Yesterday’s (17 Feb 09) Department of Defense Blogger’s Roundtable (currently on top) featured Capt. Charles Michel, Chief of the Office of Maritime and International Law, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters and Capt. Michael Giglio, Chief of Law Enforcement, U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters and the discussion was “Global Anti-Piracy Efforts” – some from the law enforcement side and some from the international law side. Transcript pdf and an mp3 of the discussion are available at the site.

I have posted excerpts at my home blog here. Here’s a sample:

So what it actually involves and the challenges that have been there in prosecuting pirates is, number one, identifying the appropriate legal framework and, from that perspective, there actually is an appropriate legal framework for the prosecution of pirates. It’s contained in either customary international law or the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention.

And pirates are subject to universal jurisdiction: i.e., every state on the planet can prosecute pirates. But every state has to have two things: They’ve got to have domestic law in order to prosecute pirates and they have to have a willingness to prosecute those pirates.

If you are interested in the containment of piracy off the Horn of Africa (and other places) and in bringing captured pirates to justice, the discussion should be of interest to you. There are not many places where the legal issues facing the anti-pirate forces are so well discussed.

Some of the treaties and conventions discussed are 1958 Convention on the High Seas, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation, the Djibouti Code of Conduct and Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Posted by Mark Tempest in Foreign Policy, Maritime Security

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  • Great to be on the call with you Eagle1! I found the roundtable informative. I wanted to ask them who had newer and better equipment: the USCG or the pirates but did not want to be snarky.