What explains the differences in response by the international community to the issues of state failure, illegal fishing, hazardous waste dumping and piracy off the coast of Somalia?
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Laws
In the last decade of the 20th Century Somalia made the headlines around the world as the place where a UN force had been withdrawn from due to losses inflicted on US and other troops by members of groups associated with two warlords. In the latter part of the first decade of the 21st Century Somalia was again in the global headlines, but this time associated with acts of piracy committed off its coastline. Behind these headlines lay a complex mixture of problems stretching back as far as the early colonisation of the lands that became Somalia and populated with western European concepts ill suited to the peoples of those lands. The loss of effective government opened the door to neo colonial issues of illegal fishing and hazardous waste dumping that contributed to the piracy problem. Finely interwoven amongst all these issues runs a thread of international law. This thesis examines that thread as it runs through the concept of state failure and asks if it is a legal term and what legal consequences, if any, are attached to it. It examines the international legal frameworks that support fishing and hazardous waste dumping and seeks to understand why they have not prevented illegal fishing and the illegal dumping of hazardous waste off the coast of Somalia. This thesis then examines the concept of piracy as applied to Somalian pirates and seeks answers to questions as to what it is and how it has been applied. It looks at the use of private security as a response and seeks to find the legitimation for their actions in relation to pirates. Sewn throughout is a comparison of responses and suggestions for improvement to international law.