Laws of war

  • The Destruction of the Cathedral of Reims

    The Destruction of the Cathedral of Reims, 1914

    July 23, 2014

    On 20 September 1914, German shellfire burned, damaged and destroyed important parts of the magnificent Cathedral of Reims. The destruction of the Cathedral was generally regarded as an act of sheer vandalism. At the time, it was generally admitted by writers on international law that if the military commander of a besieged place used a church or other building whose immunity had been established, as a stronghold, a storehouse, or an observatory, the besieger might bombard the site without being held responsible for damages caused in consequence of their proximity to other buildings which are liable to bombardment. Even the French war manual itself admitted this.

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  • Phillipson, C., International Law and the Great War, London, Fisher Unwin; Sweet and Maxwell, 1915.

    Phillipson, C., International Law and the Great War, London, Fisher Unwin; Sweet and Maxwell, 1915

    July 1, 2014

    In this contemporary work, Coleman Phillipson, gives a systematic account, from the point of view of international law, of most of the questions and incidents that had risen in the Great War so far. Despite the numerous breaches of international law indicated, the author states that we need not despair of its future.

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  • Nellen, H.J.M., Grotius’s Memory Honoured: On the Acquisition of the First Edition of De Iure Belli ac Pacis by the Peace Palace Library, The Hague, Peace Palace Library, 2012.

    Grotius’s Memory Honoured

    January 22, 2013

    A booklet by Professor Henk Nellen on the acquisition of the first edition of De Iure belli ac pacis by the Peace Palace Library. It is an adapted version of a speech held in the Peace Palace on 21 February 2011, when the copy of De iure belli ac pacis was presented to the public. After a short survey of the genesis, printing history and early reception, the booklet goes into the differences between the three states of the first edition and their significance for the interpretation of Grotius’s work.

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  • The Legality of Drone Attacks

    October 5, 2012

    According to a recent report by Stanford and New York Universities’ law schools (Living Under Drones), the current US drone strike policy is counterproductive, has injured and killed civilians and undermines respect for international law. This blog explores briefly both the ius ad bellum and ius in bello implications of drone attacks.

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  • Frits Kalshoven

    Interview with: Holland’s most famous International Humanitarian Law Professor Frits Kalshoven

    May 14, 2012

    For students who study international humanitarian law his book “Constraints on the waging of war : an introduction to international humanitarian law”, 4th ed. 2011, is obligatory reading. Professor Kalshoven who has been a familiar face in the Peace Palace Library since 1964, when he started his research for his thesis “Belligerent Reprisals”, kindly agreed […]

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  • Third Library Lecture about the Eichmann case

    In 1961, Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962), a former SS-Obersturmbannführer, was accused, before a court in Jerusalem, of helping Hitler in his plan to exterminate the Jews in the Second World War. He was found guilty on all charges and subsequently hanged in a prison near Tel Aviv in June 1962.

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