International Law Studies


Defining terms will shape a State’s treaty obligations, the domestic legislation necessary, the availability of cooperative mechanisms, and norm diffusion. Maritime terrorism is an umbrella term referring to the piecemeal approach of treaties creating offenses for identified acts at sea. Further treaties cross-reference the offenses in a selection of global instruments to create related offenses. This includes financing of terrorism (Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (ICSFT)) and regional maritime terrorism (ASEAN Convention on Counter Terrorism (ACCT)). All cross-referenced instruments shall apply to define ICFST or ACCT offenses unless a State excludes, by reservation, a cross-referenced instrument to which it is not Party. This article identifies the impacts of reservations to ACCT and ICSFT on defining terrorism offenses in the ASEAN region. In practice, eight impacts of varying concern to operationalizing jurisdictional cooperation are identified. Going forward, defining offenses via cross-references and reservations may require rethinking.