Free «Criminalisation Of Maritime Professionals Vs. The International Shipping Community» Essay Sample

Research has shown that there are maritime professionals committing many crimes which affect the international community. This is because some places lack guidelines on how to address these crimes. Thus, there is need for fair guidelines for handling maritime professionals who commit crimes, as they discharge their duties (McNeal 2008, p. 56).

Some of the crimes that are committed by the maritime professionals violate the rights of humans. An example is intimidation or threats that are issued against these professionals. This has made maritime professionals abandon ships in foreign ports, especially those that need to offload. This causes many delays in the ports. A practical example could be small ports where one ship offloads at a time. This is a serious issue, as most of the ships are left miserable in foreign lands (Grey 2005, p. 78). This has promoted bad relations between countries where such incidences of abandonment are common. The fact that some of these cases are never or rarely reported is also an issue of concern. This is because when such incidences are not reported, ways of curbing them are not easily implemented. There is need for the international community to find ways that can be used adopted by each and every country to ensure that every country maritime authority do not engage in such inhuman acts. Abandoned individuals by maritime professionals may not be able to access basic commodities for subsistence use, which include food and shelter (Hogan 2009, p. 56). This is also another critical issue that should be investigated in the entire shipping community.

Abandonment means violation of the rights of seafarer in international context. This has prompted organisations like the International Labour Organisation to put some guidelines of providing financial security in case seafarers are abandoned (James 2009, p. 124). In addition, the owners of the ships should ensure that there is enough money on shipboard so that the seafarers can still meet their basic needs adequately in case they are abandoned. To that effect, the convention of Maritime labour has made some legislation. For example, ships that operate in a given regions should ensure that they are secure financially so that repatriation of seafarers is made possible. These laws have been implemented by the states that govern the regions where such ships operate. However, the laws by the Maritime Conventions have not been proved whether they are beneficial to the seafarers or not. This provides insights for more studies to be done to establish the effectiveness of such laws being in place. Furthermore, some conditions are likely to lead to abandonment of ships. A good example is a period of financial turmoil. Such situations usually make ship owners unable to pay those operating in the ships. As a result, the workers seek alternative ways of surviving. One strategy that has been proposed to handle abandonment is establishment of a bond or an insurance which seafarers can access in case they are abandoned (Granville 2004, p. 234)

Increased criminalisation of maritime authorities would lead to other alternative routes. Thus, it will be very difficult to control or bring these professionals together for easy management (McNeal 2008, p. 98).The end result is a shipping organisation that is not united. This has negatively affected the role which is played by the entire shipping community in enhancing civilisation. Besides, there would be decline in shipping companies in the entire world.

Maritime authorities are also deemed responsible for allowing dangerous weapons to be transported from one part of the world to the rest by sea. Increasing criminalisation has encouraged the transportation of such weapons between countries. Such weapons have been used to plan various attacks in various parts of the world. This is because the maritime professionals engage in these illegal activities so as to gain protection. The end result is that the world’s peace is distorted. Examples of weapons that have been transported by sea or ships because of negligence of maritime authority include atomic bombs and the raw materials that are used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. Besides, guns and other ammunitions have been transported by sea to various parts of the world. Such weapon has led to political instability in various parts of the world (Grey 2005, p. 54). For example the political instability is being experienced in Arabian countries likes Iraq.

Increasing criminalisation of sea professionals has also triggered bad relations between different countries. This is because when maritime professionals of a country are criminalised, hatred begins to develop between the country of the maritime and the place where they are criminalised. The end results are that some ships are not allowed to operate within a give territory due to the possibility of being attacked. This has led to increase in terrorist attack at the sea. Nationalities of given country have also been attacked in an attempt to retaliate when their maritime are fined in a given country. For example, the criminalisation of Somali pirates by the Americans has led to people from Somali leading retaliatory attacks on citizens from the United States of America. In addition, ships from the United States of America have constantly been attacked when approaching the shores of Somali.

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Increasing criminalisation of maritime officials has led to increased accidents. Besides, the fear of the heavy fines which are imposed when an accident occurs has always made these professionals escape should one be involved in any mistake (Hogan 2009, p. 54).This is because it is difficult to find the owners of the vessels when accidents happens. This has left the captains of these vessels in an awkward position, because they are the ones held accountable when accidents occur. For example, the European Commission was keen to notice that increased criminalisation of maritime professionals led to increased accidents. However, to ensure that those maritime professionals who were guilty faced the law, they justified their actions by citing that only those who showed negligence and, hence, contributed to crime were being charged. However, rise of crimes due to manning of vessels in the sea together with the consequences that come by those actions are issues that should be critically analysed by both shipping industries and entire public.

When a shipping company that supplies major commodities to a given area is banned, such goods become scarce within the international shipping community. This leads to decline in growth in the maritime economy. This would be a disadvantage to countries that generally rely on goods that are shipped for their survival. A good example is the case of islands that mostly rely on such goods.

