Piracy, international law and diplomacy: a case study of Kenyan agreements on prosecuting piracy
Maina, Paul N
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This study looks at piracy off the coast of Somalia that has riveted the world's attention since 2008 when a sudden increase in its incidences was reported. It traces piracy from the ancient times through the Middle Ages up to piracy as it manifests itself in modem day, before focusing on the Somalia piracy phenomenon. The study looks at the main Conventions dealing with piracy under the international regime, notably, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and the 1988 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA Convention) The study focuses on the subject of universal jurisdiction as key legal doctrine in providing a legal basis for states to deal with certain offences. The study traces the history of the offence of piracy as the very first in the history of man that carne under the ambit of universal jurisdiction and shows how the same concept obtains today in dealing with piracy cases. The historical basis for the application of this doctrine was that a pirate, being hostis humani generis, that is, an enemy of all mankind, was considered as having renounced his benefits and rights to an orderly society and to the protection of the state, and since he had declared 'war' on all mankind, all mankind was similarly entitled to wage war against him and punish him wherever he may be found. The study also discusses the various diplomatic and international responses to the piracy problem off the coast of Somalia. The efforts discussed include responses by individual states, regional initiatives, joint efforts at the international level and specific United Nations resolutions adopted The study also looks at Kenya's role in the fight against piracy It mainly focuses on six prosecution agreements that Kenya signed with the, United Kingdom, United States, Denmark, China, European Union and Canada on the transfer and prosecution of suspected pirates arrested in the Gulf of Aden or the west Indian Ocean. The study seeks to establish whether these agreements were in Kenya's interest, and further whether Kenya's withdrawing from the agreements had affected its diplomatic relations with the states it signed the agreements with.