Proportional Use of Force « Neptunus Lex

A US Navy helicopter crew fired on a Somali skiff engaged in piracy, apparently killing all four pirates:

via Proportional Use of Force « Neptunus Lex.

It would appear either that there’s been a very quiet change in the Rules of Engagement regarding piracy, or the crew of the helicopter went a bit off reservation.

But for years, I’ve been saying, we don’t have a piracy problem, we have an ROE problem. Up until very, very recently, piracy off the coast of Somalia has been a relatively risk free enterprise. So many people have been focused on the “international law” problem of what to do with captured pirates that the massive multinational effort to suppress it has accomplished very little.

The irony here is that one of the very first driving forces behind international law was the suppression of piracy. And the universal punishment was death.

2 thoughts on “Proportional Use of Force « Neptunus Lex”

  1. Pira.tes are “Latroncunae”, Enemiies of All Mankind. It has been understood for millennia that they are to be killed on sight. As noted, that is the base for international law.

  2. Pirates and terrorists have no standing before the law or any claims under it. They have always been considered general enemies of humanity and death upon capture was what they deserved.

    British Admiralty Courts tried pirates and were executed by the Admiralty at a gallows erected below the high tide line. At Execution Dock, London, the pirate was hung and tide was allowed to wash over the corpse for one cycle, after which the body was then disposed of. Often, the body was ordered hung in chains as a “horrible example” to teh rest.

    As Rooster Cogburn put it, “they were given a fair trial and fine hanging.”

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