Cicero’s Ghost: Rethinking the Social Construction of Piracy Book Chapter

Gould, HD. (2013). Cicero’s Ghost: Rethinking the Social Construction of Piracy . 23-46. 10.4324/9780203111550-9

cited authors

  • Gould, HD



  • The crime of piracy and the principle of universal jurisdiction in international law have long been closely intertwined. The problem is that much of the account of their relationship is badly garbled, full of mistakes too-often repeated. This is not to say that piracy was not the first crime jure gentium, or that subsequent crimes jure gentium were not built upon an analogy with piracy. Rather the problem lies in the erroneous assertion of a classical basis for the universal proscription of piracy, the misuse of the concept of the hostis humani generis and misunderstanding of its association with piracy, and the overly simple way that this concept has been treated as fundamental to the development of the principle of universal jurisdiction.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

International Standard Book Number (ISBN) 13

start page

  • 23

end page

  • 46