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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 Impact of Offshore Oil Drilling in the Arctic

    August 28, 2015

    In July 2015 the Obama administration has given Royal Dutch Shell PLC approval to begin with limited exploratory oil drilling off Alaska’s northwest coast, in the Chukchi Sea. The permits were granted despite the nationwide protest (where people in 13 states gathered for a “ShellNo” Day of Action) and protests by many environmental organizations such as Greenpeace, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Friends of the Earth. In this blog I will give a summary of the history of Arctic drilling and I will also discuss shortly the environmental concerns and technological and safety risks relating to offshore oil drilling in the Arctic.

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  • Libraries: the Value of Just in Case, Not Just in Time

    August 21, 2015

    I am using the blog this time to explain my anxiety that society risks losing too much as the materialism of ‘value’ replaces the experience of centuries of unquantifiable practice and purpose. It is my concern that too many libraries are under threat from the bean counters. Libraries have always existed as places for the ‘just in case’ event, providing the go-to location when you want sustenance of the mind in some way – knowledge, leisure, curiosity, information, entertainment. However the world is in thrall to the ‘just in time’ mentality of financial wunderkinds who do not value those ‘old fashioned’ concepts, looking instead at the pragmatic usability of everything, seeing a book that lives on a shelf and is only taken off once a year, or once a decade, as an unnecessary encumbrance, not earning its space in a world where everything has to be costed, to be accountable for its existence.

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  • Concretizing Transnational Democracy

    August 14, 2015

    In his Models of Democracy, initially published in 2006, David Held submitted that in the 21st century democratic institutions must be developed at regional and global levels as a necessary complement to those at the level of the nation-state. A few years earlier Tony McGrew distinguished in his seminal essay on Transnational Democracy between four different accounts of transnational democracy rooted in the distinctive traditions of democratic thought, namely liberal-internationalism, radical democratic pluralism, cosmopolitanism and deliberative democracy. Whereas Held and McGrew discussed transnational democracy primarily as abstract concepts, Habermas suggested in 2014 that the European Union has to become a transnational democracy.

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  • Human Trafficking: Prevention, Prosecution and Protection under International Law

    August 7, 2015

    Despite restrictions and obligations under international law, it is estimated that $31.6 billion is illegally profiteered each year from human trafficking and forced labour of over 27 million people. Human trafficking or trafficking in persons is defined in the 2000 Palermo Protocol as “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring, or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.”

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  • Climate Change and Forced Migration : A Gap in Protection

    July 31, 2015

    The barely-above-sea-level, coral-dependent Maldives are sinking into the Indian Ocean. The apocalyptic fate is due to climate-change induced temperature increases, which have resulted in rising sea levels and dying coral reefs. In response, the state has built artificial islands—to accommodate the rising sea levels that may render previous places of residence inhabitable—and The Great Male Sea Wall—to protect Male from imposing storms. Many people have already been evacuated from their homes, temporarily housed in camps elsewhere in the Maldives. However, eventually the Maldives may become completely submerged and inhospitable. If the Maldives become a casualty of climate change, as has been predicted, people will be forced to flee from the islands altogether, potentially becoming stateless. They will have to seek protection elsewhere.

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  • Nuclear Deal, Sanctions, Nuclear Diplomacy

    July 24, 2015

    After nearly two years of arduous negotiations a comprehensive agreement on the nuclear program of Iran was signed in Vienna on 14 July 2015. In exchange for reducing Iran’s nuclear activities drastically, the United States and the European Union would lift their nuclear-related sanctions on the Iranian economy. Most countries and international organizations welcomed the agreement. Will U.S. President Obama be remembered as initiator of this ‘historic’ deal? The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a nuclear agreement signed in Vienna on 14 July 2015 between Iran, the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany), and the European Union.

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  • Wine and… European Law?!

    July 17, 2015

    At first glance wine and European Law don’t have to do much with each other. However, when one analyzes the relationship in depth, the legal aspects of wine have been (and still are) significantly important for the legal integration of the European Union and the creation of the common market. This blog focuses on these legal aspects in four judgments of the European Court of Justice and its predecessors.

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  • A Green Court in The Netherlands: Stichting Urgenda v. The Netherlands

    July 10, 2015

    On the 24th of June 2015, the civil section of the Dutch court of The Hague, the Netherlands, ordered the Dutch government to adjust its environmental policies in order to reduce the collective greenhouse emissions of the Netherlands by 25% compared to 1990 by the end of 2020. News of this unusual judgment spread across the globe as it was the first time that a court ordered a government to step up its game on climate change. This post will provide readers with a summary of the judgment, as well as some thoughts on its merits.

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  • “All Animals Are Equal, But Some Are More Equal Than Others”: Animal Protection and Animal Welfare Legislation Compared

    July 6, 2015

    Animals are treated in an ambivalent way. On the one hand humans cuddle, love and pamper the animals they keep. On the other hand many animals are being a victim of some kind of abuse. Not all animals are equally protected against animal cruelty. It differs per country and it depends on the status of different kinds of animals. Dogs which are used in research or for food are not equally protected from inhumane treatment as companion dogs are. The way how animals are treated is also dependent on cultural norms and beliefs.

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  • Forward Into Light: Bertha von Suttner Master Class 2015

    July 3, 2015

    The Forward Into Light: 2015 Bertha von Suttner Master Class was held in the Japanese Room of the Peace Palace from June 16th to 18th. It included a public lecture on June 16th in the Great Hall of Justice. The second annual Master Class was a part of the Bertha von Suttner commemorative week to honor her life, to learn from her legacy, and to consider how her philosophy has shaped the development of international law. The Master Class was a collaborative effort amongst the Bertha von Suttner Project, the Peace Palace Library, the Carnegie Foundation of the Netherlands and Central Michigan University.

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