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Library blog

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.

  • Satellite Data in International Law

    August 18, 2017

    The use of data acquired through earth observation satellites has become commonplace. The use of satellite data has even expanded as an extremely useful tool to implement international law since it provides factual, relevant and up-to-date information. Further technological developments will steadily increase the range of data which can be collected through Earth Observation and further enhance its accuracy. Therefore, satellite data can be used to monitor compliance with obligations contained within international agreements or to resolve disputes before an international court.

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

    August 4, 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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  • ApproachingOmaha

    From Classic Wars to Hybrid Warfare

    July 27, 2017

    Thinking about wars people used to see battlefields with tanks, trenches, armies with conventional weapons, uniformed soldiers under strict hierarchical military command structure (‘Befehl ist Befehl’). Wars between nation-states were waged conform international (humantarian) law (Geneva Conventions 1949), in line with Clausewitz’s military theories. However, the concept of warfare is changing rapidly. The war of the Western coalition against Islamic State for instance, is an asymmetrical conflict. If all the jihadi’s would be competing with all Western allied forces on one battlefield, the battle would be over in no time. That’s why Islamic State uses insurgency and hit and run guerrilla-tactics, avoiding army-to-army confrontations.

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  • Are Syria and Iraq the Middle Eastern Bloodlands?

    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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  • Diplodocus Carnegii, Peace Diplomacy by Dinosaur

    July 13, 2017

    The New York Journal and Advertiser of the 11th of December 1898 had an article on page 29; “Most Colossal Animal Ever on Earth Just Found Out West”.
    It announced the discovery of a “gigantic brontosaur” in Wyoming by Mr. William H. Reed

    Andrew Carnegie, the steel magnate, decided to secure the find for the new Museum of Natural History at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburg. The Director of the Museum, Dr. William J. Holland, was ordered by Andrew Carnegie to purchase the find for the museum and contacted the discoverer.

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  • EU General Data Protection Regulation

    EU General Data Protection Regulation: Privacy and Data Protection revisted!

    June 29, 2017

    On May 25 2018, the 1995 Data Protection Directive will be replaced by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This new regulation will have impact on the whole of the EU Zone which currently spans 28 member countries and half a billion citizens. The new regulation aims to harmonise how data is handled across the whole of the EU, but will affect organisations inside or outside the EU Zone. The data protection world has changed radically over the past 20 years. This new regulation will bring crucial changes. This blog is an introduction to this important new General Data Protection Regulation.

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  • The Raid on the Medway, 1667: Forcing Peace at Breda

    June 14, 2017

    350 Years ago, the Treaty of Breda was signed at the Dutch city of Breda, 31 July, 1667, by England, the Dutch Republic, France, and Denmark-Norway. It brought a hasty end to the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665-1667) in favour of the Dutch. It was a typical quick uti possidetis treaty. In the latter stages of the war, the Dutch had prevailed. Lieutenant-Admiral-General Michiel de Ruyter virtually controlled the seas around the south coast of England. His presence encouraged English commissioners to sue for peace quickly. Negotiations, which had been long protracted, and had actually begun in Breda before the raid, took only ten days to conclude after resumption of talks.

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  • ‘Make our planet great again’. The impact of Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement

    June 10, 2017

    On 1 June 2017 Donald Trump, President of the United States of America (USA) announced that the USA would withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement: “We’re getting out, but we will start to negotiate, and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair.” The Paris Climate Agreement which aims at limiting and mitigating the effect of climate change, is an agreement which builds upon the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Trump’s decision has been scorned and condemned by many.

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  • The Blind Spot of the White Paper

    June 1, 2017

    It is conventional wisdom in Brussels and the wider European Union that a good crisis should never be wasted. Since the start of this century, however, the European Union has been besieged by such a variety of crises that it seems to be haunted by its own version of the ten biblical plagues. The constitutional crisis, which had been caused by the rejection of the so-called Constitution for Europe in 2005 by the French and Dutch electorates, was solved through the Lisbon Treaty of 2007. Hardly had the new treaty entered into force or the financial or sovereign debt crisis erupted. It pushed the euro and the EU to the brink of collapse, but the migration crisis was already pressing before the euro crisis had been brought under control. This combination of crises resulted in a Crisis of Confidence between the EU and its citizens.

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  • Essay on the Future of the European Union, by Jaap Hoeksma

    June 1, 2017

    The lesson of Brexit The erosion of trust in the EU has been galvanised by the Bloomsberg Speech on Europe of 23 January 2013, in which Prime-Minister David Cameron announced his intention to organise a referendum about British membership of the EU. In his speech Mr Cameron created a peculiar dichotomy, which the EU has […]

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