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  • Targeted Killing of European Foreign Terrorist Fighters in Syria and Iraq

    Library blog - October 25, 2017

    In recent years, a significant number of European nationals have travelled to Syria or Iraq to train and fight with terrorist groups such as the Islamic State (IS). This flow of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) has posed serious security concerns for Europe, in particular with regards to the threat posed by FTFs returning to Europe to carry out terrorist attacks. In this context, it appears that a number of States have resorted to targeted strikes against their citizens in Syria and Iraq.

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  • China’s Ascendency as Vanguard of Traditional Knowledge in International Law Fora

    Library blog - August 24, 2017

    The People’s Republic of China has made great strides towards a commercial rule of law in regard to intellectual property law. International law has helped raise the bar for the protection and enforcement standards of intellectual property law in China. Now, that China has realized the potential of intellectual property law for innovation, culture and commerce it has become a vocal advocate in international law fora to reform intellectual property law in line with their ideas about Traditional Knowledge.

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  • Acquiring the Site of the Peace Palace, the Hustle and Bustle

    Library blog - August 3, 2017

    On July 30, we marked the 110 anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone ceremony in the Peace Palace. Since the first foundation stone of the Peace Palace was laid 110 years ago, the Peace Palace has become an icon of peace and justice for the city of The Hague. However, acquiring the building location for the Peace Palace at the border of Scheveningen, on the estate Zorgvliet, was not that simple. Here is the fascinating story.

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  • Are Syria and Iraq the Middle Eastern Bloodlands?

    Library blog - July 20, 2017

    Deir az-Zor is a sleepy town on the banks of the Euphrates in the Syrian desert, and did not ring much of a bell for most non-Syrians. Except for Armenians. During the 1915 Armenian Genocide, the Ottoman government deported hundreds of thousands of Ottoman Armenians to Deir az-Zor, where they were left to die or were killed outright. A German diplomat who was stationed in that area wrote that the Armenians were “slaughtered like sheep”. To the casual observer this looked allegorical or even hyperbolical, in any case unreal, removed far away in geography, time, and culture. Until recent times, when ISIS videos surfaced online. And again the desert soil of Deir az-Zor shone red with blood, and once more the word ‘Deir az-Zor’ served as a symbol of bloodshed.

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  • Fethiye Çetin and her grandmother

    Legacies of the Armenian Genocide: Family Stories of Survivors

    Library blog - April 24, 2017

    Today, 24 April, marks the 102nd commemoration of the beginning of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1916. Often, debates on the Armenian Genocide center around demographic data of lost Armenian lives in the genocide and overlook the fact how each killing affected a family irreversibly. Mass atrocities and deportations weighed on families, disrupting relationships between relatives, husbands and wives, as well as parents and children. Survivors of the genocide lost contact with their family members and were scattered into various regions, from the Middle East, Russia and Europe to the American and Australian continents. This blog focuses on separated survivors of the Armenian Genocide and how sometimes their descendant families are reunited.

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  • Turkey: Constitutional Referendum during a State of Emergency

    Library blog - March 30, 2017

    Turkey’s upcoming constitutional referendum on 16 April 2017 is deeply polarizing Turkish society and concurrently threatening its foreign relations with Western allies. According to the latest polls, the battle for the constitutional reform package is a neck and neck race, with the opposition having a slight lead for now. So far neither side has taken a convincing lead but if president Erdoğan gains the necessary support for the referendum, eighteen amendments will alter the Turkish constitution in a way that will grant the president sweeping powers and mark the biggest changes since the inception of the 93-year old Turkish Republic. Prior to the referendum, Turkey’s already brittle democracy had been dealt a huge blow by the declaration of the State of Emergency after the failed coup in July 2016, which initiated a purge of nearly unprecedented scale.

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  • The Case for Border Controls

    Library blog - September 1, 2016

    It is a legitimate right of sovereign states to control their borders. To achieve this, modern states have designed sophisticated immigration rules that use elaborate criteria such as nationality, age, diplomas, marital status and wealth to grant or refuse people the right to enter and settle. Both the ‘open’ and ‘closed’ border positions are unrealistic and do not justice to the complex realities of migration policy making, which is primarily about the selection of migrants, and not about numbers, despite muscle-flexing political rhetoric suggesting the contrary.

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  • A 100-year (Hi)Story of Statelessness

    Library blog - August 25, 2016

    This blog looks at the 100-year (hi)story of the international community’s response to the phenomenon of statelessness. It explores four key chapters: the early international agreements which set the first limits on states’ freedom to regulate nationality; the post-WWII response by the United Nations to the scourge of statelessness; the emergence of the right to a nationality as a fundamental – and justiciable – human right; and finally the launch of a bold and ambitious campaign to eradicate statelessness once and for all.

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  • Cultural Property in Conflict

    Library blog - August 4, 2016

    The destruction of cultural property is an old problem but still a topical issue. The destruction of cultural property in mostly Iraq and Syria is still a trending topic in the media. But it is not a new problem, cultural property has played a part in conflict and war throughout history. After the Second World War the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict 1954 was created to prevent this destruction in the future, but even then it continued. Irina Bokova, director general of UNESCO, called this destruction of cultural property in Iraq ‘cultural cleansing’. “They want to tell us that there is no memory, that there is no culture, that there is no heritage”.

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  • Peace Poet Hanneke Eggels: ‘Bertha’s Bell in GMT’

    News and events - June 3, 2016

    Almost four years ago, we interviewed Hanneke Eggel,s, a peace poet, who expresses her concern for peace and justice through the means of poetry. Ms. Eggels recognizes the strong link between poetry and politics, since many peace activists have used poetry as an effective means to communicate their ideas to a worldwide audience.

    For this year, ms. Eggels was inspired to write a poem about Bertha von Suttner. Since June is the month of Bertha von Suttner birthday as well as the day of the death, we have decided to publish Ms. Eggels’ poem: ‘Bertha ‘s Bell in GMT’.

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