Prosecuting Pirates: Maritime Piracy and Indonesian Law

16 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2019

See all articles by Adam James Fenton

Adam James Fenton

London School of Public Relations, Jakarta

Ioannis Chapsos

Coventry University - Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations

Date Written: June 3, 2019

Abstract

Acts of maritime piracy continue to occur in Southeast Asia. These attacks represent a continuing threat to sea-based trade in a region which is vitally important to global shipping. While piracy is defined under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) this convention does not set out a legal regime for prosecuting pirates, nor does it give guidance on sentencing, or even require states to enact a piracy law. This means that it is the prosecuting state’s right and responsibility to determine the laws and sentences that apply in cases of piracy brought before its courts. Indonesia does not have an Anti-Piracy Law, and as a result, pirates prosecuted in Indonesian courts are charged under specific sections of the Criminal Code instead. This state-by-state approach has led to wide discrepancies in the sentences handed down to pirates in the region. This article takes account of international law and domestic Indonesian legislation as it relates to piracy. It gives detailed attention to Indonesia’s ‘anti-piracy’ provisions, and provides a unique, new insight into how Indonesia’s judicial system treats the perpetrators by examining court documents in a number of separate piracy cases. The authors conclude that sentences imposed by Indonesian courts are overly lenient compared with those from neighbouring countries, such as for example Malaysia and Singapore, and suggest that Indonesia’s anti-piracy legal regime would be boosted by enacting a Piracy Law.

Suggested Citation

Fenton, Adam James and Chapsos, Ioannis, Prosecuting Pirates: Maritime Piracy and Indonesian Law (June 3, 2019). Australian Journal of Asian Law, 2019, Vol 19 No 2, Article 4: 217-232, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3398030

Adam James Fenton (Contact Author)

London School of Public Relations, Jakarta ( email )

Ioannis Chapsos

Coventry University - Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations ( email )

Priory Street
Coventry, CV1 5FB
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
288
Abstract Views
1,615
rank
149,313
PlumX Metrics