Maritime piracy : a critical analysis of current prosecutorial challenges and shortcomings of international and domestic law.
Modern maritime piracy is cause for major concern around the world. Although there have been preventative measures deployed by maritime nations to counter the crime, there is a need to develop an efficient regime to prosecute pirates. The general modus operandi that is employed by arresting-vessels is a 'catch-and-release' procedure, which means that there are no further steps taken to bring these pirates to account for their crimes. The purpose of this dissertation is to analyse the main challenges that face domestic judicial systems in prosecuting pirates of the high seas. Chapter 1 of this Dissertation sets out the parameters of the study, followed by Chapter 2 which will detail current international instruments that specifically relate to the crime of maritime piracy. This would include an examination of the successes and shortcomings of the piracy provisions of UNCLOS Articles 1 00 - 107, the recent UNSC Resolutions, SUA, and the IMO as well as discuss the 1MB PRC and other Regional Agreements in place to counter piracy and provide for the successful prosecution of suspected pirates. Chapter 3 will focus on the prosecutorial problems dealing with the crime of piracy that face judicial bodies around the world. The Chapter will highlight and discuss the various political and human rights issues that have discouraged the majority of states from prosecuting suspected offenders of this crime, as well as their reluctance to exercise universal jurisdiction over piracy. In addition, the recent Kenyan ad hoc piracy tribunal decisions will be discussed in order to assess the lack of uniformity in the interpretation and application of international law piracy provisions as against domestic law. Chapter 4 examines the South African Law and Policies in place that counterpiracy, and also considers whether South Africa could exercise jurisdiction over piratical matters. Thereafter, Chapter 5 proposes recommendations that may be employed in order to bring about a much needed uniform approach to the successful prosecution of suspected pirates. Lastly, Chapter 6, shall comment and conclude on the findings of the previous chapters.