Piratenjagd im Golf von Aden - 10.1628/000389110792016562 - Mohr Siebeck

Stephanie Schiedermair

Piratenjagd im Golf von Aden

Volume 135 () / Issue 2, pp. 185-220 (36)

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Piracy is as old as maritime trade itself. In Roman times pirates were al ready a constant threat to the Empire. In the 1st century B. C. the famous Roman politician and philosopher Cicero already called pirates enemies of mankind. Beyond the Mediterranean Sea piracy was also thriving in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, reaching a peak in the 14th century. When the New World was discovered, piracy spread to the Caribbean. In the 20th century a new hot spot of piracy developed in the Gulf of Aden particularly off the coast of Somalia. Since Somalia is a failed state without a functioning government, the territorial waters along its coast are not supervised. This makes it easy for pirates to operate either from the mainland shore or by using a speedboat from a parent ship close to the coast. A lucrative piracy industry has sprung up, fuelled by millions of dollars of ransom money paid by ship owners. International law has always responded to the challenge piracy poses to worldwide trade. Maritime law encourages the prosecution of piracy although pirates nowadays are protected by international humanitarian law. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea not only provides a definition of piracy but obliges states to cooperate in fighting piracy. The United Nations Security Council supports the community of states in their fight against piracy. In Resolution 1816 the Security Council notes that the situation in the Gulf of Aden poses a threat to international peace. The Resolution therefore enables states to enter the territorial waters of Somalia in pursuit of pirates. On this legal basis the European Union's mission Atalanta operates against pirates in the Gulf of Aden. But what happens if a pirate has been captured? In the case of Somalia it is pointless to extradite pirates to Somalia since there is no government that will prosecute them. The European Union therefore has made an agreement with neighbouring Kenia for pirates to stand trial in its courts. Pirates could also be sent to an international tribunal, but at present it seems unlikely that states will agree to this. The German Navy takes part in Atalanta. Art. 24 II of the German Constitution permits the use of military force if the operation as a whole is carried out by a system of collective security such as the United Nations. On the basis of Resolution 1816 the engagement of the German Navy in the Gulf of Aden complies with the German Constitution, although some doubts remain. Since international law has always condemned piracy the engagement of the European Union and other states in the Gulf of Aden follows a traditional mandate of international law.

Stephanie Schiedermair Geboren 1977; Studium der Rechtswissenschaften, Germanistik, Politikwissenschaften, Geschichte; 2004 Promotion; 2012 Habilitation; seit 2007 Akademische Rätin a. Z. an der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz; seit 2008 Dozentin im Weiterbildungsstudiengang Medienrecht des Mainzer Medieninstituts.