Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day! While talk o’ pirates makes us think o’ Captain Hook and Long John Silver, piracy on t’ high seas be serious matter o’ international maritime law.
Th’ primary legal framework governin’ prevention ‘o piracy be th’ 1982 United Nations Convention on th’ Law ‘o th’ Sea (UNCLOS). Article 101 ‘o UNCLOS states:
Piracy consists of any of the following acts:
(a) any illegal acts of violence or detention, or any act of depredation, committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or a private aircraft, and directed:
(i) on the high seas, against another ship or aircraft, or against persons or property on board such ship or aircraft;
(ii) against a ship, aircraft, persons or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any State;
(b) any act of voluntary participation in the operation of a ship or of an aircraft with knowledge of facts making it a pirate ship or aircraft;
(c) any act of inciting or of intentionally facilitating an act described in subparagraph (a) or (b).
Useful online resources on th’ international law ‘o piracy include:
- Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law
- U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration
- UN International Maritime Organization
- Law Library of Congress Digital Collection of Piracy Trials
- Admiralty & Maritime Law Guide