Title: Protecting the wages of seafarers held hostage by pirates: the need to reform the law

Authors: Hilton Staniland

Addresses: Southampton Law School, University of Southampton, Highfield Campus, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK

Abstract: In this paper, it is argued that seafarers held hostage by pirates do not have a right to the continued payment of their wages under international conventions. Under English law it is contended that the entitlement to wages exists in some limited circumstances, but in many other circumstances is uncertain, inadequate or non-existent. The need to protect the wages of seafarers and to reform the law is therefore argued. Taking into account the spread of piracy and the fast evolving 'business models' of piracy, draft legislation that is already being considered in one state is proposed as a possible legislative guide for other states.

Keywords: piracy; seafarers; entitlement to wages; Maritime Labour Convention; MLC; hostages; maritime lien; action in rem; law reform.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPLAP.2013.056824

International Journal of Public Law and Policy, 2013 Vol.3 No.4, pp.345 - 366

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 21 Aug 2013 *

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