The Togolese have now taken a bold and foresighted step in in the fight against West African piracy. By splendid acts of legal perversion it has criminalized the reporting of pirates.
The Togolese Republic is one of those African states which is not. It is a Category F flag state (some 10 ships are said to be registered) and a Category D port state (1000 – 2999 vessel movements reported a year). More interestingly, it is a state which rules by law—such as it is—but has little rule of law. Rule of law requires due process, a fair hearing, no unnecessary detention and other standards that are met in most industrialized states for the criminally accused. The fairness of the criminal code is the best way to estimate whether a state has a rule of law or a legalistic and perverted and manipulated rule by law.