Closer look at the interpretation of maritime law
The challenges posed by maritime crime are bringing about discussions on legal issues involving the interpretation and implementation of maritime law. As a result, a workshop has taken place in Sri Lanka, Colombo (18-20 June) where maritime law experts and practitioners from around the world met to participate in two main sessions aimed at gathering State practice and interpretation information related to international legal instruments.
IMO says the first session looked at Article 17 of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988 (The Vienna Convention) and the treatment of Stateless Vessels. The outcomes of that session will feed into a report on State practice and lead a revision of the UNODC ‘Practical Guide for Competent National Authorities under Article 17’.
The second session saw experts review thematic chapters which will form part of the Second Edition of the UNODC ‘Maritime Crime: A Manual for Criminal Justice Practitioners’.
The chapters cover a full range of maritime crime issues such as: human rights at sea, hostage taking at sea, terrorism at sea, trafficking of persons and smuggling of migrants at sea and maritime fuel theft, special annexes to the Manual will include privately contracted armed security personnel at sea and floating armouries.
The event was organized by The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as part of their Global Maritime Crime Programme.
Gisela Vieira from IMO’s maritime security team attended the event as part of the Organization's on-going work to help combat maritime crime and develop robust legal structures.