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Northwestern Expert Comments on Piracy Problem

Eugene Kontorovich comments on the failure of international cooperation to address the piracy spike off the coast of Somalia.

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November 25, 2008 | by Pat Vaughan Tremmel

Eugene Kontorovich comments on piracy off the East African coast.

CHICAGO --- Eugene Kontorovich, associate professor, Northwestern University School of Law, comments on the failure of international cooperation to address the piracy spike off the coast of Somalia. He points to international legal rules governing piracy and maritime operations that could be used in the present circumstances.

"Universal jurisdiction has been around for 400 years and is much less controversial in relation to piracy than, say, to war crimes," Kontorovich said. "Everyone agrees that any country can prosecute these people. Yet, today international law seems incapable of dealing with the basic problem of piracy."

It doesn't need to be that way, according to Kontorovich.

"When you're thinking of a solution to piracy, you don't need to make up anything from scratch," he said. "We have a lot of history and practice to draw from. There are ways to deal with piracy that are not completely consistent with what we are doing today."
Topics: Opinion, Research