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Italy: Fight Against Piracy

(Sept. 9, 2009) On July 22, 2009, the Italian Parliament converted Decree-Law No. 61 of June 15, 2009, into Law No. 100, approving urgent provisions on combating piracy. It came into force on the day after its publication in the official gazette.

According to this law, appropriate measures will be taken when actions are perpetrated against the state or against Italian citizens or goods, on the high seas or in the territorial waters of other states in areas where specified types of missions are taking place.

In a new paragraph 6 bis, the law states that besides the cases mentioned in its paragraph 4, on the exercise of Italian jurisdiction, provisions contained in international agreements are to be applied. In compliance with the Common Action 2008/851/PESC of the European Council of November 10, 2008, and with Decision 2009/293/PESC of the Council of February 26, 2009, measures foreseen in article 2(1, 2) of the Common Action are authorized, as is the detention on board military carriers of persons who have perpetrated or are suspected to have perpetrated acts of piracy, for the time period strictly necessary for the transfer of such persons as established under the Common Action.

The same types of measures, if approved under multinational agreements on fighting piracy and on detention of suspects on board military carriers, can be adopted if the agreements are ones stipulated by international organizations, to which Italy is a party. (Conversione in legge del decreto-legge 15 giugno 2009, n. 61, recante disposizioni urgenti in materia di contrasto alla pirateria [Conversion into law of Decree-Law n. 61 of 15 June 2009 approving urgent measures in the matter of the fight against piracy], GAZZETTA UFFICIALE, No. 177, Aug. 1, 2009, available at