“For a pirate is not included in the number of lawful enemies, but is the common enemy of all (communis hostis omnium).” Cicero
Piracy is on the rise because of failed states and crushing poverty. A majority of modern pirate attacks originate in the Horn of Africa in Somalia although there is now a growing problem in the Gulf of Guinea. This blog is a study in the legal and practical problems associated with piracy off the coast of Somalia and elsewhere. It examines some of the root causes of piracy, attempts to prevent or stop attacks, and mechanisms for the prosecution of suspected pirates. The prosecution of suspected pirates raises a myriad of legal issues that begin with arrest and collection of evidence, proper venue and jurisdiction, to name but a few.
About the Authors
Roger L. Phillips is an international criminal law practitioner. He has worked most of his career in the judiciary, in addition to having worked in private practice and as a government attorney. Prior to obtaining his law credentials, he was a development worker in Togo and Nigeria.
Matteo Crippa has substantial experience in West Africa and in international criminal law, having served as a legal officer at the Special Court for Sierra Leone from its inception. He currently serves as a legal officer and greffier for the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials.
NOTE: The views expressed herein are solely those of the authors and do not reflect the views of the United Nations or any other entity. Links from this blog to other websites should not be construed as an endorsement of the content on those sites.