A piracy court?

The Security Council has broadly endorsed a Russian proposal for an international legal response to piracy. The Council resolution gives Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon three months to offer up alternative legal structures for responding to the problem. As this recent NPR story suggests, the alternative of national prosecutions has proved difficult to manage, not least because international naval forces aren’t thinking about preserving evidence for prosecution.

Naval commanders aren’t used to a law enforcement role, so they don’t always collect evidence that will stand up in court. In many cases, pirates have been able to throw the main evidence against them — their weapons — overboard before navy crews can capture them.


About David Bosco

Assistant Professor at American University's School of International Service. Contributing editor at Foreign Policy magazine. Author of Rough Justice: The International Criminal Court in a World of Power Politics and Five to Rule Them All: The UN Security Council and the Making of the Modern World
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One Response to A piracy court?

  1. Steve says:

    Where would this court be located? If it’s in Kenya – sign me up! (Is there an agreement now between US and Kenya such that Kenya will try Somali’s captured by the US navy, even if they are outside Kenyan waters?) As an aside, Michael Bahar has an interesting paper describing the first case brought Kenya with US cooperation.

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