Piracy as a Crime: True Crime Issues

Piracy is the phenomenon describing the commission of an armed attack on seagoing vessels to gain profit from material financial resources. Piracy has existed throughout the historical river, but the golden age came in the 17th and 18th centuries (Mazyar 62). People were taken on pirate ships either as crew members (if they were fleeing justice on land or seeking money) or as prisoners for later profit or sale into slavery. Social cleavages became catalysts that provoked piracy, but this does not remove responsibility from the act. Piracy should be seen only as a crime against humanity and universally recognized social values and norms.

Relevance of the Problem Of Piracy

As a result of the contradictions occurring in the social life of states, acts of terrorism are often committed in various regions of the world. Quite often, these acts are international. Piracy falls under this category because it harms society and the economy (Mazyar 63). Crime is a complex social phenomenon that attracts attention. However, limitations in public perception of the problem have allowed piracy to retain its romantic status despite its violent activities. For example, Amaro Pargo was one of the privateers who specifically conducted raids on ships to seize enemy resources. It was often a violent armed conflict that resulted in the loss of life. Edward Teach’s identity is much better known as Blackbeard (The Golden Age of Piracy). His activities also transcended mortality, although he used threats instead of armed force. Horeck suggests that the current growth of interest in criminal activity is becoming a threat in criminology (Horeck). She points to the need for caution rather than the proliferation of material about the uniqueness of criminals.

The Harms of Piracy

It should be understood that almost all maritime trade participants suffer from pirates’ actions. Piracy has harmed the operations of trading companies that produced and transported goods; individuals who controlled transportation have suffered because they were captured (The Golden Age of Piracy). Piracy undermines the prestige of sovereign states, complicates international relations, and threatens regional security (Mazyar 64). Furthermore, piracy often results in casualties: even phenomena such as boardwalk continue to exist, but in a more violent form because of the prevalence of weapons. Criminal activity of this kind seems romantic because of the shift in focus to criminals who go to the sea and have fun. However, Mallet points out that this leads to a decreased emotional perception of crime (Mallet). She believes that the format of discussing crime needs to be revised and make the victim in charge.

Piracy in the International Court of Justice

18th-century piracy was the impetus for developing the international court and the legal system, setting the stage for future crimes. The romanticized perception of piracy alienated society from the seriousness of the crime, which led to the phenomenon’s growth in the culture. Chadwick argues that the absence of international law had previously prevented society from fully appreciating crimes against humanity (Chadwick). World War II improved this, but the romanticization of piracy continues. Nevertheless, this experience should be the impetus for the future evolution of the system of international law (Chadwick). Consequently, piracy is part of the basis for the development of international law, and to exclude it would lead to an aggravation of the current situation.


Thus, piracy is a serious crime that, according to different authors, arose because of the complexities of human nature and the difficult transition from one model of society to another. Piracy was conducted for profit without moral guidance, so it is a crime against humanity. In addition, individuals such as Amaro Pargo and Edward Teach caused irreparable damage to economic trade and food routes, disrupting society and exacerbating divisions. The recognition and romanticization of piracy and other violent crimes have shifted the focus from the victim to the perpetrator. Consequently, piracy should be seen only as an act of human cruelty.

Works Cited

Chadwick, Mark. “The Prosecution Of Pirates Was A Model For Today’s System Of International Justice”. The Conversation, 2019.

Horeck, Tanya. “True Crime: It’s Time To Start Questioning The Ethics Of Tuning In.” The Conversation, 2019.

Mallet, Xanthe. “Glamorising Violent Offenders With ‘True Crime’ Shows And Podcasts Needs To Stop”. The Conversation, 2019.

Mazyar, Ahmad. “Maritime Piracy Operations: Some Legal Issues.” Journal of International Maritime Safety, Environmental Affairs, and Shipping, vol. 4, no. 3, 2020, pp. 62-69. doi: 10.1080/25725084.2020.1788200

“The Golden Age of Piracy”. Royal Museum Greenwich.

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LawBirdie. 2023. "Piracy as a Crime: True Crime Issues." June 12, 2023. https://lawbirdie.com/piracy-as-a-crime-true-crime-issues/.

1. LawBirdie. "Piracy as a Crime: True Crime Issues." June 12, 2023. https://lawbirdie.com/piracy-as-a-crime-true-crime-issues/.


LawBirdie. "Piracy as a Crime: True Crime Issues." June 12, 2023. https://lawbirdie.com/piracy-as-a-crime-true-crime-issues/.