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Library blog

These blogs are written by the librarians of the Peace Palace Library. All blogs are dealing with subjects on International Law. Every blog contains links and references to the collection of the Peace Palace Library.

  • The Destruction of the Cathedral of Reims, 1914

    July 23, 2014

    On 20 September 1914, German shellfire burned, damaged and destroyed important parts of the magnificent Cathedral of Reims. The destruction of the Cathedral was generally regarded as an act of sheer vandalism. At the time, it was generally admitted by writers on international law that if the military commander of a besieged place used a church or other building whose immunity had been established, as a stronghold, a storehouse, or an observatory, the besieger might bombard the site without being held responsible for damages caused in consequence of their proximity to other buildings which are liable to bombardment. Even the French war manual itself admitted this.

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  • Hague Academy Model United Nations on Drone Warfare and International Law

    July 17, 2014

    Directed energy weapons, drones, self targeting bullets, mobile tactical high energy lasers, military robots, spy weapons, weapons undetectable under an x-ray scan, remote controlled insect armies, self driving tanks, robotic mules, thermal camouflage, surveillance technologies and autonomous unmanned systems are some examples of the high tech weapons and military technology that are now used during warfare. The use of this state of the art military technology raises serious ethical and legal questions: (when) is the use of drones acceptable?

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  • The Rights of Women and Elimination of Discrimination

    July 11, 2014

    On Monday the 18th of August 2014 the Centre for Studies and Research in International Law and International Relations will start. The Centre is a programme of The Hague Academy for International Law. Each year the Academy proposes a different research programme. This year’s programme is the Rights of Women and Elimination of Discrimination and the main focus will be on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the key international agreement on women’s human rights.

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  • Suárez: FIFA Showing Teeth?

    July 4, 2014

    Internationally renowned sports law experts gathered this week at the Asser Institute in The Hague to follow a week-long educational programme on international sports law. The timing is excellent as of course the World Cup in Brazil is going on and in one of the most remarkable sports moments of years to come Uruguayan striker Luis Suárez bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on his shoulder.The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has banned Suárez for nine official matches and from taking part in any kind of football-related activity for a period of four months. Let’s look at the FIFA decision.

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  • A Supreme Offence against International Morality and the Sanctity of Treaties: William II of Hohenzollern and the Treaty of Versailles

    June 27, 2014

    Early during World War I, jurists and statesmen in both France and Great-Britain, such as Larnaude and Lapradelle, had advocated the German Emperor William II to be arrested and brought to trial. The principle that military officers should be held personally responsible for orders in violation of the laws and customs of war, if pushed to its logical limits, would render commanders-in-chief, that is heads of State, liable for illegal acts for which they are responsible, directly or indirectly. And in Germany, there was one commander-in-chief: the Emperor William II.

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  • Iconography of Bertha von Suttner

    June 20, 2014

    Baroness Bertha von Suttner, the Austrian 1905 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, has been an icon since the enormous success of her book “Lay down your arms”, published in 1889. As her fame grew internationally, she turned into a “modern day celebrity”. Stamps and coins bear her image, streets, schools and squares are named after her. Films and books about her life are mementos for her achievements. Here we present some images of Bertha von Suttner, showing her change from an Austrian countess, dressed for a ball in Viennese aristocratic circles to the formidable warrior for peace, the lady in the long black dress. Her face mirrors the struggles , the battles she fought to promote her ideals.

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  • Connecting Habermas with International Law

    June 13, 2014

    The financial crisis has intensified the debate about the feasibility of the European Union as a new phenomenon in international law. In his essay ‘On Europe’s Constitution’, philosopher Jürgen Habermas underlines that he regards the EU as a step in the direction of a politically constituted world order. In an 2012 interview Habermas focuses on the conceptual challenges of the EU by asking the quintessential question: How should we imagine a for closer co-operation necessary, supranational association which complies with stringent demands of democratic legitimacy without assuming the shape of a state?

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  • Commemorative Lecture Bertha von Suttner (1843-1914), Tuesday, June 24th, 2014, Peace Palace

    June 12, 2014

    This month marks the centenary of the death of Bertha von Suttner, the Austrian peace activist, bestselling author of ‘Die Waffen Nieder’ and the first female recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1905. To attend this lecture, please register.
    Commemorative Lecture Bertha von Suttner (1843-1914), Tuesday, June 24th, Peace Palace

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  • FIFA’s World Cups

    June 7, 2014

    In a few days, Thursday June 12th, the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil will kick-off. In terms of advertising FIFA has nothing to complain: the World Cup in Brazil will generate an estimated profit of 4 billion euro (sponsoring and TV). But in terms of image FIFA has to counter a new attack: FIFA is facing fresh allegations of corruption over its controversial decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. In case corruption in the Qatar bidding is discovered, can FIFA simply run another vote for the 2022 World Cup?

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  • D-Day and the Battle of Normandy Remembered

    May 30, 2014

    On June 6th, 2014, Heads of State and dignitaries from France, Great Britain, Canada, the United States and other Allied countries will gather on Sword beach, Normandy with a contingent of the last living veterans to remember the liberation of France. They will honor the sacrifice made, and heroism shown by men and women in uniform and by French civilians on D-Day and during the Normandy Battle on land, sea and in the air. With deep gratitude for the liberators the Heads of State attending will once again solemnly confirm their bond of friendship and their common steadfast pursuit for a more peaceful world.

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