PRIOR RELATED POSTS:
http://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.com/2013/10/more-on-kidnapping-by-pirates-of.html

http://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.com/2013/10/news-flash-usregistered-offshore.html




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Monday, October 28, 2013

AN ERA COMES TO AN END

U.S. To Stop Printing Nautical Charts


    EDITOR'S NOTE: 10/30/2013: There are already many nautical publication and chart outlets that do print on demand directly from the NOAA data base and on exactly the same scale. When sold these are basically "NOAA Charts". The data being exactly as depicted in the NOAA data base these charts would not carry any sort of "not for navigational purposes warning label".  We apologize for any confusion. However our basic observation about Charts not replicating the exact NOAA scale such as many bound versions popular with small boaters probably will carry such warnings and even if they don't you must as navigator be conscious of scale. We thank regular reviewer and occasional contributor  Bill Riley, surveyor with Baltimore's famous Maritime Alliance Group, Inc., affectionately known as "the MAGI", the wise men of the nautical arts and sciences for bringing our attention to our error. The MAG I remind our commercial mariners that some flag and port states continue to require ships to carry paper charts. For those ships that ply waters covered by the NOAA charting effort, these print on demand, no change in scale or color charts will comply with all relevant current rules concerning paper chart coverage as long as you are carrying the area charts relevant to your ship.  Finally be aware that this print on demand business has been going on even while NOAA was still printing and distributing charts. As soon as the technology became available some chart vendors made the investment in the printers. By printing on demand they could sell to their customers the latest chart as of the date of purchase and eliminated in store updating. However unles you have such industrial strength printing capacity aboard it is still necessary to update your charts via such sources as Broadcast notice to mariners. 

  NOAA and one of its ancestral organizations have been producing paper navigation charts for more than 150 years. That era is now at an end. NOAA's fleet of research ships and air craft will still seek out reefs, wrecks, and change sin coast lines and report these via graphic chart like depiction, but if you want a paper chart you will have to print them out yourself. Most commercial vessels and some yachts over 65 feet have the on board electrical capacity to run radar, depth sounders, GPS , radios, etc. and adding an on board navigational computer won't be strain on the generator. How much of a strain on the pocket book will vary by owner. But a lot of vessel owners both commercial and recreational with vessels under 65 feet just don't have the on board power, not to mention willingness to undergo the expense. There will remain a large market for paper charts. The NOAA charting effort remains available, downloadable and in the public domain. There is no doubt that private industry will make all sorts of paper charts available but the prices will be a lot more than cost, which is what NOAA charged.

 The public will have to get over the warnings that will appear on these charts once reproduced by private industry, most will carry the warning "NOT FOR NAVIGATIONAL PURPOSES".(See editors belated note above)  Its a liability thing, the charts will be no less reliable than if you downloaded them yourself from the NOAA site where they would not carry that warning. If you don't update them regularly and pay attention to matters of scale they will be just as unreliable as if you purchased them directly from a NOAA Chart vendor and then failed to either up date or otherwise mis-navigate. In short the available paper charts will be as reliable as the navigator who uses an updated chart as one tool in a larger tool box for safe navigation. This doesn't represent any kind of change except with a corporate printed distributor between the chart consumer and producer there is the typical corporate self protective disclaimer to avoid liability. You remain responsible for safe and accurate navigation, you always were. 

 Mean while don't throw out those old navigation charts distributed by NOAA, over the coming years they will become valuable collectors items. Did you know that the American artist Whistler of "Whistler's Mother" fame was a draftsman for while working on producing navigation charts for the old Coast Survey, ancestor of the modern NOAA Corps? For more information click here:

MARITIME INTERNATIONAL LAW PART 27 THE LAW OF ARMED CONFLICT PART 1

THE LAW OF ARMED CONFLICT:

To read the entire series so far in order of occurrence click here:   http://americanadmiraltybooks2.blogspot.com/p/the-enduring-principals-of-maritime.html

File:Berner Iustitia.jpg   
INTRODUCTION:

 The rules of "war" as they pertain to most practical elements of concern to sailors, Coast Guardsmen, and marines are neatly contained in the U.S. Navy publication "The Law of Armed Conflict (NAVEDTRA 1112-A). This publication addresses practical concerns in both blue and brown water environments and to some degree addresses matters of land warfare as well. Here are some of the basics.

