A privateer refers to a hired pirate by the state. In mid 19th century, the popular notion concerning employment of privateers changed; the practice was considered as counterproductive. This marked the end of state sanctioned private violence characterized by a steady suppression of private forms of violence by sovereign states (Bromley 2009, p.398).
Ever since late 19th century, international law as well as diplomatic custom and practice fundamentally shifted towards recognizing the rights of states to make war and peace. States can hold each other responsible for acts of violence commissioned by each other’s citizen abroad. Pirates are not only subject to territorial or national jurisdiction, but also universal jurisdiction. From 19th Century onwards, states imposed principles of jurisdiction grounded in territoriality and nationality (Hume 1994, p.154).
Universal jurisdiction infers the right of any state to prosecute crimes committed by whomever and wherever and devoid of reference to any connection to the territory or nationality (Bromley 2009, p. 405). Some of the crimes falling under the universal jurisdiction include piracy, slave trade, hijacking, war crimes, genocide, and international terrorism. Territorial jurisdiction, on the other hand, infers the notion that countries possess the privilege to sustain their own laws within their own territories irrespective of whether the offences against the laws are orchestrated by nationals or foreigners (Lowenheim 2007, p. 24). The aspect of territorial jurisdiction consolidates the statement that relationships between states lack order. This is manifested by the notion of being “home” and “abroad”. What may be legal in a country may not be expressly so in another.
National jurisdiction refers to the principle where a state asserts the right to execute its laws to its nationals wherever they are located territorially, sometimes independently of the