Suppressing Maritime Piracy: Exploring the Options in International Law, Washington, DC, 16 - 17 October 2009

This report captures the discussions and recommendations of a distinguished group of international law and governance professors, legal experts, and judges who met in Washington D.C. for a workshop convened through the efforts of One Earth Future Foundation, the Academic Council on the United Nations System, and the American Society of International Law. The workshop examined the legal framework currently employed to suppress piracy and explored potential alternatives or augmentations to the existing structures. More than anything else, the workshop revealed the immense complexity surrounding piracy. Two important aspects of the problem that emerged during the workshop are worth highlighting here: First, although there is a general tendency today to associate piracy with the failed state of Somalia, only about 40% of piracy events actually occur around the Horn of Africa. Maritime piracy is a persistent global criminal activity, and solving the Somali problem does not solve piracy in the rest of the world. It is important to keep in mind, while considering the findings of this workshop, that the legal framework applies globally. Second, piracy is a distinct crime in itself, but it often involves a complex nexus of other crimes, which are subject to different jurisdictional and legal rules than piracy. Pirate groups often commit, for example, assault, theft , kidnapping, torture, extortion, money laundering, and arms dealing — some of which may under certain circumstances constitute piracy while others may not. The legal responses to piracy should take into consideration this complexity. The report indicates that while the legal framework for dealing with piracy is well established, there are practical difficulties in implementation and outstanding questions that require further research.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Appendices;
  • Pagination: 45p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01155452
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 23 2010 11:56AM