An International Model Set of Maritime Rules for the Use of Force (RUF)
Following 20 months of detailed work and legal reviews, including engagement and inputs from across the maritime industry, the 100 Series Rules for the Use of Force (RUF) has been released and is now available for download in pdf format from the 100 Series website www.100seriesrules.com .
The author, David Hammond, a UK barrister-at-law and maritime lawyer, along with associated international stakeholders, have worked hard to integrate the needs and aspirations of all contributors who have given their time and expertise to assist in the development of what is intended to be, the first international model set of RUF for the benefit of and use by the entire maritime industry. It is also the first model set of RUF to take into account the requirement to address Human Rights in terms of the use of force at sea.
As stated on the 100 Series Rules website: “The 100 Series Rules will not bind flag States as to their use, but instead provide a choice for their potential incorporation into national guidance as determined by respective governments and competent authorities.
The 100 Series Rules are a model set and example of best practice for maritime RUF. They complement current industry RUF guidance on the drafting of RUF, as well as supporting the requirements of ISO PAS 28007 as a Publicly Available Specification and international standard.
The 100 Series Rules will go to providing an international model set of RUF as against which, Privately Contracted Armed Security Personnel (PCASP) may be professionally trained, Private Maritime Security Companies (PMSCs) may be audited and operator actions both measured and judged by competent authorities.
The 100 Series Rules will not, however, provide any form of indemnity or immunity whatsoever against civil or criminal liability when force has been used unlawfully.”
The current 100 Series Rules text has been submitted to and has been accepted by the International Organisation for Standards (ISO) on the 29 March 2013 as a work item by Technical Committee 8 for review in conjunction with ISO PAS 28007. It has also been submitted to the IMO on the 24 April 2013 as an Information Paper for inclusion at MSC 92.
David Hammond said; “The current text has been a long time in its development. I expect there to be detractors and critics, but up to this point, no-one else has produced anything which is comparable in terms of substance and which has undergone such operator, commercial and legal scrutiny from across the maritime industry and over such a long period of time. The point of this document is not one of imposition upon entities, but one of choice against which one can make an informed decision when reviewing and comparing RUF. At its core, is the basic principle of the individual right of self-defence; itself a universal concept.
I am very grateful to all who have given their time to the development of the 100 Series Rules up to this point, though I consider that this is not the end of the process, or of an accepted concept of an international model set of RUF.”