The headline would have one believe a prosecutor failed to make a case. The facts are worse. The complete article is worth a read, but the following frames the dilemma. Basically, for want of will no prosecution was even attempted. [The reasons may have been valid, but the optics don’t bode well for solving the problem.]
- Once suspected pirates are detained, and as EU NAVFOR has no authority to prosecute suspected pirates, it has to seek a State willing to prosecute them.
- According to international law (and relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions) concerning piracy, all States have jurisdiction to prosecute persons suspected to be involved in piracy.
- According to article 105 of the United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the State that seized the suspected pirates has the right to prosecute them.
- If this State doesn’t want to prosecute the suspected pirates, other States will be asked to consider the case.
- In general, the Flag State of the attacked or pirated vessel is the next State to be contacted. Other States that could be asked to prosecute the suspected pirates are States who’s nationality the crew members are from, the State the shipping company is from or any other State that has a national link to the case.
- EU NAVFOR will also contact States with which EU NAVFOR has an agreement to accept piracy cases.
- EU NAVFOR will only contact a State for a transfer of suspected pirates if that State complies with certain standards of human rights (like the absence of the death penalty or corporal punishment). If the State in question has the death penalty or corporal punishment in its legislation, EU NAVFOR will, before any transfer is made, seek for assurances that these will not be applied to the suspected pirates. “