Upping the stakes to win the war against Somali piracy : justifications for a new strategy based on international humanitarian law
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George Mason law review, Vol. 22, issue 2, Winter 2015, p. 387-437
Part I of this comment gives an overview of the history of piracy, showing how pirates were seen as military enemies, not just criminals. It also explains the origin of the phrase “hostis humani generis” and how states have historically treated pirates. Part II discusses changes in international law that switched pirates’ status from military enemies to civilian criminals, but Part II also shows how piracy remained unique within international law. Part III traces the rise of Somali piracy in the twenty-first century and highlights some difficulties nations have encountered when trying to combat Somali piracy. Finally, Part IV argues that pirates may appropriately be defined as combatants and that states may wage war against pirates, their equipment, and infrastructure both on land and at sea.