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In Canada, the legal loophole undermines action against Somali pirates

(BRUSSELS2) Canada has never brought Somali pirates to justice (*). And apparently that's not about to change.
It is The Canadian Press which reveals it. Having at their disposal a series of preparatory notes, obtained thanks to the Access to Information Act after a request submitted to the office of the Minister of Defense, Peter MacKay, and the commander of the navy, our colleagues emphasize that if the government Canadian federal government is campaigning for this mission – “perfect and low risk for Canada to demonstrate its military power” he explains – prosecuting the pirates is another matter. “ Although international law provides that any state can exercise jurisdiction against piracy in international waters, efforts to counter the phenomenon off the coast of Somalia continue to be hampered by a lack of authority in national laws, as well as by questions about the individuals apprehended, who are suspected of piracy and other crimes linked to these activities“, writes, in a note dated November 3, 2010, the Deputy Minister of Defense, Robert Fonberg.

A problem which still does not seem to be resolved as confirmed to our Canadian colleagues by Vice-Admiral Paul Maddison, who heads the Royal Canadian Navy. “ Different states are doing different things in this case. And I do not believe that we will be entitled to a burning desire to reach an international consensus for a new international legal regime for detentions. ».


(*) The last time a Canadian warship arrested pirates dates back to April 2009. The suspects then had to be released due to a legal vacuum

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).