Peace and Security at Sea (PaSS)
Project funded by own resources
Project title Peace and Security at Sea (PaSS)
Principal Investigator(s) Petrig, Anna
Organisation / Research unit Departement Rechtswissenschaften / Tenure Track Assistenzprofessur Völkerrecht und öffentliches Recht (Petrig)
Project start 01.01.2018
Probable end 31.12.2022
Status Active
Abstract

The use of force is a core issue of international law. The Peace and Security at Sea (PaSS) Project brings to the forefront the issue of use of force at sea specifically. The broad approach taken considers the use of force by individuals and States, and as part of law enforcement operations and conduct of hostilities. It is necessary to discuss the use of force at sea specifically for two reasons. First, the bulk of legal instruments and related writings pertain to the use of force at land; hence, it must be assessed from a legal and operational perspective whether and how they apply in the maritime context. Second, a series of factual and operational developments – new scenarios, new actors and new at-sea technologies – necessitate an analysis of the use of force in the context of the maritime environment. In terms of ‘scenarios’, situations are multiplying where it is unclear whether force is used within the framework of law enforcement operations or rather as part of conduct of hostilities (e.g. when coastguards and other civilian-manned vessels in various parts of the world’s oceans carry out military rather than constabulary functions). As a consequence, it is ambiguous whether a law enforcement paradigm reigns or the more permissive law of armed conflicts is the defining approach to the use of force. In terms of ‘actors’, the increased use of and reliance on private actors to prevent criminal offences at sea (e.g. to protect offshore installations or to prevent piracy attacks) and even to enforce the law (e.g. fisheries laws) can be witnessed; this necessitates an assessment of their respective powers. Finally, ‘at-sea technologies’ remove the need for a direct encounter or physical presence in the display of force. Such technology is being used not only to respond to maritime security threats (e.g. the use of unmanned autonomous maritime systems) but also as a means of creating such threats in the first place (e.g. cyberattacks). 

Keywords law of the sea, maritime security, maritime safety, peaceful uses of the sea
Financed by University funds
Other funds

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