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Prof. Zou Keyuan, Harris Chair in International Law, Lancashire Law School, University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom   "...International law has established an obligation on States to cooperate in suppression of piracy and grants States certain rights to seize pirate ships and criminals. According to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOS Convention), all the countries have the obligation to “cooperate to the fullest possible extent in the repression of piracy on the high seas or in any other place outside the jurisdiction of any State", and “every State may seize a pirate ship or aircraft, or a ship or aircraft taken by piracy and under the control of pirates, and arrest the persons and seize the property on board".     However, the definition on piracy in the LOS Convention only applies to this international crime on the high seas or areas beyond the jurisdiction of any state, thus limiting its application to similar criminal acts in the territorial seas and maritime areas close to the coasts. Having realized that many piratical incidents did occur in the waters of national jurisdiction, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) developed a functional definition for the crackdown on piracy: while detaining the meaning of the LOS Convention definition on piracy, the IMO definition has been added “armed robbery against ships”, which has become a most popular applicable definition for the purpose of anti-piracy operations. This definition has now been accepted by the United Nations Security Council as well as incorporated into the 2004 Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP). As a result, there are now in fact two definitions in international law: one is contained in the LOS Convention while the other in the ReCAAP. Though both legally defined, their applicability is different: while the former limits its applicability to the high seas, the latter applies to all sea areas whether national or international. However, it is to be noted that in comparison with the LOS Convention, the ReCAAP is only a regional agreement applicable to the Asian region..."
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