This Chapter explores the development of the “private ends” element of the international crime of piracy and its application to modern conflicts on the high seas, in which the alleged “end” of the accused group is marine conservation.
The courts were therefore acting in the role of the legislature to create new offences and, following the Law Commission Report No.
As explained in the discussion that follows, it has forestalled the elaboration of a comprehensive terrorism convention and has frustrated efforts to include terrorism as a crime within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (‘ICC’). The absence of a clear legal conception of terrorism has led to significant confusion in understanding the nature and legal consequences of terrorist violence.
Some terrorist acts have, for instance, been incorrectly characterised as ‘acts of war’. Definitional ambiguity also allows some armed conflict situations, such as the ongoing military engagement by US-led forces in Iraq, to be described in crude terms as part of the ‘war on terrorism’. Moreover without a definition of terrorism, the ubiquitous expressions ‘war on terror’ and ‘war on terrorism’ can have no more than rhetorical content and may be employed to inhibit valid dissent, de-legitimise political opponents and trample upon human rights. Various branches of international law have a bearing on international efforts to suppress terrorist violence.
Most often, Sea Shepherd employs smoke bombs, liquid-filled projectiles, and prop foulers, in its attempts to ruin whale meat on board the Japanese vessels, slow down and distract the whaling ships, and ultimately minimize the number of whales killed each season and the profits resulting from their deaths.
The “private ends” element has been judicially interpreted both narrowly, to denote “financial enrichment,” and broadly, to encompass all violent conduct on the high seas committed by nonstate actors.