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Legal analysis of Collision Liability in the context of Unmanned Shipping

Gosch, Hannes LU (2019) JURM02 20191
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract
The aim of this graduation thesis Legal analysis of Collision Liability in the context of Unmanned Shipping is to examine how the implementation of commercial unmanned ships will interact with the legal framework for collision liability. New technological advancements have proven that the notion of an unmanned ship might become a reality in the near future. For this reason, the author decided to examine selective parts of the maritime regime governing liability for collisions at sea in order to describe their suitability with the notion of unmanned ships. Since the unmanned ship is characterised by advanced technology, this thesis additionally discusses whether the product liability regime could be utilised for distributing liability.

... (More)
The aim of this graduation thesis Legal analysis of Collision Liability in the context of Unmanned Shipping is to examine how the implementation of commercial unmanned ships will interact with the legal framework for collision liability. New technological advancements have proven that the notion of an unmanned ship might become a reality in the near future. For this reason, the author decided to examine selective parts of the maritime regime governing liability for collisions at sea in order to describe their suitability with the notion of unmanned ships. Since the unmanned ship is characterised by advanced technology, this thesis additionally discusses whether the product liability regime could be utilised for distributing liability.

Chapter 2 highlights the technical characteristics in unmanned ships with the purpose of familiarising the reader with similarities and differences in regard to traditional shipping. The legal status of unmanned ships under public and private international law is examined in Chapter 3. Additionally, the chapter ascertains that the unmanned ship will be imposed duties as well as being able to enjoy rights and privileges derived from the international conventions to the same extent as their manned counterparts. Chapter 4 and 5 provide an overview of the liability regimes and identifies potential problems in relation to unmanned shipping. Chapter 6 addresses the identified problems when applying the existing liability regimes to the notion of unmanned shipping. Final conclusions are drawn in Chapter 7.

The results show that while the technical knowledge could enable deployment of unmanned ships, there are legal barriers presented by international maritime law that must be overcome before such deployment. The complete lack of human presence on board the ship is especially troublesome since the regulations governing collision liability are founded on the basic premise that humans are present on board the ship. There are, furthermore, indications that concepts derived from the product liability regime could find application or act as a complement to the maritime law. Thus, expanding the traditional scope of entities that may accrue liability.

The author recommends a further review of the legal framework for collision liability on an international level, followed by amendments to accommodate the peculiarities of unmanned shipping. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Syftet med examensarbetet Legal analysis of Collision Liability in the context of Unmanned Shipping är att undersöka hur det rättsliga ramverket för kollisionansvar hanterar och kan komma att påverkas av implementeringen av obemannade handelsfartyg.

Flera internationella forskningsprojekt har påvisat att det teknologiska kunnandet inom en snar framtid har nått en sådan nivå som möjliggör implementering av obemannade handelsfartyg. Dessa projekt har även slagit fast att det obemannade handelsfartyget kan komma att medföra en mängd förbättringar inom transportverksamheten, däribland ökad effektivitet, kostnadsbesparingar och ökad säkerhet.

Av denna anledning har undertecknad valt att undersöka huruvida utvalda delar av sjörättens... (More)
Syftet med examensarbetet Legal analysis of Collision Liability in the context of Unmanned Shipping är att undersöka hur det rättsliga ramverket för kollisionansvar hanterar och kan komma att påverkas av implementeringen av obemannade handelsfartyg.

Flera internationella forskningsprojekt har påvisat att det teknologiska kunnandet inom en snar framtid har nått en sådan nivå som möjliggör implementering av obemannade handelsfartyg. Dessa projekt har även slagit fast att det obemannade handelsfartyget kan komma att medföra en mängd förbättringar inom transportverksamheten, däribland ökad effektivitet, kostnadsbesparingar och ökad säkerhet.

Av denna anledning har undertecknad valt att undersöka huruvida utvalda delar av sjörättens regler för kollisionsansvar är adekvata i kontexten av obemannade handelsfartyg. Eftersom obemannade handelsfartyg utmärks av den avancerade teknologin som skeppen är utrustade med, utforskar examensarbetet även om regelverket för produktansvar kan användas för att fördela ansvar vid kollisioner.

