Peg Legs and Eye Patches - Ninth Circuit Wades Into Piracy
by Mark M. Murakami HawaiiOceanLaw.com
"You don't need a peg leg or an eye patch."
Author note: I challenge any of my intrepid readers to find as odd a statement in any opinion.
Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Kozinski at his finest, for sure. Today, the Ninth Circuit ruled on an Alien Tort Statute brought by a permitted whale hunter against a conservation group who, as shown below, has forcibly interfered with their whaling operations. The case is: Institute of Cetacean Research v. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the opinion is here, the concurrence/dissent by Judge M. Smith is here (the dissent is targeted at the Ninth Circuit's order to transfer the case to a different judge based on his "errors" and concerns about his ability to be "impartial").
The case went to the Ninth Circuit after the trial court denied a motion for preliminary injunction brought to enjoin the alleged piratical activities of the Sea Shepherd vessels. The Ninth Circuit found that the Alien Tort Statute did empower the courts to enjoin piratical activities and found such an injunction to be entirely warranted by the facts, as alleged.
This will be a fun quote for your next piracy brief:
You don’t need a peg leg or an eye patch. When you ram ships; hurl glass containers of acid; drag metal-reinforced ropes in the water to damage propellers and rudders; launch smoke bombs and flares with hooks; and point high-powered lasers at other ships, you are, without a doubt, a pirate, no matter how high-minded you believe your purpose to be.
VIDEO: Sea Shepherd Sandwich