Will the United States Play a Role in Prosecuting Pirate “Kingpins?”

Somalia has no trouble producing pirates. Between a central government that controls little beyond the capitol city of Mogadishu, an utter lack of economic opportunity for young men, and a 3,025 mile long coastline with access to the world’s busiest shipping corridors, for every Somali pirate captured at sea, there are many more waiting to … Read more

The Enrica Lexie and Unintentional Terrorism

Cross-posted at piracy-law.com An interesting exchange took place at the High Court of Kerala on Friday between presiding Justice PS Gopinathan and VJ Matthew, counsel for the owner of the Enrica Lexie. Regardless of the level of significance one attributes to Justice Gopinathan’s remarks, the dialogue sheds light on the tension and deep mistrust surrounding … Read more

Revisiting jurisdiction over the Enrica Lexie incident

In my last post about the Enrica Lexie incident, I stated that under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Italy had excusive jurisdiction over the Italian military personnel who allegedly killed two Indian fishermen mistaking them for pirates. Roger Philips at Communis Hostis Omnium rightly pointed out that the Convention … Read more

Armed Maritime Security and the Enrica Lexie

A dramatic story of death at sea has recently ignited both the Indian and Italian press. The story has yet to reach the United States, but it has all the makings of a headline-maker. Two Italian military personnel, operating as armed guards aboard the merchant vessel Enrica Lexie, are being investigated for the murder of … Read more

New Report Says Bahrain “Trials” Violate International Law

A report released today by the Ved Nanda Center for International and Comparative Law found that the government of Bahrain is continuing to prosecute civil society leaders in violation of international law and the recommendations of a government-appointed human rights commission.  The trial of human rights attorney, Mohammad al-Tajer, is scheduled for February 7th while … Read more

Subjecting Video Games to IHL: Big Waste of Time or Biggest Waste of Time Ever?

Isn't this a UNESCO World Heratige Site?

Despite the fact that I am a law student with an Evidence final tomorrow, I had to take a minute and write about a development that would be hilarious if it were not so damaging.  At the 31st International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in Geneva, members of the ICRC discussed whether … Read more

Ed Luck is Wrong When He Says that R2P is Purely Political

Edward Luck

Edward C. Luck, United Nations Assistant Secretary General, spoke at the Sutton Colloquium about the responsibility to protect and the effect of the Arab Spring on R2P.  A central theme of Professor Luck’s discourse was that R2P is a political, as opposed to a legal, concept.  With all due respect to Professor Luck, whose work’s … Read more

Part 6: Mianzi, Chinese Perspectives and Chinese Practice

Old and New China

Upon reflection, two divergent themes emerged from Judge Xue’s lectures.  Much of what she said made me realize that Western apprehension over China’s rapid ascension is somewhat misplaced and that the Chinese government is serious about using its power to improve the lives of its people.  It gave me confidence that China is likely to … Read more

Chinese Perspectives Part 5: Human Rights

Protester in China

Like sustainable development, Chinese promotion of human rights is seen as both a cause and a process – one that should be pursued at all times, but with an incremental approach resulting in changes that will be slow in coming.  In the past three decades, China’s process of opening up has lifted 300 million people … Read more

Chinese Perspectives Part 4: Sustainable Development

Beijing Cityscape

One of the most frequently levied criticisms made against China is that its development, while economically impressive, is environmentally disastrous.  Judge Xue addressed this criticism directly by providing the demographic and economic context underlying China’s development, briefly outlining China’s history as it relates to sustainable development, and arguing that the Chinese government is indeed actively … Read more