For a pirate is not included in the number of lawful enemies, but is the common enemy of all (communis hostis omnium).” Cicero

This blog is a study in the legal and practical problems associated with piracy. It examines some of the root causes of piracy, attempts to prevent or stop attacks, and mechanisms for the prosecution of suspected pirates. It was created in January 2011 amidst a staggering growth in piracy particularly off the coast of Somalia. Since that time, there has been a growing awareness and increase in pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of West Africa. As the international community has come to grips with pirates and an increasing number have been brought to trial in dozens of different jurisdictions, a body of international and transnational law has developed. This piracy law renaissance has helped to fill the legal lacunae that continue to exist despite the ancient origins of this criminal activity and is a focus of this site.

About the Authors

Milena Sterio is Editor-in-Chief of communis hostis omnium. She is a Professor at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law has published widely on international law topics, including piracy.

Michael Scharf is Editor-in-Chief of communis hostis omnium. He is Acting Dean of Case Western University Law School and is a recognized expert in international criminal law.

Roger L. Phillips is the creator of communis hostis omnium and now a contributing editor. He has served as a legal officer in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. He has also published articles on international criminal law and piracy and taught both subjects.

Matteo Crippa was Co-Editor-in-Chief from the inception of communis hostis omnium  and now contributing editor. He has substantial experience in West Africa and in international criminal law, having served as a legal officer at the Special Court for Sierra Leone. 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.

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