Ahoy Matey!

September 22, 2011

Piracy is taking center stage in the legal arena as the international community has seen a spike in the number of attacks in international waters, especially at the hands of Somali trials, over the last few years. The economic losses due to piracy continue to skyrocket, as well. The Foreign and International section of the library seeks to draw attention to this issue through our latest display on Level 1.

Article 101 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) defines what constitutes an act of piracy. Signed in 1982 and entered into force in 1994, this international agreement updated the widely-accepted notion of “freedom of the sea” that had been in place since the 17th century.

This issue is not confined to international agreements. The recent attack by Somali pirates on the U.S. Maersk Alabama was resolved via a plea deal in U.S. courts.  Fiona Doherty, who is currently a Visiting Associate Clinical Professor at Yale Law School, represented the defendent.

Piracy is nothing new, of course. The display features one of the first books written on pirates, published out of Hartford in 1886. Ezra Strong's The History of the Lives and Bloody Exploits of the Most Noted Pirates: their Trials and Executions comes to us from the Rare Books Collection.

Numerous books have been written on the exploits of modern piracy, as well. Check out some of these fascinating titles:

For information related to international and legal policy:

On a lighter note, September 19 is celebrated as Talk Like a Pirate Day. Cast away to Level 1 (L1) of the library to check out a treasure chest of fascinating materials in the Foreign and International display case. You'll be hooked!

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