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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.

  • Ending Violence against Women

    June 23, 2016

    Violence against women occurs throughout the world. Despite great strides made by the international women’s rights movement over many years, women and girls around the world are still married as children or trafficked into forced labor and sex slavery. They are refused access to education and political participation, and some are trapped in conflicts where rape is perpetrated as a weapon of war. Not to mention sexual violence against women and girls, massive rape and sexual assaults in India, Germany and Brazil. In this blog I will address the UNiTE campaign, goals and the most prominent global norms and standards concerning the ending of violence against women.

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  • Brexit: Countdown to a Possible Withdrawal Procedure

    June 16, 2016

    On June 23, the United Kingdom will vote “in” or “out” on its membership in the European Union. What is the procedure of withdrawal and the Treaty Article which governs it all if the U.K. does indeed vote for a “Brexit” from the EU? Article 50 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union outlines the procedural steps for a Member State wishing to withdraw from the EU. This provision was introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon (in force 1 December 2009). The treaty foresees two options in which withdrawal can occur. The first option is the conclusion of a withdrawal agreement. The second option is that no agreement is reached.

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  • Vessel-Source Air Pollution Remains Global ‘Blindspot’

    June 2, 2016

    Shipping is considered to be a significant source of global air pollution, both for conventional pollutants and greenhouse gases. Sulphur and black carbon, also called soot, are released in the air in large quantities because large (container and cruise) ships use heavy bunker oil. This is oil from the waste well of the oil industry, the cheapest and dirtiest thing you can get. Seventeen containerships emit as much sulfur as all the cars on the planet in one year. And one cruise ship emits a day as much soot as one million cars.

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  • Investment Protection: ISDS or ICS?

    May 26, 2016

    In the 1990s, European member states have concluded about 200 bilateral investment treaties (BITs) with Eastern European countries. For example, the Netherlands has BITs with Poland, the Baltic States, Slovakia and Czech Republic. Now most of these Eastern European countries are member states of the European Union themselves, the European Commission wants to put an end to the intra-EU bilateral investment treaties (BITs): agreements concluded between EU member states. If these agreements are terminated, there is a risk that European investors will not be strongly and adequately protected under the provisions currently included in the single market.

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  • Peace & Security Salon on Biological and Chemical Weapons

    May 19, 2016

    What if a non-state actor like Daesh gets hold of a biological or chemical weapon? Why was the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in 2013? These and many more topics concerning current threats and future developments of biological and chemical weapons were discussed at the third Peace Palace Library Peace & Security Salon on May 11th.

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  • 30 Years After Chernobyl – Nuclear Safety and Security

    May 12, 2016

    The Chernobyl nuclear tragedy had a tremendous impact on the global community. This nuclear disaster has changed the attitude of nations to nuclear safety. After the nuclear accident, new standards and strategies for improving nuclear and radiation safety, emergency response and disaster mitigation have been developed. Since the Chernobyl accident the International Atomic Energy Association has adopted many security related legal instruments have been adopted to increase nuclear safety and security on a global and domestic level.

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  • European Patent Office: An International Organization before a National Court

    May 7, 2016

    In recent years, the European Patent Office (EPO) has been plagued by ongoing problems between the leadership of this organization and its labour union (SUEPO) over workers’ rights. For a long time, problems remained unresolved, but as tensions rose and relations between the management and staff members became more strained, the labour union decided to request a national court in The Netherlands to take up the case against the European Patent Office. The city of The Hague , where one of the offices of the European Patent Office is established, takes justice very seriously and has so far, delivered two judgments, one by a High Court as well as by an Appeals Court.

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  • Preventing Bioterrorism, Risk and Legal Instruments

    April 28, 2016

    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a bioterrorism attack is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, toxins or other harmful agents used to cause illness or death in people, animals, or plants. In both the popular imagination and among lawmakers and national security experts, there exists the belief that with sufficient motivation and material resources, terrorist groups can produce bioweapons easily, cheaply, and successfully. Some scholars disagree. Legal measures offer no guarantee for preventing bioterrorism, but nonetheless affect bioterrorism. What are the legal instruments addressing prevention?

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  • International Court of Justice 70th Anniversary!

    April 21, 2016

    On 20th April 2016, the International Court of Justice celebrated its seventieth anniversary with a solemn commemorative sitting at the Peace Palace, The Hague. King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands attended the official ceremony. Speeches were given by Judge Ronny Abraham, the President of the ICJ, Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Antonio Gumende, Vice-President of the United Nations General Assembly.

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  • Royal Sperm Whales and More

    April 14, 2016

    Has any mammal inspired such romantic images of the sea and love for nature as much as the whale, yet aroused such controversy in global environmental conservation? Legal efforts to protect whales, however, extend beyond whaling issues. Even beyond protection itself. What about legal arrangements dealing with such large marine mammals found stranded on the shoreline? This so-called phenomenon of Cetacean stranding certainly is something that arouses public interest and emotion.

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