The Views of the Human Rights Committee in A.S., D.I., O.I. and G.D. v Italy and the Right to Life at Sea

by Professor Sir Malcolm Evans & Dr Sofia Galani (University of Bristol)

On 22 April 2021, the University of Bristol Law School hosted a closed meeting on the findings of the Human Rights Committee in A.S., D.I., O.I. and G.D. v Italy. The hosts of the event, Professor Sir Malcolm Evans and Dr Sofia Galani, welcomed academic experts on international human rights law and the law of the sea from UK, European and Australian institutions who reflected on the findings of the Human Rights Committee (the Committee) and discussed the potential impact of its findings on the future of human rights protection at sea. The facts of the complaint, the views of the Committee as well as the dissenting opinions are of great interest and are well worth being read in full. Here, we will only summarise some key points with a view to highlighting the significance of the decision and providing some background into the discussions. (more…)

The forgotten victims of Somali piracy

By Dr Sofia Galani, Lecturer in Law (University of Bristol Law School).

20110205_irm919In October 2016, Somali piracy made headlines again, and the release of a group of seafarers who had been in captivity for nearly five years, reminded the international community of the adverse impact piracy has had on seafarers.

Piracy had always been a major maritime security threat, but the first two decades of the 21st century were marred by an unprecedented scale of pirate attacks off the coasts of Somalia. Between 2010 and 2014, almost 9,688 seafarers were attacked by Somali pirates and 2,060 seafarers were taken hostage. The estimated cost of ransom payments for the vessels and crews seized during the period 2005-2014 was between US$340 million and US$435 million. Somali pirate attacks have significantly dropped over the last two years, but Somali piracy has not come to end yet. In 2015, five hijackings were reported in the Western Indian Ocean where a number of seafarers remained in captivity. (more…)