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Pirates Versus Mercenaries: Purely Private Transnational Violence at the Margins of International Law


Ansel J. Halliburton


ComputerLaw Group LLP

July 6, 2010


Abstract:     
Because of the recent surge in piracy emanating from the failed state of Somalia, the world’s navies have focused unprecedented resources and attention on the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. Despite a few successes, this military might has largely failed to reverse the tide of piracy. Shipping companies have begun to hire armed private guards to protect their vessels and crew where the public navies cannot. But should private force take a larger role? Should shipping companies hire mercenaries to go on the offensive against pirates? Does, or should, international law allow them to do so? This paper surveys public international law, emerging transnational criminal law, human rights and humanitarian law, and the histories of piracy and transnational private violence in search of answers.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 40

Keywords: Somalia, piracy, mercenary, PMC, military, international law, transnational crime, non-state actor

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Date posted: February 6, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Halliburton, Ansel J., Pirates Versus Mercenaries: Purely Private Transnational Violence at the Margins of International Law (July 6, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1755214 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1755214

Contact Information

Ansel J. Halliburton (Contact Author)
ComputerLaw Group LLP ( email )
401 Florence Street
Palo Alto, CA 94301
United States
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