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The Law and Practice of Piracy at Sea

European and International Perspectives

Editor(s): Panos Koutrakos, Achilles Skordas
Media of The Law and Practice of Piracy at Sea
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Published: 01-12-2014
Format: EPUB eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 376
ISBN: 9781782252702
Imprint: Hart Publishing
RRP: £25.19
Online price : £20.15
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Loren Epson

About The Law and Practice of Piracy at Sea

This collection of essays provides a comprehensive assessment of the legal and policy approaches to maritime counter-piracy adopted by the EU and other international actors over the last few years. As the financial cost of Somali piracy for the maritime industry and the world economy as a whole was estimated to have reached $18 billion by 2010, the phenomenon of piracy at sea has steadily grown in significance and has recently attracted the attention of international policy makers. Moreover, piracy is intrinsically linked to state failure and other pathologies bred by it, such as organised crime and terrorism.

This book adopts a holistic approach to the topic, examining approaches to piracy as these emerge in different geographical areas, as well as tackling the central issues which counter-piracy raises in terms of the most topical aspects of international law (international humanitarian law and armed conflict, piracy and terrorism, use of force). It also focuses on the approach of the EU, placing counter-piracy in its broader legal context. Providing a detailed doctrinal exploration of the issues which counter-piracy raises, it emphasises and draws upon the insights of the practice of counter-piracy by bringing together academic lawyers and the legal advisers of the main actors in the area (EU, US, NATO, UK).
The book raises fundamental questions about the law and practice of international law: are the rules of the international law of the sea on piracy still relevant? To what extent has the shared interest of international actors in tackling piracy given rise to common practices? Do the interactions among the actors examined in the book suggest fragmentation or unity of the international legal order? Is it premature to view these interactions as signalling the gradual emergence of global law in the area? This common analytical frame of reference is underlined by the concluding part, which draws these threads together.

The book will be of interest to legal scholars, political scientists and international relations theorists, as well as decision-makers and students of law, politics and international relations.

Table Of Contents

Panos Koutrakos and Achilles Skordas

Part I: Piracy and International Norms
1 The Piracy Provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea- Fit for Purpose?
Robin Churchill
2 Piracy and Terrorism
Douglas Guilfoyle
3 Piracy and the Use of Force
Alexander Proelss
4 Counter-piracy Operations and the Limits of International Humanitarian Law
Thilo Marauhn

Part II: National, Regional and International Approaches
5 The European Union's Comprehensive Approach to Combating Piracy at Sea: Legal Aspects
Ricardo Gosalbo-Bono and Sonja Boelaert
6 Transfer Agreements for Pirates Concluded by the EU-a Case Study on the Human Rights Accountability of the Common Security and Defence Policy
Daniel Thym
7 Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia: A NATO Perspective
Peter M Olson
8 International Law and US Responses to Piracy off the Coast of Somalia
Gabriel Swiney
9 Piracy and the UK
Andrew Murdoch
10 Fighting Piracy-The German Perspective
Doris König and Tim René Salomon
11 Piracy and the East African Region
Edwin Egede
12 Alternative Approaches to Piracy and Armed Robbery in Southeast Asian Waters and off the Horn of Africa: A Comparative Perspective
David M Ong

Part III: Rethinking the Main Tenets of Counter-piracy Approaches
13 The Dark Side of Counter-piracy Policies
Achilles Skordas
14 Piracy in Global Law and Global Governance
Jan Klabbers
15 Piracy and the Development of International Law
Malcolm D Evans and Sofi a Galani


“… an excellent contribution to the existing academic literature on maritime piracy…some of the book's chapters address issues of regional and national counter-piracy law and policy, which have not been comprehensively discussed by any previously published piracy materials…the book is extremely thorough and provides an excellent overall picture of the problems linked to the recent rise of maritime piracy. Its general comprehensiveness – the fact that it addresses most relevant topics of international law related to piracy, and that it also provides a unique level of detail about various regional and national counter-piracy approaches – transforms this book from a mediocre contribution to the existing literature on maritime piracy to a stellar discussion of existing anti-piracy efforts. Anyone wishing to learn more about the global problem of maritime piracy would benefit from reading this book.” –  Milena Sterio, ASIL Cables (the online daily reporter of the American Society of International Law)

“These works of high scholarship provoke serious thought on neglected subjects.” –  A.G Noorani, Frontline Magazine, October 31 2014 (review of this work and 'The Interception of Vessels on the High Seas'

“...this is a handsomely produced and timely book, which brings analysis of the law of piracy fully up to date, incorporating the wealth of experience gained in combating Somali pirates over recent years. It represents a useful reference volume and is recommended.” –  Dr Chris Rahman, Australian and New Zealand Maritime Law Journal

“[This book] stimulates the reader's thoughts and critically addresses various legal issues related to maritime policy. It will undoubtedly become a reference book on the subject.” –  Roberto Virzo, Common Market Law Review

“The introduction to this collection (...) indicates that its aim is to "provide a comprehensive assessment of the legal and policy issues pertaining to the maritime counter-piracy approaches" over the last few years. (...) the volume more particularly seeks to re-evaluate the practices and policies adopted internationally, and particularly in the European Union (EU).” –  Ocean Yearbook Vol 30

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