The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established to prosecute crimes that “threaten the peace, security and well-being of the world”. Maritime piracy has a long history as a threat to international security and was in fact the first international crime. Yet piracy was excluded from the Rome Statute. In the years since the drafting of the Rome Statute, piracy has increased dramatically to become more like the threat it was in the “Golden Age of Piracy”. Criminal accountability for piracy has been minimal, due to logistical and jurisdictional difficulties. This paper offers an analysis of the potential of the ICC for prosecuting pirates: why it should be considered as a potential forum for ensuring criminal accountability for piracy, how piracy fits within the ICC's jurisdiction, and whether or not piracy should be added to the Rome Statute as a stand-alone crime or under the rubric of crimes against humanity.
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