Prosecuting Pirates: Maritime Piracy and Indonesian Law

Adam, J. Fenton, Ioannis Chapsos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Acts of maritime piracy continue to occur in Southeast Asia. These attacks represent a continuing threat to sea-based trade in a region which is vitally important to global shipping. While piracy is defined under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) this convention does not set out a legal regime for prosecuting pirates, nor does it give guidance on sentencing, or even require states to enact a piracy law. This means that it is the prosecuting state’s right and responsibility to determine the laws and sentences that apply in cases of piracy brought before its courts. Indonesia does not have an Anti-Piracy Law, and as a result, pirates prosecuted in Indonesian courts are charged under specific sections of the Criminal Code instead. This state-by-state approach has led to wide discrepancies in the sentences handed down to pirates in the region. This article takes account of international law and domestic Indonesian legislation as it relates to piracy. It gives detailed attention to Indonesia’s ‘anti-piracy’ provisions, and provides a unique, new insight on how Indonesia’s judicial system treats the perpetrators by examining the court documents in a number of separate piracy cases. The authors conclude that sentences imposed by Indonesian courts are overly lenient compared with those from neighbouring countries, such as for example Malaysia and Singapore, and they suggest that Indonesia’s anti-piracy legal regime would be boosted by enacting a Piracy Law.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Number of pages16
JournalAustralian Journal of Asian Law
Volume19
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2019

Keywords

  • Maritime security
  • maritime piracy
  • ASEAN
  • UNCLOS
  • Indonesia
  • Indonesian Law
  • Transnational Organized crime
  • prosecution
  • sentencing

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  • Activities

    • 1 Invited talk

    Maritime Challenges & Blue Economy Opportunities

    Ioannis Chapsos (Speaker)
    28 Nov 2017

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

    Research Output

    Illegal Fishing and Fisheries Crime as a Transnational Organized Crime in Indonesia

    Chapsos, I. & Hamilton, S., 15 Sep 2019, In : Trends in Organized Crime. 22, 3, p. 255-273 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    File
  • 7 Citations (Scopus)
    296 Downloads (Pure)

    Maritime security in Indonesia: Towards a comprehensive agenda?

    Chapsos, I. & Malcolm, J. A., Feb 2017, In : Marine Policy. 76, p. 178–184

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    File
  • 12 Citations (Scopus)
    208 Downloads (Pure)

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