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On the other hand, if we consider it as a principle of customary international law, because piracy — as crimen iuris gentium — offends international community as a whole, then the principle aut dedere aut iudicare should be binding under all circumstances.

The rise of maritime security

Since , Kenya has been prosecuting suspected pirates in its national courts under bilateral agreements entered into by the country with the leading maritime nations. Wambua discusses the new merchant shipping act enacted to overcome, among others, jurisdictional challenges it faced in prosecuting suspected pirates. He concludes that while the litigation process is still fraught with challenges due to lack of financial and human resources, the Kenyan approach is a model that should be replicated in other states.

Not only does it grant extra territorial jurisdiction to national courts, it also affords a comprehensive translation into domestic law of the most important anti-piracy provisions found in a number of international treaties. Gauci examines the implications of recent judgments against the backdrop of the English marine insurance definition of piracy and the intricacies of the law relating to constructive and actual total losses. He then concludes that there is a need to harmonize the marine insurance definition of piracy with that in the domain of public international law. Furthermore, he posits that legislative intervention should be considered for the purpose of ascertaining the point in time whether and when seizure by pirates can constitute a total loss.

Problems associated with recovering the ransom payment from insurers — arising from illegality, unseaworthiness and exemption clauses, among others — may be overcome if clauses are carefully drafted to specifically cater for piracy in a marine insurance policy. Several inconsistencies may also be resolved by transferring the piracy peril to war risks cover.

The Conference featured presentations from over 40 subject matter experts representing militaries, governments, special interest groups, academia, and non-government organizations. Over individuals participated in the Conference.

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The goal of ICOPAS was to increase exposure of the increased global threat of maritime piracy and discuss possible solutions in mitigating and eradicating the threat. In particular, the Conference highlighted the significant humanitarian impact of piracy and focused on humanitarian support initiatives such as the Save Our Seafarers campaign. Taken together, the articles in this special piracy issue of the WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs articulate and dissect some of the most pressing issues facing both public and private institutions as well as humanitarian and commercial entities in their quest for lasting solutions to the current challenges.

They are a welcome addition to an assortment of tools available to the policy-makers who will have to make the important decisions that will contribute to arresting the level of piracy attacks or to mitigating its most negative effects.

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The value of this special issue must be judged not only in how it offers some of the answers, but more importantly by the questions that it generates and the thoughts that it provokes, paving the way for future studies on piracy and advanced scholarship on the topic. A specialized division of the ICC, the IMB is a non-profit making organization, established in to act as a focal point in the fight against all types of maritime crime and malpractice.

IMB publishes data and information relating to piracy attacks four times a year — a first quarter report, a second quarter report, a third quarter report, and an annual report. This is done in the belief that such a mammoth undertaking would excessively enlarge this piece without providing commensurate benefits. This topic has been touched upon to some extent when conferences have resulted in the publication of a group of papers. The authors hope to revisit the importance of conferences in the development of the law and treatment of piracy on another occasion when time and space allow.

A revised edition was published by Professor Rubin in Alfred P. Rubin, The Law of Piracy. Transnational Publishers, Inc. But see Menefee , at 43— Natalino Ronzitti ed. See Samuel P. Skip to main content Skip to sections. Advertisement Hide. Download PDF. Mejia Jr. Open Access. First Online: 31 March A paperback version was subsequently issued by the same publisher in Abhyankar J Maritime crime.

Essex Institute, Salem Google Scholar.

Lisboa: n. Google Scholar. Bahadur J The pirates of Somalia: Inside their hidden world. New York: Pantheon Books, Berube C, Cullen P eds Maritime private security: Market responses to piracy, terrorism and waterborne security risks in the 21st century. Cass Series: Naval Policy and History. Leonards Google Scholar. Burgess DR The world for ransom: Piracy is terrorism, terrorism is piracy.

