UN tribunal offers to hear Somali piracy cases

United NationsHamburg  - A United Nations tribunal has offered to hear cases involving Somali pirates, or to assist other courts in interpreting laws that apply on the high seas, a German newspaper reported Wednesday.

On its website, Die Welt quoted Jose Luis Jesus, president of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, saying his court in the German city of Hamburg was available to hear piracy cases.

"Piracy is dealt with in articles 100 to 107 of the UN Convention on Law of the Sea," he said. "That is why the tribunal is willing to try every case of piracy which the states desire it to hear."

Jesus, who comes from Cape Verde, said nations could also obtain advice from the tribunal on how to interpret the law.

The tribunal was established in 2000 and has so far accepted 15 cases. Normally it only hears disputes between states.

Jesus said the court had growing expertise on the legal issues of pursuits at sea and when the use of force was allowed. (dpa)