Piracy and International Maritime Crimes in ASEAN
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Piracy and International Maritime Crimes in ASEAN

Prospects for Cooperation

  • NUS Centre for International Law series

Edited by Robert Beckman and J. Ashley Roach

Southeast Asian waters are critical for international trade and the global economy. Combating maritime crimes has always been a priority as well as a challenge for ASEAN member states. While much emphasis has been placed on enhancing operational cooperation against maritime crimes, the need for an effective legal framework to combat such maritime crimes has not been sufficiently examined. This book demonstrates that ASEAN member states can establish a legal framework to combat maritime crimes by ratifying and effectively implementing relevant global and regional conventions. It also explores the issues that ASEAN member states, and ASEAN as an organization, face in establishing such a framework and suggests suitable steps that can be taken to address such issues.
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Chapter 3: Controlling piracy in Southeast Asia – thinking outside the box

Nikos Passas and Anamika Twyman- Ghoshal

Extract

At a basic level, piracy (like all crimes) is caused by illicit opportunity structures, motivations to take advantage of such opportunities and social control weaknesses, all of which are affected by the globalization processes. Therefore piracy control strategists would do well to focus on these processes – which not only create attractive targets but have also aggravated disparities between societies and peoples – and on the protection of vulnerable locations through efforts to improve governance. Governance is understood broadly as the set of norms, processes and institutions through which diverse interests emerge, are articulated and acted out, and through which conflicts of interests are addressed or resolved in a given social group or community. The most common contributing factor suggested in the literature on piracy is opportunity. The concept of opportunity refers to several elements, ranging from favorable geography (for example, narrow waterways and the availability of hideouts), busy shipping routes with convenient and plentiful targets, to limited control capacity, access to weapons, as well as legal and jurisdictional weaknesses.

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