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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 (Bahrain, Egypt and UEA) 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
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 […]

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 some 80,000 people have attempted to cross the Mediterranean from Libya to Europe in the past year. The EU is seeking a […]


Maritime security – Nigeria – a confused picture

The shipping community can but hope that President Buhari (the new incoming Nigerian President) has the public sector maritime security providers in his sights when he starts his campaign against “waste and corruption”. The confused relationship between the various law enforcement agencies and the Nigerian Navy, nuanced as it is with internal power struggles, is […]

Shipping issues arising out of the Yemen crisis   »

This article looks at the events in Yemen and considers the potential legal implications for vessels calling at or transiting the area. Latest news in the conflict The situation in Yemen remains fluid and, with events moving quickly, very little is certain. For the maritime industry attention is focused on the south-western tip of Yemen […]

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