Legal Research Blog


Pirating: Acts of Terror

A new generation of pirates has emerged, threatening trade and disturbing the world’s navies successfully. Armed with grenade launchers and assault rifles, pirates in the Gulf of Aden are currently holding 13 vessels. It is a story that keeps re-emerging – This spring, a German Navy warship, Emden, encountered pirate vessels attacking a Japanese tanker. Emden was not allowed to intervene with the attack, as the act of piracy is not legally deemed terrorism.

The legal community is plagued by the following question, ‘Are pirates considered terrorists, or a small army?’ The confusion over the answer directly affects what happens to these pirates once they are caught by navies.  Theoretically, any nation may prosecute pirates, but many choose to ignore the attacks because of the potential strain to a country’s legal system. Furthermore, because Somalia has not had a recognized government since the early 1990s, captured ship owners are quick to pay the ransom because help may never arrive. 

There are many similarities between terrorism and pirating: Pirates, like terrorists, threaten the international community, disassociate themselves from governments and participate in acts of homicide and destruction. Some suggest that because of these similarities, the United States and the international community should adopt a shared legal definition that would recognize the link between piracy and terrorism. This recognition would take the form of an act of Congress or, a new jurisdiction for piracy and terrorism cases at the International Criminal Court.

Lawdable Quotes: Lucretius (Titus Lucretius Carus)

Such crimes has superstition caused.

~ Lucretius (Titus Lucretius Carus)

Lawdable Quotes:Lucretius (Titus Lucretius Carus)

All things obey fixed laws.
 ~ Lucretius (Titus Lucretius Carus)

Lawdable Quotes: Aeschylus

The laws of a state change with the changing times.
~ Aeschylus

Michigan Legalizes Medicinal Marijuana

A recently-approved Michigan law allows patients with HIV, AIDS, cancer, glaucoma and other diseases to use marijuana for medicinal purposes on a doctor’s recommendation. Once registered with the state, qualifying patients will receive ID cards, which will allow them to legally acquire, possess, transport and even grow up to  2.5 ounces of marijuana. But, possession of marijuana will not be legalized for medicinal purposes until the Department of Community Health introduces application and fee guidelines. The expected date for these guidelines is April 4, 2009. Until then, anyone possessing marijuana – for any purpose – can be arrested and prosecuted. However, the new law allows patients to use a medical-justification defense at trial.

Source: Fox News