Peace is an elusive thing. Everyone wants peace, yet few seem to actually possess it in any substantive form. For many, the attraction of the Christmas season is the momentary fulfillment of that dream, the wonderful moment of 'Peace on Earth'. For one night, it seems possible. As Christmas approaches, we experience a sense of 'Peace on Earth'.

The Peace Palace upholds the ideal of ‘Peace through Law’: resolving international conflicts by means of international adjudication. Some reading suggestions on this topic from your Library for the coming Christmas season. Happy Christmas!

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Peace through Law / Hans Kelsen

Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1944.

Kelsen departs from his theories on pure law and here proposes a formula for international peace. He proffers "peace guaranteed by compulsory adjudication of international disputes," (Part I): the formation of a world court with the authority to resolve international conflicts, and "peace guaranteed by individual responsibility for violations of international law," (Part II): that individual statesmen take personal moral and legal responsibility for war crimes and other acts of violation committed by their country. Possibly the most influential jurisprudent of the twentieth century, Hans Kelsen [1881-1973] was legal adviser to Austria's last emperor and its first republican government, the founder and permanent advisor of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Austria, and the author of Austria's Constitution, which was enacted in 1920, abolished during the Anschluss, and restored in 1945. He was the author of more than forty books on law and legal philosophy. Active as a teacher in Europe and the United States, he was Dean of the Law Faculty of the University of Vienna and taught at the universities of Cologne and Prague, the Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Harvard, Wellesley, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Naval War College.

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World Peace through World Law / Grenville Clark and Louis B. Sohn

Two Alternative Plans, Third edition enlarged, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1966.

The authors’ plans for the maintenance of world peace calls for total national disarmament by stages under strict inspection and the establishment of such legislative, executive and judicial institutions as are necessary to maintain world order. To this new edition, which takes into account the views expressed by many distinguished persons throughout the world, a proposed treaty for establishing a World Disarmament and World Development Organization has been added.

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World Peace through Law / James Taylor Ranney

Replacing War with the Global Rule of Law, London; New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2018.

This book deals with the history and future of the concept of ‘world peace through law’ (WPTL), which advocates replacing the use of international force with the global rule of law. WPTL calls for replacing war with the global rule of law by arms reductions, including the abolition of nuclear weapons, global alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, and various enforcement mechanisms. This book sets forth a three-part proposal: 1) arms reductions – primarily the abolition of nuclear weapons, with necessarily concomitant reductions in conventional forces; 2) a four-stage system of global alternative dispute resolution (ADR), utilizing both law and equity; 3) adequate enforcement mechanisms, including a UN Peace Force. The core of this proposal is alternative dispute resolution mechanisms―international ADR. International ADR would consist of a four-stage process of compulsory negotiation, compulsory mediation, compulsory arbitration., and compulsory adjudication by the World Court. The fundamental proposition of this book is that the use of alternatives to war, global ADR, is the ultimate solution to the problem of peace. The full implementation of WPTL will entail a vast array of progressive initiatives on many fronts, including abolition of nuclear weapons, with the global rule of law being the capstone to all of these developments. This book will be of great interest to students of peace studies, arms control, international law, and world politics.

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