Piracy and Legal Issues: Reconciling Public and Private Interests

1 October 2009 - 12:00am to 2 October 2009 - 12:00am

Chatham House, London


Professor Rudiger Wolfrum, Judge of ITLOS and Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law;
Ronny Govinden, Attorney General of the Seychelles;
Dr Agustin Blanco-Bazan, International Maritime Organisation;
Dr Aldo Zammit-Borda, Editor, Commonwealth Law Review;
Elizabeth Wilmshurst CMG, Chatham House Associate Fellow;
Commander Andy Murdoch, Legal Services, Royal Navy;
Captain J Ashley Roach, JAGC, USN (retired);
Boma Ozobia, Sterling Partnership;
Commander James Kraska, US Naval War College;
Dr Douglas Guilfoyle, Lecturer, University College London;
Stephen Askins, Partner, Ince & co.;
Michael Duthie, UNODC;
Martin Bridger, former Chief Superintendent Metropolitan Police;
Robert Quick, former Head Counter-terrorism Metropolitan Police;
Katharine Shepherd, Legal Advisor, FCO;
Tim Daniel, Partner, Edwards Angell Palmer and Dodge;
Alan Bacarese, Basel Institute on Governance;
Giles Noakes, BIMCO;
Simon Jones, Trinton;
Godfrey Musila, ISS Africa;
Arvinder Sambei, Amicus Legal Consultants;
Simon Davis, Ex-Metropolitan Police



Piracy off the Somali and West African coasts, and in South East Asia, continues to be a serious problem. Different actors - including governments, navies, ship owners and ship operators - have different interests in dealing with the problem.

The conference will consider the legal constraints applicable to these different actors and seeks to give a voice to, and reconcile, the sometimes conflicting interests of governments and the commercial sector.

The legal issues covered by the conference include:

  • the international legal framework
  • the responsibilities and rights of navies and the use of force
  • shipriders; rights and responsibilities
  • detention and prosecution of pirates
  • the Human Rights obligations of governments
  • legal constraints on owners, operators and insurers including the payment of ransoms
  • legal liabilities regarding the provision of private security
  • the distinction between piracy and terrorism
  • regional and international co-operation
  • the tracing of assets, including legal implications for governments and the international community