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Vessel protection, van zorgplicht naar zelfverdediging

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Veiligheid, Aflevering 0304 2015
Trefwoorden Security, Piracy, public vs. private responsibilities, policy making, paradigm changes
Auteurs Henk Warnar
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article demonstrates the influence of intellectual debate in policy paradigm changes. In response to piracy around the Horn of Africa, Dutch naval forces have participated in NATO and EU counter piracy operations since 2008. Although successful, also self protection measures by the merchant ships are required to provide security to individual ships. Since 2008 Dutch ship owners have advocated to amend legislation to allow private armed security teams (PAST) for individual protection, similar to policies by most foreign countries. Because of sensitivities concerning the private use of arms, policymakers, politicians, stakeholders and advisors have circumvented the issue. Instead of addressing the question of self defense, the paradigm of state monopoly for violence and the state’s obligation to provide security, made individual protection by embarked military teams to develop as a governmental service at levels that turned out to be unachievable for the armed forces. This policy caused several types of friction. Currently, the only acceptable solution seems to be to allow PAST and legislation is being prepared accordingly. A successful paradigm change however can only be achieved if an adequate new paradigm is constructed by intellectual debate. (Hall, Visser & Hemerijck) So far this debate has been too limited in scope. Debate has been state centric and focused on legal views and regulation. To resolve friction, additional analysis of differing roles by the state and individual entrepreneurs is required. Such analysis argues that the state severely reduces individual protection and politicians decide on the fundamental question of self defense by ships at the high seas.


Henk Warnar
Henk Warnar is senior adviseur bij het Ministerie van Defensie.
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