Severe penalty in addition to the several problems that come as a result of increased criminalisation of maritime authorities have led to fewer people taking a career in marine. This is due to the envisaged stress that arises when one becomes a maritime professional. Finally, increased criminalisation of maritime professionals has them in mistrust in the judicial system, as most of them seem to believe that they are the major focus as far as crime is related.

Breaching of regulations among the maritime professionals vary. Mistakes are common in every profession and maritime is no exception. There are different ways of handling professions in the field of maritime when they breach regulations or discharge their duties. The following are some of ways that should be adopted.

If a maritime authority delays in delivering a vessel, receiving party may bring to an end the charter without actually clarifying the reasons of the delay. However, the rights of the reparation may still be based on the reason concerning the delay. In some cases, postponement may be done to a contract, depending on the severity of the mistake that was done. Legislations have also been made to give provisions for the time which the ships take to load and offload. This means that maritime professionals who delay the load intentionally face some charges depending on the length of the delay. Furthermore, delays due to weather are considered natural-phenomenon delays and are, hence, handled differently. Such laws are applicable all over the world including England where delays due to negligence of maritime professionals led to cancellation of the entire contract. The economic consequences of such laws are detrimental to people who own the ships. This is because the costs which they incur in their attempts to deliver goods are never compensated when a contract is cancelled. Maritime professionals should, therefore, be very cautious and avoid incidences that can make them face any form of penalty. One example of such incidences is making extra voyages for their economic benefits. This is because an extra voyage leads to delays which may lead to cancellation of the entire contract. Cancellations of contracts, in their turn, lead to great losses. Another possibility for delays is imposing of heavy fines.

There is also an exception to cancellation of contracts. This happens when maritime professionals inform the chartering company that there will be delays for a specific number of days (Hogan 2009, p. 43). This could be due to unavoidable circumstances such as spoilage of the vessels. However, the maritime professionals must be able to ensure that they fulfill their promise within the extended deadline so as to avoid any penalty and losses that come with the penalty. Listening is an important component when handling persons who have breached contracts. It usually conveys a compassionate attitude. The compassionate attitude is very useful in building trust, which is a very important skill that facilities communication between individuals. In addition, trust is helpful when rehabilitating professionals who have committed mistakes. It is always advisable to handle such individuals in a private place where only the two of the parties sit and solve the problem which arose.

In addition, another important thing is to contact the employer of the maritime professional. This is very important unlike dealing with the individual alone, since the company has all the details regarding all mistakes and the consequences that should be faced when someone breaches the rules of the organisation. This is usually followed by filing a suit against the specific company, usually the employer of the professional. Such a scenario makes the company disclose all information they have while dealing with disputes within an organisation.

However, dialogue alone is never enough to handle employees that disobey rules. There are fines and penalties that are imposed on law offenders. It is explained with the fact that some maritime professional have committed crimes that go against respect for life. One of them is when a maritime professional commits murder or is engaged in drug trafficking (Granville 2004, p. 23). These are serious crimes that have led to criminals being jailed. Some of the countries that have put in place legislations to ensure that criminals who commit such crimes are jailed include countries of European Union, for example Germany. However, some of these punishments have been blamed for creating fear and, hence, limiting individuals who pursue maritime as a profession. Countries like Canada have also legislated additional fines to maritime authorities who commit crimes or breach regulations. The heavy fines that have been legislated brought concerns, especially in a situation when someone is unable to meet such fines.

Another way that has proved useful when dealing with maritime professionals who breach contracts is terminating or firing individuals who engage in such activities. This varies depending on the organisation as well as the nature of the crime. In some instances, the contract may be terminated without compensation while in other ones, it may be compensated. Such rules may appear in charter organisations. The law has also been used to compel the promisor to provide his/her duties, especially when there is breach of contract. Such laws have become common in many states in the world. Usually, the promisor has no option but to deliver as agreed during the signing of contracts. Before such laws are put into practise, considerations should be made, so that the promissory is not adversely affected with the laws.

Some states have also made some laws that make them responsible should a maritime professional commit or breach a contract. A good example is when a state is in charge of the situation when a maritime professional abandons a ship (McNeal 2008, p. 23). In such instances, some states provide basic commodities to people who are on board. This is very useful in ensuring that the lives of passengers are safe.

A bill regarding the rights of maritime professionals has been cited to be very useful when handling breach of rules by maritime professionals. Together with chartering, the bill of rights has proved very useful when handling such problems. Chartering has several advantages (Grey 2005, p. 67). One of them is that it allows a country to borrow some guidelines form a different country on how to handle crimes concerning the employees who breach contracts. Finland and other Scandinavian countries have applied this concept, and it has led to positive outcomes.

Finally, before the maritime professionals are paid for the performed duties, all procedures are scrutinized to ensure that all was done well. This provides an opportunity to verify that no law was breached. This is also helpful in reducing incidences of breaching laws.


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