Time to clean up Execution Dock I feel

Sea Shepherd conservation group declared \’pirates\’ in US court ruling

Piracy on the High Seas with violence. And given that it is the High Seas then it is the duty of every nation to punish it.

The ruling was issued on Wednesday by chief judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th US circuit court of appeals.

In his 18-page opinion, he wrote: \”You don\’t need a peg leg or an eye patch. When you ram ships; hurl containers of acid; drag metal-reinforced ropes in the water to damage propellers and rudders; launch smoke bombs and flares with hooks; and point high-powered lasers at other ships, you are, without a doubt, a pirate, no matter how high-minded you believe your purpose to be.\”

Further, we\’ve still got this quaint idea that those who conspire to commit a crime, even those who finance one, are guilty as are those who commit the actual crime.

So, all those who have been sending Sea Shepherd money over the years, please report to Execution Dock to await your turn for the three tides thing.

I think this is quite wondrous really. I\’m sure that we\’ll find all of the usual names on the list of supporters. Everyone from Lean and Lucas through Porritt and Monbiot to every member of Greenpeace ever and the entirety of Friends of the Earth.

Some will cavil that since St. Tony\’s time we don\’t actually have the death penalty for piracy. Nor, indeed, do we still have Execution Dock. But that\’s fine: we\’ll just stick with the three tides of the Thames bit. Not as messy, rather more prolonged, but effective all the same.

45 comments on “Time to clean up Execution Dock I feel

  1. Very odd judgement. The Japanese whalers are stealing resources from Australian territorial waters, against the wishes of the Australian government.

    I’m fairly sure that under traditional maritime law, carrying out acts of piracy against people who were themselves pirates wasn’t punished as piracy.

  2. I’m getting a little tired of saying this, but Rule 1 is that It’s Not Wrong When Lefties Do It. The Noble Cause that follows a higher purpose overrules all else. That’s been the case ever since John Brown started mouldering in his grave.

  3. The Japanese whalers are stealing resources from Australian territorial waters, against the wishes of the Australian government.

    Fishing or whaling in territorial waters without permission is _not_ piracy.

    From the article:

    that the label of “pirate” is “ludicrous” given that “there is no personal gain, and there’s no violence”

    Ramming ships is violent. Even accidental collisions are nasty and dangerous.

    And it is nice to know that none of the Sea Shepherd volunteers are paid. How altruistic of them. Without going in to the legalism that “gain” is a superset, not an equivalent, of “financial gain”.

  4. The Japanese fleet is not operating in Australian territorial waters. If it was the Australian Navy/Coastguard would have intervened.

    The Australian and New Zealand Governments are bullshitting when they bleat about Japanese illegality. Both governments have been “been taking legal advice” for a decade or more. Their lawyers must be mighty slow because we still don’t know the result. Of course we know: there’s no illegality.

    It’s a classic case of government obfuscation, claiming to be doing something, feeding bullshit to the believers.

  5. The Japanese fleet is not operating in Australian territorial waters. If it was the Australian Navy/Coastguard would have intervened.

    Indeed. But you don’t have quite as good a point than it seems. The Japanese fleets are operating in the Australian claimed “Antarctic Territory Economic Exclusion Zone”. The Japanese Government claims that there is no international legal right behind that claim (and it is, in fact, a breach of Article 4 of the Antarctic Treaty). The Australian courts recognise their government’s claim.

    And the Australian Navy are there – they are just not taking active measures against infringers. Although they do against boats fishing without permits.

  6. Hector: the Japanese fleet *is * operating in Australian waters. That was one of the findings of the US court. It’s not disputed by anyone sensible.

    The fact that the Australian government doesn’t Stop The Boats by force, of course, has *nothing* to do with the fact that Japan is a major trading partner who it doesn’t want to offend by enforcing the law against it. No, nothing. *rolls eyes*.

  7. The Australian government can claim whatever it likes. The Japanese fleet is operating in international waters. Australia has no jurisdiction whatsoever. The bullshit never stops, but Australians seem very happy to eat it. What does bullshit taste like?

  8. Seashepherd are basically a vigilante group attempting to enforce an international treaty which the proper authorities seem content to disregard.

