Civil Law

A Panoramic Definition of Piracy under the SPOMO Act: Matters Arising

This paper has shown that having a comprehensive definition of piracy, as exemplified by the SPOMO Act, is significant in curbing piracy because piracy is a complex crime that requires a fluid definition. Thus, piracy definition must be adjustable to the specific nature of different areas of law. Due to the commercial nature of piracy in Nigeria, an expansive definition of the crime becomes necessary. However, the paper observed that having a comprehensive definition of piracy without a specialised maritime court and regular training programmes for judges may not culminate in piracy suppression. This means that despite covering the field in terms of violent attacks on the high seas and in the territorial waters of Nigeria, the SPOMO Act may not be properly interpreted and applied in cases. The paper, therefore, suggested the creation of a specialised maritime court and regular training of judges to navigate the complexities of piracy cases in Nigeria. This will promote sustainable adherence to international law regime for suppressing piracy in Nigeria. Also, it will create a conducive environment to coordinate antipiracy programmes and measures among the Gulf of Guinea countries since Nigeria is the only county in the region that has domesticated the LOSC Convention.