CERTAIN TARGETS, TACTICS, AND TECHNIQUES ARE FORBIDDEN:

  In combat you may attack and kill "lawful combatants" possessed of the means and will to engage in combat. Lawful combatants are generally members of a military force or civilian personnel actually armed and engaged in hostilities. Notice that this definition of "lawful combatants" is different from the definition for "lawful combatants" used to determine who is eligible for prisoner of war (POW) status. To qualify for POW status personnel must be part of a national force, the definition in terms of who a force may engage under rules of engagement derived from the law of armed conflict is broad enough to include terrorists and international criminal organization members at certain times and places and when they use certain tactics, and show signs of military like organization. The State of Texas at this writing would like the Congress of the United States to declare the Mexican Drug Cartel the "ZETAS" and others to be eligible for engagement by U.S.military forces. The ZETAS originated with a group of Mexican Army special forces deserters and now exhibit military like tactics and weapons in their encroachments into the counties of Texas bordering the Rio Grande. So far the Congress has paid little or no attention to the request so the threat still has to be engaged by law enforcement officers operating under police type use of force policies. We do note that the State police forces of Texas have commissioned patrol craft with belt fed machine guns and equipped two companies of Texas Rangers in line with the weaponry and tactics usually associated with army recon units; but so far the Zetas officially have to be engaged by law enforcement agencies, tactics, and weapons. The law of armed conflict is designed on the assumption that the armed combatants designing area or operations specific rules of engagement based on the law, are engaged in an armed conflict authorized by their government. The enemy may well be a non state organization and determined to not follow any rules or extend any humanitarian consideration. Nonetheless nations engaging such outlaws with military force follow the law of armed conflict. 

 Under the law of armed conflict forbidden targets include all persons who are not "lawful combatants" for the purpose of targeting. The list of protected persons would include unarmed, unengaged civilians; chaplains, medical personnel, prisoners, surrendering combatants, combatants under or displaying a signal of surrender or white flag, ejected air crewmen, and others. Forbidden targets generally include certain classes of buildings such as churches and hospitals, vessels like hospital ships and certain rescue craft, and any buildings, vessels, or installations whose destruction is not militarily necessary. 

 Certain tactics are forbidden in that there limits on how a sailor, marine, or Coast Guardsman may engage the enemy. One example of a forbidden tactic is the use of a surrender signal to bring the enemy closer to an ambush. 

 Certain techniques are also forbidden. For example you may not modify your personal weapon to increase enemy suffering.

 In summary the basics of the Law of Armed Conflict that must be mastered by every member of an armed force consists of a detailed knowledge of the forbidden targets,tactics, and techniques precluded by international law. Additionally, every member of a particular force element in a combat operation should know the rules of engagement. The rules of engagement are provided by military authorities for each operation and vary with the circumstances. However, all rules of engagement must conform to the Law of Armed Conflict.

TO BE CONTINUED; NEXT, LAW ENFORCEMENT OPERATIONS 

MARITIME INTERNATIONAL LAW PART 29

MORE ON THE LAW OF ARMED CONFLICT:

File:Berner Iustitia.jpg  MORE DETAILED RULES ON THE LAW OF ARMED CONFLICT

 As stated earlier , the practical aspects of the Law of Armed Conflict deal with forbidden targets, tactics, ans weapons. Let's examine these in more detail. 

TARGETS:
 Among human beings ONLY LAWFUL COMBATANTS ARE PROPER TARGETS, again as previously mentioned, "lawful" in this sense means engaged directly in combat for targeting purposes "lawful combatants" may be "lawful" in the sense that they are proper members of nation state military forces, or they may be "unlawful" as in terrorists or other combatants taking to arms for reasons other than the orders of a national sovereign.

 Sea services personnel should not assume everyone in uniform is a lawful combatant for targeting purposes. All persons participating in military operations or activities are considered combatants. All others are not considered combatants.  While uniformed military personnel are combatants, their uniformed medical and religious personnel must be considered non-combatants. The presence of non combatant uniformed personnel aboard an otherwise permitted target such as a combatant ship or boat does not preclude attack upon a target. However, sniping at corpsmen or stretcher bearers in the field would be prohibited. 

 Guerrillas often mix with civilians and dress in civilian cloths complicating the task of sorting out the combatants from the non-combatants. However, armed civilians attacking your position certainly are considered combatants.

 Non combatants must not be attacked. Non-combatants include not only enemy civilians, medical personnel, and chaplains but also prisoners of war, and enemy shipwrecked, sick, and wounded personnel. To quote the Law of Armed Conflict (NAVEDTRA 112-A:

 "Humane treatment of non-combatants mat produce valuable information or active support for you, and can deny support for the enemy. Mistreatment only serves the interest of the enemy.

