"Probable cause" for maritime Interdictions involving illicit radioactive materials
Smith, Craig F.
Moltz, James C.
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Existing international frameworks that govern maritime interdiction entitle the boarding of a vessel in international waters only if justified by reasonable grounds to suspect that the vessel is engaged in illicit activity, a legal concept similar to the U.S. principle of "probable cause." Given recent advances in radiation detection technology, this thesis considers how this concept could be strengthened by the use of detectors for maritime interdiction of illicit radioactive materials, a problem that spans both policy and technical issues. To address this problem, the thesis incorporates analysis of both legal and technical factors related to detection of illicit radioactive materials. It includes a comprehensive compilation and examination of the legal and institutional issues related to probable cause determination, as well as technical evaluations of a state-of-the-art remote radiation detection system known as the Adaptable Radiation Area Monitor (ARAM) to determine its suitability in supporting probable cause determinations in a maritime environment. Based on these technical evaluations and an understanding of the legal and institutional issues related to probable cause determination, I conclude that radiation detection technology offers great promise in promoting effective interdiction operations that will improve safety and reduce the risk of illicit transport of radioactive materials.
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