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The Legal Challenges In Fighting Piracy

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Chapter Summary

The international law on piracy is straightforward and provides all the legal authority needed to combat pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia. The real difficulties arise in national legal systems' implementation of that law and its application in individual cases. This chapter aims to sketch the legal framework and explain where problems may arise, and some of the steps that are being taken to address those problems, as well as to dispel some of the legal myths and misapprehensions that surround this field. The high seas are all waters outside any territorial sea, meaning that piracy can also be committed in states' 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zones. While the UN Security Council has passed a significant number of resolutions on Somali piracy, they do not greatly alter the existing law. In conclusion, international law provides all the necessary legal authority to suppress piracy in the Gulf of Aden.

Keywords: Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ); international law on piracy; piracy in Gulf of Aden; Somali piracy; UN Security Council



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