    This is generally what happens when laws with popular support are in place but unenforced: people take matters into their own hands.

    And of course, there are no real surprises that in doing so they are acting illegally. From my point of view, the question is how it’s got to this situation.

    But obviously from a classical liberal perspective, the important point here is “OMG we can hang George Moonbat ROFL!!1!”.

  9. The Japanese fleet is operating in international waters.

    You state that as if it were essentially uncontroversial fact. And the Japanese agree with you.

    The Australian and American courts disagree with you, though. And the British and Norwegian governments. I’m not sure about the Chilean position.

    The Argentinians, of course, disagree with everybody. Regardless.

  10. john b.

    The Appeals court in its judgement specifically do not recognise the Australian claim -

    “[i]n flouting the Australian injunction, the whalers demonstrate their disrespect for a judgment of a domestic court.” Because neither the United States nor Japan recognizes Australia’s jurisdiction over any portion of the Southern Ocean, Cetacean owes no respect to the Australian order. p.14

    http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2013/02/25/1235266.pdf

    The District Court recognised the Australian claim, but has been reversed in law by the appeal court. So it would seem sensible people do not agree with this claim. Indeed the idiocy of accepting this Australian claim that is not accepted by the US government strongly suggests that the first instance judge was biased – the appeals court basically make this point and remove the judge from retrying the case.

  11. This tends to be what happens when there’s a confusion between international treaties & international laws. Treaties are between two or more nations. Their business whether they chose to enforce them or not. International law is a complete & utter load of bollocks. End of. Always has been. Likely to continue to be so. For laws to work they have to be enforced. Their ain’t no Democratic Republican Socialist Monarchy of International, with extensive military might, to do it. So it’s back to what individual or groups of nations chose.
    And don’t please start on the UN. Life’s too short.

  12. To add to the above: The sole & only reason for international law is to provide work for international lawyers. But at least it keeps them off the streets.

  13. The Australian government is pretending to unilaterally re-write international law.

    “Territorial waters, or a territorial sea, as defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,[1] is a belt of coastal waters extending at most 12 nautical miles (22 km; 14 mi) from the baseline (usually the mean low-water mark) of a coastal state. The territorial sea is regarded as the sovereign territory of the state, although foreign ships (both military and civilian) are allowed innocent passage through it; this sovereignty also extends to the airspace over and seabed below.”

    Wiki.

    There’s something about whaling which turns people’s brains to shit. Like it or not, Japanese whaling is not illegal, and it is carried out in international waters. What we have here is a bunch of green thugs attempting to prevent whalers carrying out their lawful business.

  14. Ken

    How about New Zealand claiming a strip of the Pacific all the way to South America? Or Ireland the Atlantic to the US? How would Chile, Peru or the USA respond?

    Australia’s claims are bullshit and will never be recognised under international law.

    Bloke in Spain is correct. It’s all bollox. Those claiming that Japan is operating in Australian waters need a reality check.

  15. OT but re JohnB’s ‘rolls eyes’, anyone who writes that – or, worse, writes ‘gets popcorn’ – needs a fucking slap.

  16. “Exclusive Economic Zone”

    “…..Two hundred miles from the states territorial sea”

    That leaves a lot of Southern Ocean in international waters.

  17. @John B
    “Hector: the Japanese fleet *is * operating in Australian waters. That was one of the findings of the US court. ”
    So what? All power to the bankrolls of US lawyers. Point being, US law apply in the US & to US nationals abroad who are stupid enough to stand still. They do not apply off the coast of the FourX island continent to non US nationals, unless the PotUS sends a fleet down to say they do. In which case they do, unless said non-US nationals are nuclear capable.
    Nevertheless, all with the Execution Dock suggestion in the OP. Unilaterally or otherwise. Maybe Andorra’ll pass some legislation. I’ll ask ‘em next time I pass through. Their writ runs just as much in mid Pacific & their navy’ll be glad to get away from his wife for a few weeks.

  18. …Everyone from Lean and Lucas through Porritt and Monbiot to every member of Greenpeace ever and the entirety of Friends of the Earth…
    believe that a Carbon Tax is the way to go.

    Just bring it on.

    You will be known by the company you keep and whose opions you value!

