The Human Rights of Sea Pirates: Will the European Court of Human Rights Decisions Get More Killed?


The tide of piracy off the coast of Somalia has ebbed according to recent statistics. Perhaps it is just in time. Three decisions involving pirates, who were found to be deprived of their human rights by the European Court of Human Rights, Mauritius and a Danish law, are rather troubling in at least two different ways: (1) These decisions set pirates free after they were brought to justice; and (2), which is more problematic, pirates may now be subject to summary execution because of frustrated governments and innocent seafarers. This Article will explore these three recent decisions and then put them into context with (a) what has been happening historically with sea piracy off the coast of Somalia (an 1,800-mile coastline); and (b) the reason for the current decline in the number of acts of piracy off the coast of Somalia. A recommendation will be made concerning the trying of pirates aboard a United Nations sanctioned vessel. The question is whether any country will want to go through the time and expense of bringing these pirates back to their homelands for justice. A further question is whether more pirates will be killed as a result of these decisions.


Piracy, European Court of Human Rights, Liberty, Somalia, Human Rights



Barry Hart Dubner (Barry University)
Brian Otero (Barry University)



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