“You don’t need a peg leg or an eye patch,” Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel. “When you ram ships; hurl glass containers of acid; drag metal-reinforced ropes in the water to damage propellers and rudders; launch smoke bombs and flares with hooks; and point high-powered lasers at other ships, you are, without a doubt, a pirate, no matter how high-minded you believe your purpose to be.”
And with that very clear explanation, the¬†9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has declared Paul Watson and his supporters pirates. ¬†
Being declared pirates on the high seas isn’t just a label, it means that the Sea Shepherd and its crew are now sitting duck without any protection from the courts.
Under a principle of international law known as the “universality principle”, a government may “exercise jurisdiction over conduct outside its territory if that conduct is universally dangerous to states and their nationals.”¬†
The rationale behind the universality principle is that states will punish certain acts “wherever they may occur as a means of protecting the global community as a whole, even absent a link between the state and the parties or the acts in question.”
Under this principle, the concept of “universal jurisdiction” applies to the crime of piracy.¬†For example, the United States has a statute (section 1651 of title 18 of the United States Code) imposing a sentence of life in prison for piracy “as defined by the law of nations” committed anywhere on the high seas, regardless of the nationality of the pirates or the victims. — Wikipedia
The Japanese Government has put a¬†military¬†vessel with armed helicopters in the area, and I for one can’t wait for the Sea Shepherd to test how serious they are.
Source: MyFox Houston