I kapitel 2 följer en redogörelse för likheter och olikheter mellan bemannade och obemannade fartyg, med fokus på de tekniska egenskaper som utmärker obemannade handelsfartyg. Det obemannade handelsfartygens rättsliga status enligt internationell offentlig och privat rätt avhandlas i kapitel 3. I detta kapitel slås det fast att det obemannade handelsfartyget åtnjuter samma rättigheter och är föremål för samma skyldigheter under internationella konventioner som deras motpart, det bemannade skeppet. Kapitel 4 och 5 tillhandahåller en översikt av ansvarsregelverken och identifierar potentiella problem i förhållande till obemannade handelsfartyg. Dessa potentiella problem analyseras ingående i kapitel 6. I kapitel 7 behandlas examensarbetets slutsatser.

Examensarbetets resultat påvisar att även om det tekniska kunnandet har nått en sådan utveckling som möjliggör obemannade handelsfartyg, inrymmer den internationella sjörätten rättsliga hinder som behöver bemästras. Den totala avsaknaden av mänsklig närvaro ombord det obemannade handelsfartyget utgör en av de främsta svårigheterna vid tillämpningen av det existerande regelverket. Detta grundar sig i att sjörättens regelverk för kollisionsansvar är utformat efter att det finns en mänsklig närvaro ombord på fartyget, vars agerande kan vara vållande till kollisionen. Vidare påvisar examensarbetet att det finns indikationer på att regelverket för produktansvar kan komma att få större inflytande på sjörättens traditionella regler för ansvarsfördelning. Detta skulle medföra en utökning av den grupp av aktörer som kan bli föremål för ansvar vid en kollision.
Undertecknad rekommenderar att det genomförs ytterligare granskning av det rättsliga ramverket för kollisionsansvar på en internationell nivå, samt att denna granskning åtföljs av tillägg för att ackommodera de egenskaperna hos obemannade handelsfartyget. (Less)
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author
Gosch, Hannes LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20191
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Maritime Law, Collision Liability, Unmanned Shipping, Autonomous Ships, Remote-Controlled Ships, Product Liability, Transportation Law, International Law, Sjörätt, Autonoma fartyg.
language
English
id
8976804
date added to LUP
2019-06-11 17:28:40
date last changed
2019-06-11 17:28:40
@misc{8976804,
  abstract     = {The aim of this graduation thesis Legal analysis of Collision Liability in the context of Unmanned Shipping is to examine how the implementation of commercial unmanned ships will interact with the legal framework for collision liability. New technological advancements have proven that the notion of an unmanned ship might become a reality in the near future. For this reason, the author decided to examine selective parts of the maritime regime governing liability for collisions at sea in order to describe their suitability with the notion of unmanned ships. Since the unmanned ship is characterised by advanced technology, this thesis additionally discusses whether the product liability regime could be utilised for distributing liability. 
 
Chapter 2 highlights the technical characteristics in unmanned ships with the purpose of familiarising the reader with similarities and differences in regard to traditional shipping. The legal status of unmanned ships under public and private international law is examined in Chapter 3. Additionally, the chapter ascertains that the unmanned ship will be imposed duties as well as being able to enjoy rights and privileges derived from the international conventions to the same extent as their manned counterparts. Chapter 4 and 5 provide an overview of the liability regimes and identifies potential problems in relation to unmanned shipping. Chapter 6 addresses the identified problems when applying the existing liability regimes to the notion of unmanned shipping. Final conclusions are drawn in Chapter 7. 
 
The results show that while the technical knowledge could enable deployment of unmanned ships, there are legal barriers presented by international maritime law that must be overcome before such deployment. The complete lack of human presence on board the ship is especially troublesome since the regulations governing collision liability are founded on the basic premise that humans are present on board the ship. There are, furthermore, indications that concepts derived from the product liability regime could find application or act as a complement to the maritime law. Thus, expanding the traditional scope of entities that may accrue liability.
 
The author recommends a further review of the legal framework for collision liability on an international level, followed by amendments to accommodate the peculiarities of unmanned shipping.},
  author       = {Gosch, Hannes},
  keyword      = {Maritime Law,Collision Liability,Unmanned Shipping,Autonomous Ships,Remote-Controlled Ships,Product Liability,Transportation Law,International Law,Sjörätt,Autonoma fartyg.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Legal analysis of Collision Liability in the context of Unmanned Shipping},
  year         = {2019},
}