Legal Challenges and Responses
Edited by Douglas Guilfoyle
Chapter 2: Piracy and armed robbery against ships in Southeast Asia
This chapter will analyze piracy and armed robbery against ships in Southeast Asia, the area of the world which had the greatest number of incidents of attacks against ships in 2000. It will first examine the nature of attacks on ships in Southeast Asia and explain that the majority of attacks are not considered ‘piracy’ under international law but rather ‘armed robbery against ships’. It will then discuss attacks on ships in Southeast Asia between 1998 and 2008. It will examine the reasons for the rise in the number of attacks between 1998 and 2004 and the measures taken by states in Southeast Asia as well as the international community to bring the number of attacks under control. It will then examine the relative increase in attacks in 2010 and 2011, including the increase in the number of incidents which would either constitute ‘piracy’ as defined in Article 101 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) or offences under the 1988 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA Convention). Finally, it will examine fundamental differences between piracy in Somalia and piracy in Southeast Asia, before focusing on the steps that should be taken by states in Southeast Asia to combat piracy and armed robbery against ships in Southeast Asia. Under UNCLOS, piracy can only be committed against ships on the high seas or in the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of states.
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