Rules for the Use of Force Mock Trial

Rules for the Use of Force Mock Trial and a Mock Commercial Arbitration

This is a Special 2-day event and there will be an all-inclusive charge for attendance, materials, lunch on Day 2 and an evening Reception on Day 1.

To clash or not to clash with Kalashnikovs: that is the question.

What do you do when your merchant ship is suddenly attacked by men wielding Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers?
If you have a team of armed guards on board, you have a range of options to deter the attackers and – if necessary – engage them. But what happens if there is loss of life in the course of the guards defending your interests?
How then should such deterrence and defence be carried out?

1. How should the authority to act against pirates be allocated between master and armed team leader?
2. What is the Master’s legal position in relation to actions taken on board by the guards not following the Rule of Use of Force as required (by Hull underwriters et al)?
3. What is the position of the shipping company’s Security Officer’s (and that of the Company) in case of a ‘criminal’ act performed on board by the Guards not following the Rule of Use of Force as required?
4. What rules should govern pre-emptive and responsive action – and the extent of that action?
5. What is the position of a shipping company in relation to damaged cargo and responsibility to owners of cargo in case of a ‘criminal’ act performed on board by the Guards not following the Rule of Use of Force as required. Who pays compensation to the owner of the cargo? – The owner’s P & I Company or the insurance company providing cover for the armed guards?

The key challenge is that we still do not have a clear picture of the legal complexity and the consequences for the Master as well as the Company.

These issues will be at the core of an event organised jointly by the London Shipping Law Centre and the Security Association for the Maritime Industry in London on October 20th and 21st. There will be twin sessions and follow up discussions, based on a reconstructed incident put together by accident investigators RTI.  A mock arbitration will take place on the afternoon of the 20th and a mock criminal trial on the morning or afternoon of the 21st. Maritime, public international and criminal lawyers will role play.

Pirates are active in the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Guinea, the South China Sea and even the Caribbean. Overall, attacks are increasing. Patrolling warships are too few and far between to stop shipping lanes becoming even more exposed. To protect ships, cargoes and crew, commercial ships are increasingly deploying private armed guards in high risk areas.

IMO Guidelines, BIMCO GUARDCON and the 100 Series Rules for the Use of Force provide some guidance on what armed guards can do in specific circumstances. However, LSLC and SAMI foresee a steady rise in civil and criminal proceedings arising from the use of force which may result in deaths, pollution and other liabilities. They envisage prosecutions of masters and owners and disputes between owners and cargo owners, insurers, and the armed guards’ companies.



Panellists:Participants will include:
Maersk Line
Quadrant Chambers
RTI Forensics and Simulation Experts
7 King’s Bench Walk
Squire Patton Boggs
Stone Chambers
UK P & I Club
Venue:Squire Patton Boggs LLP
CPD Points:Attendance at - 3 CPD points