Picardo acted with consent of Governor

Legal documents states that maximum seizure of tanker cannot exceed 90 days

Legal documents states that maximum seizure of tanker cannot exceed 90 days

Although the Chief Minister has been giving the impression that he is empowered to take the action regarding the Iranian oil tanker, PANORAMA can reveal today that he acted with the consent of the Governor. Clearly, Britain is responsible constitutionally for defence and foreign affairs, and arresting a foreign ship acting in the alleged circumstances of the oil tanker must impinge on defence and foreign affairs, which are the responsibility of the Governor within the Gibraltar Constitution.

The Chief Minister issued a detention order in respect of the oil tanker as he had reasonable grounds to suspect that the ship had been, or was likely to be, involved in a breach of the EU Regulation; and he did so in exercise of the powers conferred on him within the Sanctions Act 2019, "and acting with the consent of the Governor," as legal documents specify.

Such documents make clear that any such ship "must be detained if it is in BGTW" and may not leave BGTW unless it is permitted to do so by an order of the court or where the notice designating the ship as a so-called 'Specified Ship' has been revoked.

How long can such a ship be detained for? The rules say that a 'Specified Ship' that has been detained pursuant to these Regulations shall not be detained for more than 72 hours unless its continued detention is authorised by an order made by a judge, and no such order shall be made unless the judge is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the detention of the 'Specified Ship' is required for the purposes of compliance with the EU Regulation.

There is reference to subregulation (1) which shall authorise the continued detention of the 'Specified Ship' to which it relates for such period, not exceeding 14 days beginning with the date of the order, as may be specified in the order, and the Supreme Court, if satisfied as to the matters mentioned in that subregulation, may thereafter from time to time by order authorise the further detention of the Specified Ship but- (a) no period of detention specified in such an order shall exceed 30 days beginning with the date of the order; and (b) the total period of detention shall not exceed 90 days beginning with the date of the order under subregulation (1).

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