Professor James Gathii was one of eight academics recently appointed to the 24-member Public International Law & Policy Group's (PILPG) high-level Piracy Working Group, which is devoted to addressing the challenges posed by modern maritime piracy. The Piracy Working Group is comprised of 24 leading experts from government, academia and law and is charged with providing legal and policy advice to domestic, regional and international counter-piracy mechanisms, with the goal of helping to create effective responses to the growing piracy threat. Among the members of the group are representatives from the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Justice and Kenya Piracy Court. An oft-quoted expert on modern piracy and international law, Professor Gathii has been interviewed by The Washington Times, Christian Science Monitor and other media outlets on the legal aspects of prosecuting contemporary acts of piracy, including headline-making hostage situations off the Somalia coast. Professor Gathii was also cited more than 10 times in the decision of a federal court in the case of U.S. v. Hasan, in which a U.S. naval vessel, deployed to protect shipping lanes off the coast of Somalia, was fired upon by pirates who mistook the naval ship for a merchant ship. Professor Gathii is the Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship and the Governor George E. Pataki Chair of International Commercial Law at Albany Law School, where he has been on the faculty since 2001. His research and expertise are in the areas of public international law, international economics, international intellectual property and trade law, as well as on issues of good governance and legal reform as they relate to the third world and sub-Saharan Africa. Professor Gathii's most recent book, War, Commerce, and International Law (Oxford University Press), examines the laws regulating historical and contemporary conflicts such as Blackwater in Iraq and "blood diamonds" in Africa's Congo and argues that the rules are applied differently and unfairly across the globe. He has published more than 40 articles and book chapters, including the recent "Jurisdiction to Prosecute Non-National Pirates Captured by Third States Under Kenyan and International Law." His forthcoming book, African Regional Trade Agreements as Legal Regimes (Cambridge University Press), will be published this summer.
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