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 Gerritsen Collection

    October 2, 2015

    The Gerritsen Collection is a comprehensive collection of works pertaining to women’s history, but it also contains a plentitude of books, articles and essays relevant to peace history and the development of international law. The collection honors the legacy of famous peace heroes and feminists. To help educate the public about the 19th century peace movement, the Library – with the assistance from the Bertha von Suttner Project – has subscribed to this database for 2015.

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  • An Ad Hoc Hybrid Special Court for Sri Lanka: What Does It Take?

    September 25, 2015

    On 16 September 2015, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka issued two reports on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka. Their recommendation: the creation of an ad hoc hybrid special court to try war crimes and crimes against humanity. Which crimes were committed and how did the international community reach such a recommendation? This post will take a look at the civil war which plagued Sri Lanka for 25 years, the subsequent international response and finally, what does it take to create an ad hoc hybrid tribunal?

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  • Peace Weekend Celebrations – International Rule of Law?

    September 18, 2015

    This weekend The Hague will celebrate the International Day of Peace, September 21st, with a designated ‘Peace Weekend’.

    The celebrations vary from a peace run (with a Peace Palace team) to The Hague Open Doors Event, where the Peace Palace Library, together with the other international organizations of The Hague, will open their doors to the public.

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  • Welcoming a New Model of Democracy

    September 11, 2015

    Celebrating International Democracy Day on the 15th of September, the Peace Palace Library takes pleasure in announcing the emergence of a new model of democracy. Guest blogger Jaap Hoeksma continues his series of blogs about the European Union by submitting that the EU has overcome the deadlock in the debate about its future. He argues that, from a citizens’ point of view, the aim of the EU is neither to become a sovereign State of Europe nor to form a Europe of sovereign States, but rather to function as a European democracy.

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  • The EU Migration Crisis and Moral Obligations

    September 4, 2015

    The European Union is currently coping with the world’s biggest migrant crisis since World War II. A record number of 107,500 migrants reached the EU’s borders last month.Large numbers of desparate migrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa are trying to enter the European Union every day. Apart from this there are also many illegal immigrants who have entered the EU undetected. A conserable number of them have died during their attempt. According to a report of the UNHCR, around 2500 migrants who were trying to reach and enter the European Union have died or gone missing in the past year.

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  • 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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