Prospects for Cooperation
NUS Centre for International Law series
Edited by Robert Beckman and J. Ashley Roach
Chapter 1: The piracy regime under UNCLOS: problems and prospects for cooperation
The modern law of piracy is set out in articles 100 to 107 of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (‘UNCLOS’). The UNCLOS provisions are almost identical to articles 14 to 21 of the 1958 Convention on the High Seas, which are in turn based on articles 38 to 45 of the International Law Commission’s 1956 Draft Articles on the law of the sea. The 1956 ILC Report was based to a large extent on the 1932 draft convention prepared under the direction of Professor Joseph Bingham of Stanford University as the culmination of exhaustive research undertaken by Harvard Law School. In this chapter, I will analyse the piracy provisions in UNCLOS in their historical context in the hope of shedding some light on why the provisions are not adequate to deal with modern piracy threats such as those which occur in areas of the Somali basin. I will then analyse the practice of states in adopting national legislation on piracy. Finally, I will suggest what steps could be taken by ASEAN states to enhance their cooperation to combat piracy in the region.
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