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Part VI Emerging Areas?, Ch.49 The Use of Force Against Pirates

Douglas Guilfoyle

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Use of Force in International Law

Edited By: Marc Weller

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 23 September 2023

Piracy — Conspiracy — Exclusive economic zone — Flag state — UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) — High seas — Territorial sea — Self-defence — Armed forces — Armed conflict, non-international — Regional organizations — Terrorism — Terrorism, financing — Hostage taking — War crimes — Customary international law

This chapter examines the use of force against piracy in the context of international law, with particular reference to the pirates off Somalia. It discusses the counter-piracy activities by multinational military forces under the applicable public international law of the sea and as law enforcement operations. It also considers the issues raised by the use of force by private merchant vessels in self-defence, including the use of privately contracted armed security personnel. The chapter reviews the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the legal regime applicable at sea and ashore within Somalia itself. It also analyses the Council’s authorization of states to use ‘all necessary means to repress acts of piracy and armed robbery’ within Somalia’s territorial sea.

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