TO BE CONTINUED: NEXT, Destruction and your mission, protected property, medical symbols, forbidden tactics.   


Sunday, October 27, 2013

MARITIME INTERNATIONAL LAW PART 26


THE RULES OF WAR: WAR AT SEA AND IN THE LITTORAL ZONE: PART ONE WHAT IS "WAR"

To read the entire series so far in order of occurrence click here:   http://americanadmiraltybooks2.blogspot.com/p/the-enduring-principals-of-maritime.html

File:Berner Iustitia.jpg   WAR DEFINED

For the purpose of international law war is usually defined as " a legal condition of armed hostility between states."  Armed hostility generally implies armed actions and violent acts, but a state of war may exist without such acts. A legal state of war does not end until formal peace treaties are adopted by all belligerents. For example, after the unconditional surrender of Japan in 1945, a legal state of war existed between Japan and the United States until formal treaties were adopted in 1952.

 The greatest change in the legal concept of war that occurred in the twentieth century was the use of armed force pursuant to United Nations decisions. Armed intervention pursuant to U. N. Charter articles is not legally defined as "war". When armed actions involving U.S. forces do not meet the international legal definition of "war",U.S. domestic law. U.S. Courts must decide if an "armed conflict" will trigger the application of war clauses in contracts or insurance policies. Similarly, U.S. civilian courts must determine if an armed conflict other than a congressionally declared war" is a "war" within the meaning of the certain provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

 From the viewpoint of a sailor or marine the concern with the international law of war is more practical. It consists of identifying prohibited weapons, tactics, and targets; dealing with the enemy as a prisoner; relations with civil populations in the combat area, and the rights and duties of of prisoners of war. Fortunately, all such practical applications of the law of war apply in all armed conflicts.  Today the U.S. Department of Defense issues guidance in a pamphlet form addressing the "Law of Armed Conflict" vice the "Law of War". All practical applications of the international law of war apply in in all "Armed conflicts" involving "belligerents" as defined in international law.

 The so called "drug wars" that involve interdicting inbound narcotics destined for the U.S. have their own "rules of engagement" based on U.S, criminal and customs law and international law concerning the rights of approach, hot pursuit, and other internationally recognized principles of at- sea customs law enforcement. The "use of force" policy in this "war" is articulated in the Coast Guard Commandant's "Use of Force" policy and generally follows U.S. criminal law enforcement practice.

 The so called "War on Terror" is perhaps the most complex armed conflict yet. At and within our borders so far it has largely been dealt with in accordance with standard police use of force policy.
Such police style use of force policies are quite a bit more restrictive than than typical "rules of engagement" in armed conflict. Under the international Law of Armed Conflict rules of engagement may include laying in wait for the enemy combatants and opening fire upon recognition. Armed forces are allowed to pursue and fire at the backs of fleeing enemies. Efforts to kill enemy combatants only stop once an enemy has been wounded and disabled of his use of weapons, or when the enemy drops his weapon and raises his hands in surrender. Outside of the U.S. borders our armed forces have chased and engaged in large scale operations against terrorists and some cases the duly constituted armed forces of terrorists host states. The biggest issue resulting so far is what to do with enemy "combatants" who are not part of the armed forces of any state. When we pick up people on a foreign battle field who have borne arms against the forces of the United States and they are not part of any recognized nation's duly constituted armed forces. They may certainly be treated as prisoners of war for a time if there are no criminal charges against them and it would be pretty hard to label armed resistance to an invading armed force by any citizen of any nation forcibly entered as a"crime'. The problem with the "unlawful combatant" is that by not being a member of a duly constituted national armed service there is no one to deal with relative to the ultimate release of such a prisoner of armed conflict. All real members of duly constituted national military organizations taken as prisoners of war are released shortly after the cessation of hostilities. They are repatriated to their parent military service. We are not going to release terrorists to terrorist organizations. " Unlawful combatants" are terrorist suspects captured alive outside of the jurisdiction of any state inclined to prosecute them they become a big and complex issue. They must be incarcerated and treated humanely, but they can not be tried for crimes if the only evidence we have is that they were captured while bearing arms against the forces of a legitimate nation state.  With the development of international terrorism we enter new ground where the terrorists are operating ahead of the curve of the law of armed conflict. A growing number of these unlawful combatants are going to be rotting in special prisons for a long time while the international community tries to figure this one out. Meanwhile the pressure from human rights organizations is on all nations holding such prisoners, especially the United States to do something so that their incarceration doesn't amount to a life sentence. So far experiments by the United States in "Early Release" have run afoul of recorded incidents where the released prisoner has then gone on and participated in a terrorist attack that did constitute a crime under the national law of the nation where the attack was perpetrated.

