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Trading the Shield of Sovereignty for the Scales of Justice: A Proposal for Reform of International Sea Piracy Laws

University of San Francisco Maritime Law Journal, Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 139-166, 2009

Bocconi School of Law Student-Edited Papers No. 2009-11/EN

28 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2009 Last revised: 21 Jan 2012

Mike Madden

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law

Date Written: September 16, 2009

Abstract

Contemporary piracy represents a large and complex threat to international security. The crime has evolved to the extent that it no longer conforms to its antiquated definition, and the rationales that underlie the “high seas,” “private ends” and “two ships” requirements of the crime articulated within UNCLOS 1982 have no relevance in the new millennium. Piracy should be redefined to include the kinds of maritime crimes that are commonly perpetrated on the seas, and a very broad notion of universal jurisdiction should attach to the crime, such that any state would be permitted to enter the territorial sea of another state for the purpose of apprehending and prosecuting pirates.

Keywords: piracy, pirates, Somalia, high seas, ransom, UNCLOS, territorial water

Suggested Citation

Madden, Mike, Trading the Shield of Sovereignty for the Scales of Justice: A Proposal for Reform of International Sea Piracy Laws (September 16, 2009). University of San Francisco Maritime Law Journal, Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 139-166, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1474522

Mike Madden (Contact Author)

Dalhousie University - Schulich School of Law ( email )

6061 University Avenue
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9
Canada

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