Prometheus Books, Amhurst Google Scholar. Burnett JS Dangerous waters: Modern piracy and terror on the high seas. John Blake Publishing, Ltd. Corbett P A modern plague of pirates: Modern piracy in the 21st century— protecting your ship and your crew— a practical guide for the ship master and owner. Putnam, New York Google Scholar. De Rosa G Terrorismo Forza Dubner BH The law of international sea piracy.

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Dunn JM Modern-day pirates. Editions Ramsay, Paris Google Scholar. Ellen E ed Violence at sea: a review of terrorism, acts of war and piracy, and countermeasures to prevent terrorism. Ellen E ed Piracy at sea.

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Ellen E ed Ports at risk. Ellen E ed Shipping at risk: The rising tide of organized crime. Ellms C The pirates own book, or Authentic narratives of the lives, exploits, and executions of the most celebrated sea robbers.


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In the western Indian Ocean region there has been a significant growth in external initiatives since These were initially a response to Somali piracy, but since have taken a much wider focus, with activities aiming to address the root causes of maritime insecurity in the region, and to enable littoral states to take over key security governance tasks from the international community.

SSR and capacity-building efforts in the maritime sphere are led by a number of core security actors. The document adopts a holistic understanding of the maritime security concept, incorporating the challenges and institutions of maritime governance, maritime civil and criminal authority, maritime defence, maritime safety, maritime response and recovery, and maritime economy. The activities themselves are likewise wide-ranging and comprehensive, ranging from initiatives aimed at strengthening maritime law enforcement, through training and capacity-building with local partners, to the development of country-specific maritime law and policy, and the institutions of mechanisms for accountability and transparency in the maritime security sector.

These US and EU programmes, as well as similar initiatives by other actors, 61 share a number of characteristics. They draw on an understanding of maritime security that is multifaceted, involving capacity-building on land as well as enforcement at sea. A holistic approach is seen to be necessary because it encourages a focus on the commonalities of the problem or problems at hand, rather than on specific—and sometimes rather notional—institutional distinctions between, say, coastguard, navy and port police.

It also recognizes the importance of wider governance issues in addressing the root causes of maritime insecurity. These activities thus make an explicit link between security, security institutions and the wider political and socio-economic environments in which they sit.


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They recognize that security responses do not exist in isolation from the wider polity in which they take place; they are nested within it, influenced by it, and themselves exert influence on it. In one sense, this holistic approach is a straightforward instrumental reflection of and response to the institutional complexities and linkages inherent in the maritime security problematic.

It represents an attempt to approach the building of maritime security in a joined-up way: to make connections where they exist and to avoid actions in one area that may be counterproductive in others. However, maritime capacity-building—like similar efforts on land 63 —also needs to be recognized as an explicitly normative endeavour. It is about how local actors can be supported and encouraged in managing their maritime security sectors in a particular manner and within a preferred model of political organization.

In application, it tends to give preference to the formal institutions of the state—the navy, police, coastguard and so on—as well as the legal frameworks within which they operate, and the bureaucratic and institutional mechanisms through which they are organized and administered. Where such institutions are weak or non-existent, it focuses on strengthening or rebuilding them through activities including training, resourcing and sometimes equipment or infrastructure provision.

Thus, organizational reform often focuses on issues of professionalization in security institutions, including the definition of clear organizational roles and responsibilities, the development of appropriate structures, training and human resources to fulfil these tasks, the establishment of formal organizational planning models, and the implementation of common standards of best practice in their day-to-day operation. Capacity-building thus aims to institutionalize externally derived notions of best practice in security governance, and to encourage local actors to share responsibility for the maritime insecurities in their own regions.

However, it does face challenges. The normative nature of such activities may put them in tension with local priorities, interests or ways of doing things. In practice, the extent to which local ownership is taken seriously by external actors varies considerably. Often, it can be applied in a limited and even paradoxical manner, meaning the extent to which locals come to accept the externally driven security-building agenda on its own terms. Even so, notions of local ownership can expose important differences of priority between external donors and local actors.