 In so far as "armed conflict" in a purely military sense is absent overtones of domestic law enforcement, the International Law of Armed Conflict applies regardless of the status of the conflict as "declared war" or other internationally recognized status of "war". The application of the International Law of War applies in all "armed conflicts". Article 2 of the Geneva Convention of 1949 on the subject applied the law of war in all cases of declared war and any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the high contracting parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.
                                              
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CHINA/PHILIPPINES ISLAND DISPUTES

A GAME OF SHARK AND MINNOWS
http://www.nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2013/10/27/south-china-sea/

The Spratly Islands Dispute Between China and the Philippines Explained with Maps, Photos and Video.

File:Schina sea 88.png
Image CIA WORLD FACT BOOK

 The Spratly Islands are mostly uninhabited, some are almost within sight of the Philippine China Sea beaches. At least one is inhabited by Philippine nationals and several have long been under the administration of a single Philippine municipality.  Most of the islands are well within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Philippines as constructed and submitted under the current United Nations Law of The Sea Convention. By codified modern international law most of the Spratlys are internationally recognized as Philippine territory. In the linked article by the New York Times News Graphics Service the situation is explained in text with kind of detail that only print media can provide, but in an unusual mix of computer format mixed in with the explanation of the dispute in text there is a story in video, still photography, scrolling text and sound of a visit by the relevant Philippine mayor to a derelict naval hull on which eight Philippine marines live in isolation and utter squalor in a seemingly never ending stand off with Chinese Coast Guard units claiming a collection of barely emergent rocks clearly owned by the Philippines. The text is extensive and clear, the photography vivid. This is the best explanation and detailed background article we have found on the Spratly Islands dispute. We urge you to click on the provided link, check it out and book mark it for future reference as the situation in the China Seas continues to unravel due to Chinese maritime aggression.To move through the presentation simply scroll down when ready, the site handles the transition from one media to the other flawlessly , just scroll down when ready. If you forget to book mark the story we will be indefinitely retaining it on our News page.

http://www.nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2013/10/27/south-china-sea/


                                           




MORE ON THE KIDNAPPING BY PIRATES OF A LOUISIANA CREW OFF OF NIGERIA

Edison Chouest Threatened by Nigerian Locals Before Kidnapping

To review the original story click here: http://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.com/2013/10/news-flash-usregistered-offshore.html


PHOTO: U.S. Navy

 The reliable internet maritime news source "g-captain" reports that the Nigerian organization that kidnapped the Captain and Chief Engineer of the American flag , Louisiana owned Edison Chouest offshore service vessel C-RETRIEVER had contacted the company's Nigerian shore office prior to the incident and demanded that more locals be hired or the organization would kidnap crews and burn ships. We believe the the pirates had specific locals in mind who would facilitate less risky robbery of the vessels for the fuel trade. You will find the full story and part of the letter to the Chouest organization at: http://gcaptain.com/edison-chouest-threatened-nigerian/

                                              
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Saturday, October 26, 2013

"COMMODORE TONY" IS PROMOTED TO TEXAS ADMIRAL

COMMODORE TO ADMIRAL FOR "TONY THE TRUTH TELLER"

File:Texas currency naval scene.jpg

 PHOTO: SAILOR OF THE TEXAS NAVY FROM 1838 TEXAS CURRENCY

 If you have been a regular follower of this blog since at least last March you may recall that we linked quite a number of times via YouTube to a guy we might call a video blogger who sometimes called himself "Pretend Commodore Tony". Tony comments on quite a few maritime issues including the problems in the sea of Japan and we couldn't have agreed more with him on his position that the islands China disputes with Japan are in fact, as a matter of international law, the territory of Japan. We also share his rather negative view of the Sea Shepard and Green Peace Organizations. We are all for environmental protection of the oceans but as former Coast Guardsmen who had to deal with both organizations we simply fail to see how creating collision hazards improves environmental safety. Japan loves Tony and refers to him as "TEXAS DADDY" because he so often speaks up on Japan's behalf.

