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Challenges to apprehension and prosecution of East African maritime pirates


  • James A. Fawcett


The coast of East Africa, the Gulf of Aden and nearby waters of the Indian Ocean stand as the most pirate-ridden area of the seas at this time and naval forces from many nations have descended upon the region to ensure the safe passage of commercial vessels; yet piracy for ransom continues. The US, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and now the European Union deploy their navies to disrupt raids, intercept and capture pirates attacking ships passing through the region. However, apprehending pirates is only effective if they can also be brought to a court capable of adjudicating their guilt. Increasingly, the captured suspects are being disarmed and released, lacking a reliable nearby littoral state to prosecute them. In this region, with few viable states either willing or capable of holding piracy trials, apprehending pirates meets only part of the challenge of abating the practise. What is needed is a court system capable of adjudicating these cases; yet a thicket of both law and custom limits the ability of seagoing states to adequately arrest and hand over to reliable prosecution high seas pirates. This article addresses the problems inherent in abating piracy by these means off the coast of East Africa.

Suggested Citation

  • James A. Fawcett, 2010. "Challenges to apprehension and prosecution of East African maritime pirates," Maritime Policy & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(7), pages 753-765, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:marpmg:v:37:y:2010:i:7:p:753-765
    DOI: 10.1080/03088839.2010.524742

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    Cited by:

    1. Paul Hallwood & Thomas J. Miceli, 2014. "Modern Maritime Piracy," Working papers 2014-01, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    2. Kuo, Szu-Yu & Lin, Pei-Chun & Lu, Chin-Shan, 2017. "The effects of dynamic capabilities, service capabilities, competitive advantage, and organizational performance in container shipping," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 356-371.
    3. Paul Hallwood & Thomas J. Miceli, 2013. "An Economic Analysis of Maritime Piracy and its Control," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(4), pages 343-359, September.

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