Law of the Sea

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After a Brief Hiatus, Kenya Once Again Has Universal Jurisdiction Over Pirates

 Jon Bellish is a Project Officer at the Oceans Beyond Piracy project just outside Denver, Colorado, though the views expressed are solely those of the author. You can follow him on Twitter. On October 18, the Kenyan Court of Appeal in Nairobi handed down a pivotal decision in In re Mohamud Mohammed Hashi, et al. It held that Kenya has jurisdiction to try piracy suspects whose alleged acts occurred beyond the country’s territorial waters. Due to Kenya’s central role in the emerging global network of piracy prosecutions, the Court’s ruling in Hashi will have positive implications both within and outside of Kenya. The Court of Appeal decision overturns a ruling from the High Court of Mombasa, which concluded that, “[Kenyan] Courts can only deal with offences or criminal incidents that take place within the territorial jurisdiction of Kenya.” For an excellent analysis of the lower court’s decision, I would point readers to this post on Communis Hostis Omnium.

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Breaking News from 1932: Pirate Facilitators Must Be Physically Present on the High Seas

Jon Bellish is a Project Officer at the Oceans Beyond Piracy project outside Denver, Colorado (though all of his views are his own). He has experience in United States piracy trials and just got on Twitter. In the two years since the United States Justice Department began prosecuting Somalis for their alleged roles as…

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Oil exploration around the Falklands (Malvinas)

In June, I looked at the longstanding sovereignty dispute over the Falklands Islands (Malvinas) on the occasion of the 30-year anniversary of the 1982 war. I revisit this topic today to examine the question of investor protection in areas where sovereignty is disputed, taking the Falklands (Malvinas) as an example. The promise of an oil boom in the South Atlantic…

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Committing Piracy on Dry Land: Liability for Facilitating Piracy

An important case before US Courts at present is US v Ali, where the defendant is accused of, among other offences, aiding and abetting piracy by acting as an interpreter. (See the ruling on a preliminary motion here.) The case clearly has implications for other facilitators of piracy, such as financiers and the bosses of pirate gangs.

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The ‘left-to-die boat’: whose responsibility for the death of 63 migrants in the Mediterranean?

 Francesco Messineo is lecturer at Kent Law School, Canterbury. Given the relative lack of media hype (with notable exceptions, see also here), readers may have missed the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly’s scathing report on the ‘left-to-die boat’ in the Mediterranean. On 27 March 2011, during the UN-authorized NATO military operations in Libya (see…

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