 Texas is one of the few states in the union that maintains a very serious Sstate Guard", this is a quite different thing from a state's National Guard. The Texas States Guard is a real military organization that does serious military work for the state and is entirely the creature of the state military department receiving no federal funds. The members volunteer for a term of 3 years at a time of basically reserve type duty. Much of the National Guard was in the Middle East when Hurricane Katrina struck and the governor called up the State Guard and they did a great military police job of handling traffic and providing security at the refugee shelters. The Fifth Division of the State Guard is a "marine division" built by Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps veterans and is capable of a variety of maritime type assignments including waterway and port security and they have been active in the Rio Grande Valley helping set up the largely Texas Department of Public safety inter-agency task force that is doing the job Texas asked the Congress to assign to the Coast Guard. Texas, as a direct result of the treaty that brought it into the union has the right to maintain a navy. It has raised two combat navies in the past and the present Navy is mostly a commemorative organization dedicated to the preservation of Texas naval history and tradition. Most of the real naval heavy lifting is done by the maritime division of the State Guard though the Navy did maintain one major working vessel, a large dredge as a commissioned ship. All Texas ocean ports are located behind barrier islands on the naturally shallow waters of the Texas coast a submerged portion of the coastal plain. A dredge that responds to orders from the state military department could be very useful. So much for background.

Well, our friend Tony took to calling himself "pretend Commodore" when he learned that the "Captain" who ran the Sea Shepard organization was in fact not licensed by any maritime organization on earth. But Tony had to put away his "pretend commodore hat" because the Governor of Texas commissioned him an Admiral in the Third Texas Navy. It is way more fun to hear Admiral Tony tell it:  Click here for the explanation direct from our new "admiral":  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeUJhov6ZDk
and here is a link to a video explaining the Third Navy of Texas.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Navy

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MARITIME INTERNATIONAL LAW PART 25


STATUS OF FORCES AGREEMENTS 

American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies   EU VISITORS WARNING POSSIBLE COOKIES AHEAD

To read the entire series so far in order of occurrence click here:   http://americanadmiraltybooks2.blogspot.com/p/the-enduring-principals-of-maritime.html

File:Berner Iustitia.jpg   STATUS OF FORCES AGREEMENTS

 Status of Forces Agreements are a service-wide examination subject for senior and master chiefs and should be an area of concern for the entire commissioned officer corps any senior petty officer subject to shore patrol duty. Many U.S. status of forces follow the pattern of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Status of Forces Agreement. This agreement defines on a multilateral basis the jurisdictional arrangement of allied military personnel stationed in countries signatory to NATO. This agreement has provided the pattern for other similar agreements with various allied Pacific powers. A review of some of its key features provides insight into the general subject.

  Article VII of the NATO Status of Forces Agreement spells out the jurisdictional regime. Its key features include:

"1. The military authorities of the sending state exercise within the receiving state all criminal and disciplinary jurisdiction conferred on them by by the law of the sending state over all persons subject to the military law of that state. (It should be noted, U.S. Supreme Court decisions rule that the U.S. military may not administer military law over its civilian employees in peace time, even when deployed on foreign soil.

2. The authorities of the receiving state shall have jurisdiction over members of a force or civilian component and their dependents and their dependents with respect to offenses committed within the territory of the receiving state and punishable by the law of that state.

3. The military authorities of the sending state shall have the right to exercise exclusive jurisdiction over persons subject to military law of that state with respect to offenses, including offenses relating to its security, punishable by the law of the sending state, but not by the law of the receiving state.

4. The authorities of the receiving state shall have the right to exercise exclusive jurisdiction over members of a force or civilian component and their dependents with respect to offenses, including offenses relating to the security of that state , punishable by its law but not by the law of the sending state. A "security offense" includes:

                (a) Treason
                (b) Sabbotage, espionage, or violation of any law relating to official secrets

5.  In cases where the right to exercise jurisdiction is concurrent, the following rules apply:
(a) The military authorities of the sending state have the primary right to exercise jurisdiction over a member of a force or of a civilian component in relation to:
     (i) Offenses solely against property or security of that state, or offenses solely against the person or property of another member of the force or civilian component of that state or of a dependent.
     (ii) Offenses arising out of any act or omission done in the performance of official duty.

(b) In the case of any other offense, the authorities of the receiving state shall have the primary right to exercise jurisdiction.

