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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.

  • First Global Forum on Statelessness – “New Directions in Statelessness Research and Policy”

    September 19, 2014

    From 15 to 17 September 2014, 3 institutions (the UNHCR, the agency mandated by the General Assembly to help states to address statelessness, and the Statelessness Programme of Tilburg University) co-hosted the first held Global Forum on Statelessness. The three-day event took place in the Academy building of the Peace Palace of The Hague, the Netherlands.

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  • International Water Law: Recent Developments

    September 12, 2014

    International water law is on the move. It is evolving with increasing importance despite its relative youth as a subject of public international law. The entry into force of the 1997 Watercourses Convention and the recent amendment of the 1992 Water Convention to open it up to non-UNECE States have given a boost to this field of international law. It is important and encouraging to see that the recently established universal norms have been nurturing each other and have inspired new agreements on individual river basins and aquifers. Further cooperation is still needed, however. International law is a recognized means for supporting and developing this.

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  • Modern Technology and Its Potential Role in Peace Building and Conflict Prevention

    September 5, 2014

    On August 20, the Hague Institute for Global Justice organized a high level panel on ‘Peace Technologies’ together with the newly established Peace Informatics Lab of Leiden Univeristy. A discussion was held between experts from civil society groups, governmental institutions, academia and the private sector to exchange ideas and examine what role modern technology can play in peace processes or in the prevention of conflicts. The event was an important opportunity to share knowledge in what is considered to be a revolutionary field. This blog will provide a brief summary of this event as well as give some background information on this particular subject.

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  • Are There Limits To Warfare?

    August 29, 2014

    Pro-Russian separatists marched captured Ukrainian soldiers through the streets of the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk over the weekend. The march was a news event that got the attention of many, including international human rights activists, calling the march a violation of the Geneva Conventions’ rules on the treatment of prisoners of war (POWs). The Geneva Conventions are at the core of international humanitarian law and provide a detailed framework for the protection of prisoners of war during armed conflict.

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  • Should Police Officers Wear Body Cameras? The Mike Brown Law

    August 21, 2014

    On 9 August the unarmed, afro-american 18-year-old boy, Michael Brown, was shot and killed by a 28-year-old caucasian police officer, Darren Wilson, in a working-class neighborhood in Ferguson, Mo. The shooting happened after police officer Wilson stopped Brown because he was jaywalking. Unfortunately both the police and the eyewitnesses tell a different story about what happened that evening. Eyewitnesses saw that Brown was shot while he trying to surrender but police officer Darren Wilson stated that Brown assaulted him just before the shooting.

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  • Ebola and the Questions It Raises

    August 14, 2014

    On August 8, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan declared the West Africa Ebola crisis a “public health emergency of international concern,” saying “our collective health security depends on urgent support for containment in the affected countries”, triggering powers under the 2005 International Health Regulations (IHR). The Ebola outbreak raises a number of questions. Has the WHO responded to Ebola as swiftly as it should have? Since 1976 more than 15 Ebola outbreaks have erupted in sub-Saharan Africa, so why hasn’t it been eradicated already? And what about ethical questions?

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  • ICC to Investigate War Crimes in Gaza?

    August 8, 2014

    On July 23, Navi Pillay, the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, suggested that attacks on civilians by both Israel and Hamas may have violated international law “in a manner that could amount to war crimes.” Senior British lawyers have written to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, urging it to investigate “crimes” committed in Gaza, including the destruction of homes, hospitals and schools. The lawyers say that it is within the ICC’s jurisdiction to act because the government of Palestine made a declaration in 2009 accepting the court’s role and the UN has since acknowledged Palestine as a non-member observer state.

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  • Warsaw Uprising 70th Anniversary, 1944-2014

    August 1, 2014

    Today it is exactly seventy years ago the Warsaw Uprising began on Godzina W at 17.00 hours. It was part of a greater resistance operation Akcja Burza meaning Operation Tempest but often referred to in English as Operation Storm. The idea of national armed rising was there from the moment the Armia Krajowa the largest organisation in the Polish Resistance, formed after the German Occupation of Poland in 1939. The Polish resistance movement, consisting of the Armia Krajowa and affiliated organisations even became the largest underground resistance movement in Europe.

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  • 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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