Counter-piracy operations and the limits of international humanitarian law
The law and practice of piracy at sea : european and international perspectives
Oxford ; Portland : Hart, 2014
The use of military force in the context of counter-piracy operations has given rise to the question whether the laws of war, and in particular international humanitarian law, have any role to play in these operations. In providing a simple answer to this question, this chapter can simply state : no - there is, as a matter of principle, no role to play for the laws of war in counter-piracy operations. Instead, counter-piracy operations are to be understood as law enforcement activities, to the exercise of which a different set of rules applies. The chapter, however, elaborate on the applicability of international humanitarian law, on the distinction between armed conflict and law enforcement operations, on the effects of applying either body of law to counter-piracy operations and on some conclusions from the perspective of maintaining international peace and security on the on hand and global order on the other.