The “red thread” of peace history and the intergenerational activity to “legislate peace” are unknown to most people. Accordingly, on July 3rd and 4th, 2018 we will convene at two historic places to reflect on this history that spans from the philosophy of Hugo Grotius (1583-1645), to the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, to the International Criminal Court. The International Criminal Court celebrates the 20th anniversary of its founding document, The Rome Statute, in 2018, and will activate its jurisdiction over the Crime of Aggression on July 17 of this year. In an effort to better understand this important history, The Bertha von Suttner Project, The Center for International Ethics at Central Michigan University and the Peace Palace Library are convening a “Master Class” about this history.
On July 3rd (from 14:00-18:00pm), we will convene in the historic reading room of the Peace Palace to begin our dialogue about the “red thread” of history to legislate peace.
On July 4th (from 18:00 to 21:00pm), we will gather at the historic Nieuwe Kerk in Delft which contains not only the Tomb of Hugo Grotius, but a “Grotius Window” which was unveiled in 1931 by Frank Kellogg while he was a judge at the Permanent Court of International Justice. A number of short speeches will be given adjacent to the Tomb and the Window, with a reception to follow.
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The “Grotius Window" was commissioned by the Netherlands-America Foundation - with support from the American bench and bar - to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Grotius' De Jure Belli et Pacis (On the Law of War and Peace (1625). Extensive repairs at the church prevented the window from being completed in 1925, the year of the 300th anniversary. But by the time of its unveiling in 1931, a number of important developments occurred. First, The historic Kellogg-Briand Pact, or the “Treaty for the Renunciation of War”, which “outlawed war” as a means of national policy, was signed in 1928. Recent research has shown that the Kellogg-Briand Pact laid the foundation for the UN Charter. Second, Frank Kellogg had received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1929 for his efforts to legislate peace via the Kellogg-Briand Pact (Aristide Briand, the French Foreign Minister and other co-author of the Pact received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1926 for his efforts in helping France and Germany to reconcile after World War I). Finally, in 1930, Kellogg was elected by the Council and the Assembly of the League of Nations to be a judge at the Permanent Court of International Justice (located in the Peace Palace, The Hague). Thus, when he unveiled the Grotius Window in Delft in 1931, Frank Kellogg had co-sponsored the Kellogg-Briand Pact, and was both a Nobel laureate and a judge at the “World Court” in The Hague. “Legislating Peace” will inform you about the movement to “outlaw war” to which the Kellogg-Briand Pact and the International Criminal Court are connected, and it will show how both the Netherlands and the the United States have contributed to this movement, and especially to the important component of public education thereto.[number of readers: 450]
A selection of relevant publications from the Peace Palace Library collection
- Aure, A.H., The Right to Wage War (Jus ad bellum): the German Reception of Grotius 50 years after De iure belli ac pacis, Berlin, Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, 2015.
- Barksdale, C. (ed.), The Illustrious Hugo Grotius of the Law of Warre and Peace, Clark, NJ, Lawbook Exchange, 2013.
- Barthélemy, J. (eds.) (et al.), Les fondateurs du droit international, Paris, Éditions Panthéon-Assas, 2014.
- Ertz, S., Vertrag und Gesetz: das Naturrecht und die Bible bei Grotius, Hobbes, Spinoza, Würzburg, Königshausen und Neumann, 2014.
- Rossi, C.R., Sovereignty and Territorial Temptation : the Grotian Tendency, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2017.
- Straumann, B., Roman Law in the State of Nature: the Classical Foundations of Hugo Grotius' Natural Law, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2015.
- Waszink, J.H. (ed.), Kroniek van de Nederlandse Oorlog: de Opstand 1559-1588, Nijmegen, Uitgeverij VanTilt, 2014.