During the Paris Peace Conference and for the most of the period after 1919, the aims, interests, and policies of Britain differed fundamentally from those of France. Neither of the two countries was able to pursue unhampered the course it laid out for itself. Great Britain had suffered huge casualties but little land devastation during the war. However, the British wartime coalition was re-elected at the end of 1918, with a policy of squeezing the German “’til the pips squeak”. Public opinion favoured a “just peace”, which would force Germany to pay reparations and be unable to repeat the aggression of 1914, although those of a “liberal and advanced opinion” shared Wilson’s ideal of a peace of reconciliation.Read more
Major events in history tend to bring about or further major innovations in technology. The announcement of the then Prime Minister of the UK, David Cameron, in January 2013 that he wanted to organise an in- or out-referendum about British membership of the EU triggered the present author to start a series of blogs about Brexit on the website of this library. Blogs form a challenge for traditional academics inasmuch as they have to be short and sharp. The effect of the blog will be highlighted by the punch line in which it culminates. A blog, which solves an age-old conundrum, may turn out to be a greater leap forward in academic advancement than many contemplative books have been.Read more
A spectre of discontent is haunting Europe. Brexit and the yellow vests are symbolising the anger of citizens at the EU. The feelings of dissatisfaction are fuelled by the paradox that global companies are hardly paying any taxes within the EU, whereas the citizens are increasingly confronted with higher burdens, notably with more VAT, longer working years and rises in indirect taxes. At the same time, the EU has achieved unprecedented results. It has created an area of freedom, security and justice for its citizens, which is unique in the world.Read more
Peace is an elusive thing. For many, the attraction of the Christmas season is the momentary fulfillment of that dream, the wonderful moment of ‘Peace on Earth’. For one night, it seems possible. As Christmas approaches, we experience a sense of ‘Peace on Earth’. A few times in history, this sense of peace at Christmas had real impact on human affairs. A little known example is the the signing of the Treaty of Ghent on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1814, ending a war, the War of 1812, between the United States and the British Empire and their allies.Read more
Since the creation of the British Indian Ocean Territory, a remnant of the British Empire has been subject of international legal dispute. The two most prominent are the request for an advisory opinion – currently under deliberation of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – and secondly the arbitral proceedings under the Law of the Sea Convention. These issues and certain domestic proceedings in the United Kingdom relating to the legal status of the Chagossian people, have been the subject of legal academic research and subsequent publications. A recent addition is titled: “Fifty years of the British Indian Ocean territory: legal perspectives.” This book, produced in response to the 50th anniversary of the British Indian Ocean Territory’s founding, also assesses the impact of the decisions taken in respect of the Territory against a wider background of decolonization while addressing important questions about the lawfulness of maintaining Overseas Territories in the post-colonial era.Read more
The 1916 US Naval Act and its 1918 proposed expansion triggered a Naval Arms Race between it and it’s allied nations of Great Britain and Japan.Read more
Finally, the United States Government invited the principal naval powers to a conference to discuss the situation and end the Naval Arms Race.
A bold opening suggestion from the US government resulted in the scrapping and halting of most naval capital ships.
The Washington Naval Treaty signed on the 6th of February 1922
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.Read more
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.Read more
On March 29th Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) Therese May triggered article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) in order to withdraw the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU). Just this Tuesday (April 18th) Prime Minister May called for a snap UK election on June 8th 2017 in order to give the people of the United Kingdom a say in whether or not May’s government is acting in the right way in the Brexit negotiations. This blog analyzes some possible implications of the Brexit, according to the European Commission’s White Paper on the future of Europe in 2025.Read more
Head of UKRep to give document to European council president, signalling Britain’s intention to withdraw from EU.Read more