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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.

  • Hurricane-Irma_Jose

    Natural Disasters and International Law

    September 14, 2017

    Natural disasters like the hurricanes Irma and Jose took a deadly path through the Caribbean and Florida, causing widespread destruction. Over the last decade, major natural disasters, including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 hurricane Katrina, the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami, have focused world attention on the importance of having adequate national legal frameworks in place for disaster prevention and response. Legislation plays a crucial role in promoting and supporting disaster risk reduction as well as in guaranteeing the speed and effectiveness of disaster response. This blog explains in short the role and importance of international disaster response law.

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  • The Martens Clause: A New Library Special

    August 31, 2017

    The Martens clause is named after the Russian diplomat and international law professor Fyodor Fyodorovich Martens (1845-1909), the Russian delegate at the The Hague Peace Conferences in 1899. The Martens clause came into existence as a diplomatic statement made by diplomat Martens who wanted to come up with a solution for a disagreement between large occupying forces and smaller states. Martens, who was of the opinion that international law should illuminate and set normative standards, created the clause to fill a legal vacuum and help alleviate the horrors of war. The clause serves as a reminder that an act is not just yet permissible when an act of war is not expressly prohibited by international law or customary law.

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

    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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  • The Treaties of Ryswick (1697)

    August 17, 2017

    In 1697, the Huis ter Nieuburch in Rijswijk was the scene of the negotiations which led to so-called “Peace of Ryswick”. These negotiations sought to end the Nine-Years War between France on one side and the Grand Alliance of Spain, England, The Dutch Republic and The Holy Roman Empire. The Peace Treaty of Rijswijk was not a single document but consisted of a number of treaties which were signed during the months of September and October 1697. The treaties have been scanned in order to familiarize researchers with our historical collection.

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  • Satellite Data in International Law

    August 10, 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 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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  • 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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