The UN ought to authorize – no, REQUIRE – the world’s navies to treat pirates like the enemies of the civilized world that they are. Those big guns should be used, not just shown. Sounds like the UN needs to establish some kind of appropriate international law if one doesn’t already exist. Maybe an international court is needed, who knows? Maybe the captured pirates need to be turned over to whatever country’s interests WERE threatened. I don’t know, I don’t pretend to have a sophisticated understanding of the situation, but I just consider the current mess rather ridiculous.[/quote]
[quote=“Elegua”]Hmmm…as mention by some other posters… I was always lead to believe that admiralty law was quite specific that pirates and pirate ships can be seized. I think the execute bits been phased out. See article 106.
Of course, possibly people are a bit gunshy after the Indians blew one pirate ship away only to find that the poor Thai fisherman were still on board.[/quote]
Yep everyone is gun shy after the Indian incident. It gets dicey when trying to decide when does a Somali in those waters go from being a fisherman to a pirate. The UNCLOS deals with how to define piracy after the action has occurred. So if the Coalition forces storms the Saudi oil tanker, then they can gather up anyone left alive and try them for piracy.
What they aren’t sure about is the guys who are floating around waiting for a target. If you catch them on the way there, how do you proof they are pirates? Having lots of guns isn’t a rare thing in Somalia so that might not be a very good criterion. Perhaps they can use the boat they are in as a guide. If its a big slow fishing trawler, then it is probably not a pirate vessel. If it is a zodiac or some other speed boat that won’t work very well for fishing, they can detain them.
Article 106 is in reference to what happens when you screw up and detain someone who isn’t a pirate. You have to make amends to the state whose vessel you caused “damage” to. I guess the fate of the arrested persons depends on what country is trying them. I know some suspects have been handed over to Yemen for trial and others to Kenya.
What will be interesting in the near future is UN resolution to allow anti-piracy fight on land. We’ll see who has the political capital to allow them to destroy all those nice big homes that Somali pirates have built along the coast.