(c) If the state having the primary right decides not to exercise jurisdiction it shall notify the authorities of the other state as soon as practicable. The authorities of the state having the primary right shall give sympathetic consideration for a request from the authorities of the other state for a waiver of its right in cases where that other state considers such waiver to be of particular importance.

6. The foregoing provisions of this Article shall not imply any right for military authorities of the sending state to exercise jurisdiction over persons who are nationals of or ordinarily resident in the receiving state, unless they are members of the force of the sending state.

7. (a) The authorities of the receiving and sending states shall assist each other in the arrest of members of a force or civilian component or their dependents in the territory of the receiving state and in handing them over to the authority which is to exercise jurisdiction in accordance with the above provisions.

    (b) The authorities of the receiving state shall notify promptly the military authorities of the sending state of the arrest of any member of a force or civilian component or dependent.

    (c) The custody of an accused member of a force or civilian component over whom the receiving state is to exercise jurisdiction shall, if he is in the hands of the sending state, remain with that state until he is charged by the receiving state.

8. (a) The authorities of the receiving and sending states shall assist each other in the carrying out of all necessary investigations into offenses and in the collection and production of evidence, including the seizure and, in proper cases , the handing over of objects connected with an offense; the handing over of such objects, may however be made subject to their return within the time specified by the authority delivering them.

    (b) The authorities of the contracting parties shall notify one another of the disposition of all cases in which there are concurrent rights to exercise jurisdiction.

9.  (a) A death sentence  shall not be carried out in the receiving state by authorities of the sending state if the legislation of the receiving state does not provide for such punishment in a similar case.

      (b) The authorities of the receiving state shall give sympathetic consideration to a request from the authorities for assistance in carrying out a sentence of imprisonment pronounced by the authorities of the sending state under the provisions of this Article within the territory of the receiving state.

10. Where an accused has been tried in accordance with the provisions of this Article by the authorities of one contracting party and has been acquitted, or has been convicted and is serving his sentence, or has been pardoned, he may not be tried again for the same offense within the same territory by authorities of another contracting party. However, nothing in this paragraph shall prevent the military authorities of the sending state from trying a member of its force for any violation of the rules of discipline arising from an act or omission which constituted an offense for which he was tried by the authorities of another contracting party.

11. Whenever a member of a force or civilian component or a dependent is prosecuted under the jurisdiction of the receiving state he shall be entitled-

 (a) to a prompt and speedy trial;
   
 (b) to be informed, in advance of trial , of the specific charge or charges made against him;
   
 (c) to be confronted with witnesses against him;
 

 (d) to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, if they are within the      
       jurisdiction of the receiving state;
 
  (e) to have legal representation of his own choice for his defense or to have free or assisted
        legal representation under the conditions prevailing for the time being in the receiving state;
   
  (f) if he considers it necessary, to have the services of a competent interpreter; and
   
  (g) to communicate with a representative of the government of the sending state and, when the
       rules of the court permit, to have a representative present at his trial.

12. (a) Regularly constituted military units or formations of a force shall have the right to police any camps, or establishments or other premises which they occupy as a result of an agreement with the receiving state. The military police of the force may take all appropriate measures to ensure the maintenance of order and security on such premises.
      (b) Outside these premises, such military police shall be employed only subject to arrangements with the authorities of the receiving state and in liaison with those authorities, and in so far as such employment is necessary to maintain discipline and order among the members of the force.

13. Each contracting party shall seek such legislation as deemed necessary to ensure the adequate security and protection within its territory of installations, equipment, property, records and official information of other contracting parties, and the punishment of persons who may contravene laws enacted for that purpose."

All of the foregoing not withstanding, the U.S. Supreme Court has declared that court-martial jurisdiction over civilians in peace time is unconstitutional. Thus, despite provisions to the contrary in Status of Forces Agreements, Department of Defense civilian personnel aboard are generally not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) in other than time of declared war. Such personnel are generally subject to the courts of the receiving state, as provided in the Status of Forces Agreement. In war time the U.S. military retains the constitutional right to try civilian employees by court-martial. The Court of Military Appeals has interpreted "wartime" to mean only a war declared by congress.

CONCLUSION:

 Upon the territorial seas, internal waters, and in ports, international law and regulation are very effectively enforced. The commercial ship master or naval commander entering this realm must have a general understanding of the privileges and immunities that apply to his class of vessel. If the vessel is a merchant vessel, very few privileges and immunities attach as the ship is totally subject to the receiving state. If the vessel is a warship, the ship itself is virtually immune as is the crew while aboard. When the warship's crew goes ashore the situation becomes more complex. The best guides to those complexities in most places where U.S. warships regularly call is the applicable status of Forces agreement, if one applies. The knowledge of status of forces agreements should not be confined to commanding and executive officers but should extend all the way to the senior petty officer level.

