A long-standing threat to international maritime security, piracy is considered as an offence by ‘law of nations’ and subsequently codified into the law of the sea as an offence subject to universal jurisdiction. In addition, there are many international maritime crimes that threaten peace and security of the maritime domain, including terrorism, illicit trafficking in arms and weapons of massive destruction, illicit trafficking of narcotics and psychotropic substances, and smuggling and trafficking of people. Other emerging issues relate to illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, and intentional and unlawful damage to the marine environment.

CIL’s research focuses on the effectiveness and development of the international law framework to combat serious international maritime crimes, and their implementation at the regional and national levels. In January 2011, CIL organised a workshop on ‘International Maritime Crimes: Legal Issues and Prospects for Cooperation in ASEAN’.