The current piracy situation off the Horn of Africa has forced an unprecedented level of cooperation between the U.S. Navy and other countries, specifically Kenya and Seychelles, the nations conducting most piracy prosecutions. This cooperation, which includes a transfer-of-custody agreement for prosecution of pirates, should be taken to the next level, with an increased role of shipriders on U.S. naval vessels. 1
Under the concept of Universal Jurisdiction in international law, prosecution of piracy is not limited to the capturing or the victim nations, but can be carried out by any court system willing to prosecute. However, as options increase, so do the associated difficulties. Chief among these is that prosecution of pirates in third-party nations may generate problems related to jurisdiction, and the introduction of evidence at trial.