24 Minn. J. Int'l L. 1 (2015)
The Security Council's Maritime Piracy Resolutions: A Critical Assessment

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Yaron Gottlieb*

    The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has been
among the most active international actors in addressing
maritime piracy. Notably, within a relatively short timespan
(June 2008 - November 2012), it has unanimously adopted a
significant number of Resolutions dedicated entirely to the surge
in this criminal phenomenon. The piracy Resolutions are
multifaceted and contain a number of innovative aspects, at
least some of which have gone relatively unnoticed. Notably, it
is the first time that a crime of ordinary law characteristics has
been the focus of Resolutions adopted under Chapter VII of the
UN Charter. This article explores the various aspects of the
piracy Resolutions. It concludes that the linkage made in the
Resolutions to the situation in Somalia has served as a vehicle
for the UNSC to address, through Chapter VII powers, the
severe  consequences  of Somali piracy     to  international
navigation, trade, and safety upon the high seas. The article
further examines a number of shortcomings in the international
legal framework governing piracy and how the UNSC has
attempted to address them. It discusses the evolution in the
piracy Resolutions towards a holistic approach, but also
addresses the relative lack of action regarding two important -
yet controversial - counter-piracy measures: the question of
criminalizing ransom payments to pirates and the deployment
of private security guards on board commercial ships. Finally,
the article concludes by exploring the ways in which the UNSC
engaged the private sector, the authorization to enter Somali
waters, and the applicable legal paradigm    governing the
counter-piracy initiatives.

                      I. INTRODUCTION

    The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has been

PhD. candidate, University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

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