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Piracy News & Commentary

Difficulties in Prosecution of Pirates

A recent article in the Danish Maritime Magazine points up the difficulties of pirate prosecutions in some cases. Danish law, for example, requires a suspect to be brought before a judge within 24 hours of arrest. Although there are reasonable exceptions, the 30 days in one recent case and 40 in another are excessive, many commentators have noted. Given the circumstances--pirates are typically captured at sea, naval commanders must figure out how to handle them, jurisdictional issues must be resolved--a month does not seem excessive. Nonetheless, the wide variety of national laws has given rise to the practice of some nations putting suspected pirates ashore instead of prosecuting them.
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