TO BE CONTINUED: NEXT THE START OF THE SUBJECTS ASSOCIATED WITH WAR AT SEA AND IN THE LITTORAL ZONE.

 

AMAZON GIFT CARDS   

                                                                            

Friday, October 25, 2013

NEW LINK TO MILITARY NEWS WITH A CANADIAN FOCUS


American Admiralty Books Safety & Privacy Policies   EU VISITORS WARNING POSSIBLE COOKIES AHEAD

 THE CANADIAN FORCES COLLEGE'S SOMINA   http://www.cfc.forces.gc.ca/257-eng.html
  The Canadian Forces College provides a news service called Spotlight on Military News and International affairs (SOMINA). After careful review we have determined that it is a reliable source of such news so we have decided to add it to our "Big Links Locker", the vast collection of links that anyone can click onto from our Station Identification page, and we will add it to our News Service Page and Naval Interest Page. The site provides news and commentary from Canadian sources in both English and French on military subjects and international affairs that are likely to impact military planning, policy, or operations. The site is an excellent window into Canadian military perspectives  but also an important window into international perspectives since nearly half of its daily links to news sources are international in origin. To take a look at this reliable source click on the link below:


MARITIME INTERNATIONAL LAW PART 24 , THE LAW OF PERSONS

THE LAW OF PERSONS: To read the entire series so far in order of occurrence click here:   http://americanadmiraltybooks2.blogspot.com/p/the-enduring-principals-of-maritime.html


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File:Berner Iustitia.jpg THE LAW OF PERSONS
 As illustrated by the example of the fugitive, one of the basic principles of sovereignty is its jurisdiction over persons. Naval and maritime industry personnel often spend a great deal of time in foreign ports and territories. By international law a state, by virtue of its sovereignty, has exclusive jurisdiction over all persons within its boundaries. This jurisdiction is absolute over merchant mariners but may be modified in various ways relative to naval and diplomatic corps personnel. The modification of this jurisdiction is referred to as immunity.  The immunity of the diplomatic officer is generally total while the immunity of the naval personnel is limited and varies from state to state based on treaty, convention, provisions, and status of forces agreements.

  The jurisdiction of a sovereign over all persons within its territory can sometimes come into conflict with the authority of the state to which a resident or visiting alien owes allegiance. For example, a U.S. shipping company employee, who is a U.S. citizen, working in a foreign branch office is subject to the jurisdiction of the host state based on his or her physical location within the host state. The same employee is personally subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. as a citizen of the U.S., this employee is subject to all U.S. law applicable to his or her person such as tax codes, the draft, and responsibility for crimes or torts committed in the U.S. at the same time this individual is also subject to all of the domestic laws of the host state that do not specifically exclude application to aliens.

 The same U.S. employee is subject to the court system of the host state for all causes of action, both civil and criminal, that he may become party to. On the other hand, as a non-citizen, the civil jurisdiction of the host state either may not be available to him or may be effective for certain purposes such as divorce. On the opposite end of the marriage regime an American stationed working, or visiting abroad may be able to contract a marriage in the host state. However, the entry of the new spouse into the U.S. is wholly dependent on U.S. immigration law.

 Coast Guardsmen involved in the suppression of the illegal drug trade occasionally have an interest in extradition. Extradition is the surrender of a suspected criminal by one state to another. The United States and most English speaking nations, especially Commonwealth members view crimes as territorial and punishable only where committed. Latin countries have a less uniform view on this matter. In all cases, extradition is a matter governed by treaty or convention.

 Without a treaty or convention obligation, there is no duty for a state to surrender a fugitive to another state for trial. The United States is signatory to the Montevideo Convention of 1933, a multilateral treaty that includes many Latin American States. Unfortunately, under this convention, extraditionary practice is not uniform. A number of countries including the United States too reservations to the convention whereby the surrender of nationals of the surrendering state is optional. These exceptions generally have not been to the advantage of the United States in cases relating to anti-drug smuggling enforcement.

 For an offense to be extraditable under customary international law it must be a felony in both states. Political and strictly military offenses usually are excluded from extradition treaties.

