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A Study on the Legal Nature of Piracy Ransoms

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DOI: 10.23977/law.2023.021205 | Downloads: 5 | Views: 349


Ziqi Shen 1


1 School of International Law, East China University of Political Science and Law, Shanghai, China

Corresponding Author

Ziqi Shen


Despite a decline in the overall number of piracy attacks due to the routine deployment of government escorts, the persistent security threats and economic losses inflicted by pirates remain a concern. Pirates commonly seize ships and cargoes, along with kidnapping hostages, to demand substantial ransoms, leading to financial losses for the ransom payers. This paper explores the legal nature of piracy ransoms within the framework of maritime law, emphasizing the concept of cost-sharing to establish a maritime risk-sharing mechanism. This study focuses on three critical aspects of piracy: the definition of piracy, the legitimacy of pirate ransom payments, and the characterization of pirate ransoms. Recognizing the legality of paying pirate ransom is a prerequisite for characterizing the ransom, and this paper delves into these interconnected dimensions. The analysis suggests that pirate ransoms should be identified as a form of general average for apportionment. This approach aims to balance the interests and risks of both shipowners and cargo owners, safeguarding the enthusiasm of key stakeholders in maritime shipping. Ultimately, this promotes the survival and healthy development of the shipping industry as a whole.


Piracy, legality of ransom, general average


Ziqi Shen, A Study on the Legal Nature of Piracy Ransoms. Science of Law Journal (2023) Vol. 2: 33-41. DOI: 10.23977/law.2023.021205.


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