[JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] adopted a resolution [text] Monday urging member states to make piracy a crime and establish anti-piracy courts [webcast] because of the rise in maritime piracy crime off the coast of Somalia. The request was due in part to the recent conclusion [IMB report] by the Malaysia-based International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Center [official website] that despite increased patrol, Somali pirates are intensifying their attacks [AP report]. With Somali pirates responsible for 56 percent of the 352 attacks reported this year, the Security Council hopes to increase the number of courts and prisons in Somalia and other regional States in order to increase jurisdiction and accelerate enforcement efforts. The resolution also urges a collaborative effort among states [UN News Centre report] to share evidence and information regarding piracy suspects to further an anti-piracy international community:
[The Security Council] [c]alls upon states … to cooperate in determining jurisdiction, and in the investigation and prosecution of all persons responsible for acts of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia, including anyone who incites or facilitates an act of piracy, consistent with applicable international law including human rights law; … and [to] adopt a complete set of counter-piracy laws, including laws to prosecute those who illicitly finance, plan, organize, facilitate or profit from pirate attacks, with a view to ensuring the effective prosecution of suspected pirates and those associated with piracy attacks in Somalia, the post-conviction transfer of pirates prosecuted elsewhere to Somalia, and the imprisonment of convicted pirates in Somalia, as soon as possible.
The global economy has felt a billion dollar impact [Reuters report] as a result of at least 29 vessels being hijacked and requesting multi-million-dollar ransoms. The resolution also asks UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to issue a progress report in two months regarding the prosecution of piracy suspects in Somalia.
International maritime piracy [JURIST news archive] reached an all-time high [JURIST report] early in the first quarter of 2011, according to a report [press release] released in April by the IMB. Earlier that month, the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution [JURIST report] to consider creating new laws, courts and prisons specialized to address the growing problem of piracy off the coast of Somalia. Last January, the IMB reported [JURIST report] that, to that point, 2009 marked the worst year of piracy since 2003, spiking near Somalian waters then as well. In July 2009, the IMB reported [JURIST report] that pirate attacks around the globe doubled in the first half of 2009. Few countries have been willing to prosecute suspected pirates. The few that have attempted to do so include Germany, Seychelles, the Netherlands, Mauritius, Yemen, Somalia and Spain [JURIST reports].