 There are only four exceptions to the sovereignty of the state over persons. These are:

1. Sovereign immunity

2. The absolute immunity of a visiting head of state

3. Diplomatic immunity, and,

4. Where provided by treaty, consular immunity

 The various partial immunities of warship crews do not flow from any of these well-established customs but from a different set of naval customs, treaties, and status of forces agreements. As a result of divergent sources of law, warship crew immunities by comparison; unlike sovereign, diplomatic and consular immunities are not nearly as uniform from state to state.

TO BE CONTINUED; NEXT AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT STATUS OF FORCES AGREEMENTS

  
AMAZON GIFT CARDS   

Thursday, October 24, 2013

NEWS FLASH: U.S.REGISTERED OFFSHORE SERVICE VESSEL BOARDED BY PIRATES

A U.S. REGISTERED OFFSHORE OIL INDUSTRY SERVICE VESSEL OWNED BY A LOUISIANA COMPANY WAS BOARDED BY PIRATES OFF OF NIGERIA WHO TOOK THE CAPTAIN AND CHIEF ENGINEER CAPTIVE

  
Official U.S. Navy Photo

ABUJA/WASHINGTON, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Pirates attacked an oil supply vessel off the Nigerian coast and kidnapped the captain and chief engineer, both U.S. citizens, an American defense official and security sources said on Thursday.

Pirate attacks off Nigeria's coast have jumped by a third this year as ships passing through West Africa's Gulf of Guinea, a major commodities route, have come under threat from gangs wanting to snatch cargoes and crews.

The U.S.-flagged, C-Retriever, a 222-foot (67 metre) vessel owned by U.S. marine transport group Edison Chouest Offshore, was attacked early Wednesday, UK-based security firm AKE and two security sources said. The company was not immediately available for comment.


To learn more about the offshore service vessel fleet try the C-RETRIEVER owner's web site: http://www.chouest.com/vessels.html

UPDATE: 11:30 AM CST: INDIRECT CONTACT WITH PIRATES MAY BE ESTABLISHED, NIGERIAN NAVY CONTINUES SEARCH FOR PIRATE STRONG HOLD. 

Maritime International Law Part 23.

MARITIME INTERNATIONAL LAW : THE LAW OF MERCHANT SHIPS: To read the entire series so far in order of occurrence click here:   http://americanadmiraltybooks2.blogspot.com/p/the-enduring-principals-of-maritime.html

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File:Berner Iustitia.jpg   MERCHANT SHIPS:
 To maintain law and order on the high seas, international law requires that every ship plying the oceans have a nationality.  The law of the flag state applies aboard. As ships approach a coastal state's areas of legitimate jurisdiction the demands for verification of nationality increase in frequency and detail. To be accorded recognition as a properly flagged ship, the flagging process must meet certain requirements. There must be a genuine link between the flag state and the ship. This link need not be that the crew consists of nationals of the flag state, but the officers and crew should be licensed and certified by the flag state. The flag state must exercise jurisdiction effectively in such areas as manning requirements, safety equipment, ship sanitation and health and similar matters. The flag state must provide the ship with documents proving her nationality. This is usually referred to as a "registry".

  A ship may have only one registry at a time and may not change flags during a voyage or while in port except in the case of a bonafide change of ownership or registry. a ship possessing two registries or changing flags at her convenience is considered under international law to be a stateless ship and pirate suspect. Ships employed by international organizations may show both the organization flag and their national flag.

 Once a merchant ship enters port she is completely subject to the law of the host state.  A merchant ship, even a state-owned merchant ship (carrying cargo for hire and entering  and clearing through customs) does not enjoy the privileges and immunities of a warship or non-commercial public vessel.

 However, as a result of the practical necessities of shipping, a number of customary and enduring rules have evolved with respect to the exercise of jurisdiction over visiting merchant ships by local authorities. Generally local authorities leave to the ship's master and the flag state all matters of internal discipline so long as peace in the port is not affected. Sometimes this custom is codified between regular trading partners by consular convention. Pursuant to this customary practice, port states generally will not interfere with detention in custody of a merchant seaman aboard a merchant vessel for disciplinary infractions so long as the conditions of detention are humane and the detention is lawful under the laws of the port state.

 Merchant ships have no ability to facilitate asylum. Should a merchant ship enter a port with a fugitive from the port state aboard, port state authorities have every right to board and take custody of the fugitive.

TO BE CONTINUED: NEXT THE INTERNATIONAL LAW OF PERSONS


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