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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 Origins of EU and EMU: Towards a Post-Westphalian Paradigm

    April 18, 2014

    The theoretical hallmark of the European Union is its flexible approach to sovereignty. According to the Westphalian system of international relations which forms the prevailing paradigm in international law and lies at the heart of the organisation of the United Nations, sovereignty is one and indivisible. States are sovereign and without sovereignty there is no State. Guest blog by Jaap Hoeksma, Philosopher of Law, Director of Euroknow and Creator of the Boardgame Eurocracy.

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  • Exit Data Retention Directive: a Victory for Privacy in Europe!

    April 11, 2014

    Last Tuesday, April 8, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg has declared the Data Retention Directive (Directive 2006/24/EC, 15 March 2006) invalid from the date on which the directive entered into force. In the view of the Court, the requirement in the Data Retention Directive for mobile operators and internet service providers to retain data interfered in a “particularly serious manner with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data”.

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  • International Wildlife Law and the Problem of Illegal Trade

    April 7, 2014

    The hunt for endangered species and protected wildlife has been on the rise for the last decade and has recently become a global crisis. Many wildlife species are currently on the brink of extinction, especially on the African continent. In large part, this is mostly due to practices of illegal hunting and poaching for purposes of illegal wildlife trade. This blog will briefly discuss this issue as well as recent efforts of the international community to combat international wildlife trade.

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  • Nuclear security: Dangers and Achievements

    March 28, 2014

    Nuclear security is generally accepted to mean “the prevention of, detection of, and response to, criminal or intentional unauthorized acts involving or directed at nuclear material, other radioactive material, associated facilities, or associated activities”. In short it is about preventing terrorists from acquiring radioactive material or attacking nuclear facilities. Since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, nuclear security concerns have been heightened, but how real is the danger and what are the legal instruments to combat nuclear terrorism?

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  • Bibliotheek van het Vredespaleis viert 200 jaar Nederlandse Grondwet

    March 25, 2014

    On Saturday 29 March, the Netherlands will celebrate the 200-year anniversary of the 1814 Constitution. During the so-called Grondwetfestival (Constitution Festival) government buildings normally off limits to the public, like the Catshuis and Trêveszaal, will open especially for this occasion. The Peace Palace Library will also participate in this event with an interactive tour – in Dutch – explaining the relationship between the Dutch Constitution and international law. [Further information in Dutch]

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  • Themes of NSS 2014

    March 24, 2014

    The Netherlands will be hosting the Nuclear Security Summit on 24 and 25 March 2014. Nuclear security involves implementing a series of pre-emptive measures to prevent internal and/or external threats directly or indirectly related to nuclear materials, radioactive sources, relevant facilities or other associated activities. Reducing the amount of dangerous nuclear material in the world, improving the security of all nuclear material and radioactive sources and improving international cooperation are the main themes of the 2014 Summit.

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  • Europe: Backwards or Forwards?

    March 14, 2014

    In an apocalyptic essay, written at the height of the euro-crisis in 2012, Joseph Weiler predicted that the European Union will turn on its member-states in a similar way as the Golem of Prague persecuted its creators in the 16th century. The author paves the way for this conclusion by attributing a dimension of ‘political messianism’ to the statements of the founding fathers, which turns the Schuman-declaration into a roadmap to ‘the Promised Land’. As messianic narratives are doomed to collapse, the European project is set to disappoint and alienate the populace as well. Consequently, the EU creates the conditions for its own destruction.

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  • A Justification for Russia’s Intervention?

    March 7, 2014

    In the last week Russian military forces have occupied Crimea, the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula where the majority of the population is ethnic Russian and the Russian Black Sea Fleet is deployed in the city of Sevastopol. In the Russian constitution a few articles describe circumstances where a primacy of Russian constitutional law above international law may occur. How does Russia legally justify its intervention? Guest Blog by Anna K. Duszczyk.

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  • Article 247 of the Treaty of Versailles and the “Mystic Lamb”

    February 27, 2014

    The ‘biography’ of the Ghent Altarpiece, also called the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, reads like a thriller. From the beginning this fascinating work was the object of passionate desire to either possess or destroy it. During the centuries of its existence, the altarpiece witnessed religious upheavals in the Southern Netherlands, came close to being destroyed during these outbreaks of iconoclasm and was damaged when moved to save guard it or when stolen. It endured fires, Napoleon’s looting army and two world wars. Parts of it were stolen, burned, recovered and stolen again and again.
    Article 247 of the Treaty of Versailles and the “Mystic Lamb”

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  • Nuclear Security Summit 2014: Preventing Nuclear Terrorism Around the Globe

    February 21, 2014

    On 24 and 25 March 2014 the Third Nuclear Security Summit will take place here in The Hague. Nuclear terrorism is one of the greatest threats to international peace and security. Even though the chance of a terrorist nuclear attack is small, the consequences would be enormous. The Nuclear Security Summit aims to enhance international cooperation in order to combat nuclear terrorist threats by preventing the illicit acquisition of nuclear material by non-state actors such as smugglers and terrorist groups.

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