  19. Piracy by definition must involve robbery at sea.There’s no robbery involved here (save perhaps of stocks of whales which are protected by law)WTF are you talking about?

  20. “Indeed, Judge Story in The Marianna Flora (1822) made it clear there not be any intent for pecuniary gain:

    [N]or do I conceive that it is indispensable to constitute piracy, that there should be an intent of private gain, for if a piratical burning or sinking of a ship or murder of her crew should take place by freebooters on the sea, it would be as genuine piracy as if the primary object were immediate plunder. The act would exhibit a piratical and felonious intent, an intent to despoil the owner of his property. ”

    from the link I psted earlier.
    DBC wrong again? surely some mistake.

  21. DBC Reed: always so certain, always so wide of the mark. What we need is a sea value tax. It’s fucking obvious!

  22. Interested – John B and DBC Reed both wrong on the same thread…it’s almost inevitable, isn’t it!

  23. @Ian B

    “…is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules.” (Cpt. Barbossa)

    Arhhhhhhhhh right back atcha

  24. On the Australia claim, the British and Australian governments recognise it, because it is obviously legitimate. Various tin-pot crooks fail to do so, because it’s against their interests.

    Diogenes: erm, no. Volokh says nothing about the Australian territorial claim. They solely talk about the definition of piracy (on which DBC is indeed wrong this time).

  25. @ john b
    So let’s just suppose the PRC decided to do some ‘cetacean research’ in the disputed waters. The Brit & Aussie governments can recognise any claim they like but what are a couple of rowing boats going to do when a brand spanking new nuclear carrier with accompanying battle group turns up to dispute it?
    Tin pot crooks can come in all sizes.

  26. @JuliaM Interested: How do you feel about bring it on..?

    How I feel about that is the same as how I feel about ‘*gets popcorn*’ – it is a mindless cliche used by derivative fuckwits with nothing original to say.

  27. “robbery”, at common law, does not require a pecuniary benefit for the robber but the “intent to permanently deprive” the one robbed (plus violence, which is the difference between robbery and theft).

    It’s not the gain of the robber that matters but the loss of the victim.

    Since piracy is, at root, a common law offence, I would expect it to have a similar definition.

  28. Since piracy is, at root, a common law offence, I would expect it to have a similar definition.

    Except that all piracy requires is:

    a) violence
    b) on the high seas
    c) from another vessel
    d) which doesn’t belong to a government (or, if it does, has mutinied.)

    No need for any of the aspects of theft. The violence is enough.

    Although, I’d note, that successfully ramming a ship is usually pretty damn depriving. Often permanently.

  29. How about disguising a 40mm cannon as a harpoon gun, would 40mm ammunition be enough?

    Get attacked, retaliate, no more piracy.

  30. How about disguising a 40mm cannon as a harpoon gun, would 40mm ammunition be enough?

    Not really, unfortunately. Even the 76mm Oto Melara the Yanks fitted to the OHPs wasn’t really enough and there is strong pressure for the RN to move away from their 4.5″ anachronisms to a modern 155mm cannon.

    Ships, especially ones that have to survive in the Southern Ocean, are rather better built these days.

    Now, a rifle calibre Gatling (like the US M134) to “sweep the decks” of the piractical scoundrels – that should work. IIRC, I remember seeing something similar fitted to a RN frigate in news about the Somalia patrol?

  31. “On the Australia claim, the British and Australian governments recognise it, because it is obviously legitimate. Various tin-pot crooks fail to do so, because it

  32. “On the Australia claim, the British and Australian governments recognise it, because it is obviously legitimate. Various tin-pot crooks fail to do so, because it

  33. Hector Pascal // Feb 28, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    “How about New Zealand claiming a strip of the Pacific all the way to South America? Or Ireland the Atlantic to the US? How would Chile, Peru or the USA respond?”

    I can tell you how the US responds – Peru did (and probably still does) claim further than 12 miles as terrritorial waters. The US told them to pack sand and sent warships to, repeatedly over the years, sail just outside the internationally recognized territorial limit, daring them to make something of it.

  34. Surreptitious Evil

    Even the 76mm Oto Melara the Yanks fitted to the OHPs wasn

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