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.
On April 13, it was the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Maqdala between the British empire and the Abyssinian empire, in modern day Ethiopia. The battle of 1868, which basically started as an expedition to free British hostages taken by the Abyssinian emperor, resulted in a decisive victory for the British and the suicide of the Abyssinian emperor Tewodros. In the aftermath, the British troops plundered the empire and loaded 15 elephants and almost 200 mules with their spoils. The Victoria and Albert Museum now hosts a special display with a number of the artifacts. This exposition raises the issue of the restitution of the looted artifacts to Ethiopia.Read more
The debate about the future of Europe has been deadlocked ever since the start of the process of European integration in the midst of the 20th century. According to one school of thought the process had to result in the emergence of a federal State of Europe, while another theory held that the participating states should aspire to form a Europe of Nation States or a Europe des Patries. Both theories underlined that there were no other options available. The present blog aims to demonstrate that both theories are outdated and have to be replaced.Read more
After the Al Mahdi case, a landmark trial, a second case has been referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Timbuktu, Mali between 2012 and 2013. Another Malian national, 40-year-old Mr Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud, faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He has been accused of destroying holy places, mausoleums of Muslim saints in Timbuktu and of enforcing a policy of forced marriage which had led to sexual slavery and rape of women and girls. The alleged crimes were committed between 2012 and 2013 when Timbuktu was under the control of militant islamists. From April 2012 until January 2013, Mr Al Hassan was head of the Islamic Police.Read more
The collective expulsion of Russian diplomats was all over the news the past few days. The United States, Canada and 18 European countries have ordered the expulsion of dozens of Russian diplomats in response to the nerve agent attack in the United Kingdom. We have created a bibliographic overview on diplomacy and expulsion, intended as a starting point for research. It provides materials available in the Peace Palace Library catalogue, both in print and electronic format.Read more
Recent years have seen the African Court begin to find its stride. Its willingness to expand its jurisdiction and defend vulnerable groups against powerful states has shown it to be a bold court with a desire to vigorously uphold its mandate to protect human rights on the Continent. Whilst it indeed seems that the Court has the aspiration to assert itself, the fact that so few states have deposited their Special Declarations allowing individuals and NGOs direct access to the Court continues to hamper its effectiveness. The Court’s outreach efforts to engage with states and civil society in response to this paucity of Special Declarations do appear to be having some success, however, progress has been slow and the Court may have to have recourse to other means to improve state engagement in future.Read more
This week’s compelling guest blog compares the fields of Conflict Studies with Genocide Studies, its intriguing differences and similarities and the general lack of cross-pollination between them, even though they both deal with questions of collective violence and individual participation in violence. The author, Kjell Anderson, is a jurist and social scientist and works in both fields of Conflict Studies and Genocide studies.Read more
What are Peace Museums? How are they distinct from War Museums? Is there overlap?
Location: Peace Palace Library. Date: 2 March 2018. Time: 16:45 – 18:00 (CET)
Dr Joyce Apsel is Professor of Liberal Studies and lectures on International Human Rights, Human Rights & the Environment, Global Violence at New York University. She is also President of the Institute for the Study of Genocide. In her talk Joyce Apsel will provide images from a range of peace museums and discuss the images, narratives and education which promote cultures of peace.Read more
The Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of abduction and retention across international boundaries by providing a procedure to bring about their prompt return. To implement these objectives, the Convention creates a system of close co-operation among the judicial and administrative authorities of the Contracting States and requests Contracting States to use the most expeditious procedures available under their own laws for Convention proceedings. A recent decision of the Japanese Supreme Court shows the conflict between the desire to protect factual situations altered by the wrongful removal or retention of a child, and that of guaranteeing respect for the legal relationships which may underlie such situations.Read more
30 January 2018, U.S. President Trump, during his State of the Union speech, called for a nuclear arsenal “so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression.”
The President made clear that his first priority is to protect the United States, allies, and partners. The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (2018 NPR) lays out important policy changes with regard to U.S. nuclear weapons. The renewal of its nuclear forces will have huge implications for the security of the country and its allies, its public finances and the salience of nuclear weapons in global politics. While the United States has continued to reduce the number and salience of nuclear weapons, others, including Russia and China, have moved in the opposite direction.Read more
As newly elected President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron has made his mark on the debate about the European Union by introducing the term European sovereignty. In his speech at the Sorbonne of 26 September 2017 he elaborated his vision on European sovereignty in detail. The reason why this term raises distrust among lawyers is that it contains an apparent contradiction. Sovereignty in Europe rests with the member states, not with the Union. According to the highest constitutional court of Germany, the member states are the ‘masters of the treaties’, not the Union. So, has President Macron merely launched a political slogan or will closer examination reveal that his approach gives fresh impetus to the smouldering debate about the future of Europe?Read more