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  • Dresden 1945

    Dresden 1945: An Allied War Crime?

    Library blog - February 18, 2011

    Since 1945, the bombing of Dresden is considered by many as a violation of international law and as a crime against humanity, even though positive rules of international humanitarian law were absent at the time. The Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, were among the first formal statements of the laws of war and war crimes in the nascent body of international law. However these conventions, adressing the codes of wartime conduct on land and at sea, were adopted before the rise of air power. Despite repeated diplomatic attempts (→ The Hague Rules of Air Warefare 1922/1923) to update international humanitarian law to include aerial warfare, it was not done before the outbreak of World War II. The absence of positive international humanitarian law does not mean that the laws of war did not cover aerial warfare, but there was no general agreement of how to interpret those laws. The aerial bombardment of Dresden does not only raise the question as to whether or not it was an Allied war crime, but it also makes a moral appeal to prevent total war against civilian populations. It’s memory is kept alive.

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  • Climate Change and Human Rights

    Library blog - February 15, 2011

    On Friday 11 February 2011, the Dutch Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (NJCM), ICCO and Stand Up For Your Rights together organized a seminar on Climate Change and Human Rights. It took place at ICCO Headquarters in Utrecht, Netherlands. Below follows a brief impression of the seminar.

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  • Signing of the Treaty of Versailles, 28 June 1919

    German War Reparations (WW I) Financially Ended

    First World War Centenary - January 3, 2011

    Nearly 92 years after the official end of World War I, Germany made its final reparations-related payment for the Great War on October 3, thereby ending the conflict financially. The German newspaper Die Welt discovered a last installment for the Londoner Schuldenabkommen of 69,9 million euro’s in the German budget. Not being a direct reparations settlement but rather the final sum owed on bonds that were issued between 1924 and 1930 and sold to foreign (mostly American) investors, but then never paid.

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  • Facebook and the individual in the global village

    Library blog - December 16, 2010

    According to the Dutch Queen, there is a real danger that the Dutch are slowly alienating themselves from the local community and instead turn into isolated individuals. And the social networks on the internet, Facebook included, only accelerate this process.

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  • The Moon Agreement of 1979: What Relevance to Space Activities ?

    Library blog - September 3, 2010

    Years of negotiations in the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and vigorous drafting and re-drafting of an international treaty to govern the activities of States on the Moon, culminated in an unanimous acceptance of the Moon Agreement (or Moon Treaty) by the UN General Assembly in 1979. The Agreement applies to the Moon and all other celestial bodies within the solar system other than the Earth, including orbits or other trajectories to or around them. It turns over jurisdiction to the international community.

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  • The International Politics of Whaling: Recent Developments

    Library blog - July 2, 2010

    Whales, large, mysterious, intelligent, and endangered. Has any mammal inspired such romantic images of the sea and love for nature as much as the whale, yet aroused such controversy in global environmental conservation? King of the Seas, symbol of the environmental movement, meat and oil for commercial whaling. Over the years, large-scale commercial whaling has depleted a number of whale populations to a significant extent, resulting in the International Whaling Commission (IWC) issuing a moratorium on whaling in 1986. Some recent developments will illustrate the highly controversial nature of whaling.

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  • What Future for Western Sahara ?

    Library blog - April 26, 2010

    There is no prospect of resolving the decades-old conflict between Morocco and the Sahrawi independence movement Polisario on the future of Western Sahara. The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, came to this conclusion in a gloomy report, dated 6 April 2010, to the Security Council. Ban Ki-moon reported that “it is clear […]

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  • Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden

    Equality in the Line of Succession

    Library blog - February 26, 2010

    Gender equality legislation is sweeping the world. Constitutions and laws have been recognized by women’s rights activists as important instruments through which decision-making, influence and power are organized and exercised. In a few western countries these changes even touched a very ancient and traditional institution of government which over the centuries has preferably been reserved for males, that is, the institution of monarchy.

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  • Scheldt River: Controversy, Cooperation, International Law | Library Special

    Scheldt River Dispute (Part II) : Hedwige Polder

    Library blog - December 22, 2009

    The Scheldt is a transboundary river which originates in North-Western France and runs through Western Belgium and the South-West of the Netherlands. The Scheldt Estuary is shared between Belgium and the Netherlands. Since the separation of Belgium from the Netherlands in 1839, the free navigation of the Scheldt and the maintenance and improvement of the navigation channel have been a bone of contention and legal controversy.

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  • EU Enlargement Strategy and Progress Reports 2009

    Library blog - October 22, 2009

    On 14 October 2009 the European Commission adopted its annual strategy document explaining its policy on EU enlargement. The document includes also a summary of the progress made over the last twelve months by each candidate and potential candidate: Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, as well as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, […]

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