Prosecution of maritime pirates : the national court is dead—long live the national court

Karim, Md Saiful (2014) Prosecution of maritime pirates : the national court is dead—long live the national court. Wisconsin International Law Journal, 32(1), pp. 37-94.

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Piracy is one of the main maritime security concerns in the contemporary world. The number of piracy incidents is increasing rapidly, which is highly problematic for maritime security. Although international law provides universal jurisdiction for the prosecution of maritime pirates, the actual number of prosecutions is alarmingly low compared to the number of incidents of piracy. Despite many states becoming parties to the relevant international conventions, they are reluctant to establish the necessary legal and institutional frameworks at the national level for the prosecution of pirates. The growing incidences of piracy and the consequential problems associated with prosecuting pirates have created doubts about the adequacy of the current international legal system, which is fully dependent on national courts for the prosecution of pirates. This article examines the possible ways for ensuring the effective prosecution of pirates. Contrary to the different proposals forwarded by researchers in the wake of Somali piracy for the establishment of international judicial institutions for the prosecution of pirates, this article argues that the operationalization of national courts through the proper implementation of relevant international legal instruments within domestic legal systems is the most viable solution. However, this article submits that the operationalization of national courts will not be very successful following the altruistic model of universal adjudicative jurisdiction. A state may enact legislation implementing universal jurisdiction but will not be very interested in prosecuting a pirate in its national court if it has no relation with the piratical incident. Rather, it will be successful if the global community seriously implement the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA Convention), which obligates the states that have some connection with a piratical incident to prosecute pirates in their national courts.

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ID Code: 78661
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Prosecution of pirates, National courts, Somalia, Piracy, Maritime terrorism
ISSN: 0743-7951
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > International Law (excl. International Trade Law) (180116)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright (c) 2014 The Regents of the University of Wisconsin
Deposited On: 16 Nov 2014 22:32
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2014 00:46

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