Autonomous Offender Ships and International Maritime Security Law

Petrig, Anna. (2021) Autonomous Offender Ships and International Maritime Security Law. In: Autonomous Ships and the Law. London, pp. 23-55.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/85833/

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Non-state actors have already started relying on autonomous ships to commit maritime crimes - most notably to victimise other ships and infrastructure at sea. This begs the questions of whether international maritime security law is capable of accommodating the use of autonomous crafts by criminals. After discussing the autonomous technology that perpetrators currently use, this chapter will carve out the main difference between the commission of maritime crimes by traditional and autonomous offender ships. This will reveal that, at present, such criminals predominantly use remote-controlled, explosive-laden ships without any on-board crew, in order to wreak havoc at sea. The scenario lends itself well to an analysis of whether these acts amount to piracy as defined by article 101 of the LOS Convention. Moreover, it allows for an assessment of whether the 1988 and 2005 SUA Conventions, respectively, are fit for purpose or whether the SUA offences need to be amended in order to accommodate the use of ships not carrying a crew to endanger the safety of navigation.
Faculties and Departments:02 Faculty of Law > Departement Rechtswissenschaften > Fachbereich Öffentliches Recht > Professur für Völkerrecht und Öffentliches Recht (Petrig)
UniBasel Contributors:Petrig, Anna
Item Type:Book Section, refereed
Book Section Subtype:Further Contribution in a Book
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Book item
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:01 Apr 2022 15:20
Deposited On:01 Apr 2022 15:20

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