Prosecution of Pirates off Somalia: Current Problems and Perspectives for the Future

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Friday, July 1, 2011
Michael Plachta

Piracy is the original and paradigmatic universal jurisdiction crime. Universal jurisdiction for piracy is one of the oldest, clearest, and least controversial rules of international law. Indeed, piracy universal jurisdiction was the model and inspiration for its modern expansion. The genesis of this doctrine can be traced to the crime of piracy, and universal jurisdiction has primarily been developed through analogy to other crimes to piracy. It is the oldest offense that invokes the assertion of universal jurisdiction. In early days, a pirate was already considered an outlaw, a “hostis humani generis” and scholars and jurists have generally accepted the idea that universal jurisdiction over piracy has been invoked for hundreds of years...(more)...