Publication Details

A. Amri, 'Southeast Asia's maritime piracy: challenges, legal instruments and a way forward' (2014) 6 (3) Australian Journal of Maritime and Ocean Affairs 154-169.


Piracy is considered a critical maritime security threat in Southeast Asia. Whilst piracy has always been a perennial problem in the region, this threat has received increasing attention over the past few years. Reports published by the International Maritime Organization as well as the International Maritime Bureau show an alarming increase in acts of piracy on Southeast Asian waters over the past decade. In ancient times, the main drivers of piracy were raiding for plunder and capture of slaves; however, in modern times, developments in politics, economics and even military technology have drastically altered the universal crime of piracy. There are a variety of motives behind modern day piracy including economic gains from receiving ransoms from governments or shipping companies, political and even terrorist reasons. However, it cannot be denied that piratical attacks persist and continue. Efforts are being taken by States at the international as well as regional level to combat piracy. At the international level, piracy is addressed in several legal frameworks. The primary legal framework is contained in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which allows Member States to address piracy in their national legislation. At the regional level, measures taken in order to fight piracy include the adoption of the ASEAN Declaration on the Prevention and Control of Transnational Crime, which includes piracy as a transnational crime. This paper will examine the adequacy of legal frameworks at both the international and regional levels in order to address the current legal measures for combating piracy. Furthermore, it will discuss current challenges in the implementation of anti-piracy measures at the international and regional levels.



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