A UN court system for Somali pirates: adequate deterrence, or costly ineffective mistake?

Caldwell, R. Graham (2012) A UN court system for Somali pirates: adequate deterrence, or costly ineffective mistake? In, Athens Institute for Education and Research 9th Annual International Conference on Law, Athens, GR, 16 - 19 Jul 2012.


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On the 26th July, 2010 the UNSC released the proposals for bringing justice to the prolific problem of Somali piracy. In the years subsequent to the 1991 fall of the Somali government, failed attempts at federalism and “Transitional Governments” have left the waters of the Gulf of Aden, and now over a thousand nautical miles into the Indian Ocean, a lawless haven for pirates. Ineffectual governance, corruption and the willingness of commercial interests to accept the “capture-ransom-release” status quo has led to a perfect climate for these men to act with impunity. However, in light of the difficulties faced by Somalia, is a court system the answer and what problems will it create for EU member states (or indeed ant signatory to the ECHR), such as the UK, when it comes to enforcement?

It is submitted that without a means by which to arrest and detain pirates they are often released to carry on as before, sometimes more efficiently due to their gained experience, which further exacerbates the problem. For that reason a court system, dedicated to piracy, is attractive. What may not have been properly considered are the problems related to transfer, detention and repatriation within Somalia, for EU member states? Recent decisions from the European Court of Human Rights suggest that member states may well have difficulty in resisting challenges, by captured pirates, when attempting to surrender them to Somali justice. That is to say little of the problems of corruption and instability within Somalia.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
J Political Science > JX International law
Divisions : Faculty of Business and Law > Southampton Law School
ePrint ID: 345976
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
17 July 2012Delivered
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2012 15:14
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 14:38
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/345976

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