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Rule of law

  • European Democracy and #EURoad2Sibiu

    June 21, 2018

    If the Commission Juncker is to deserve a place in history, it may well be because of its efforts to democratize the EU. At the start of its term in 2014, the Commission Juncker included ‘democratic change’ in its ten policy priorities and towards the end of its time in office it has submitted a Roadmap for a more united, stronger and more democratic Union. The roadmap must lead to a meeting of the European Council in 2019 in the Romanian city of Sibiu and citizens are invited to participate in the debate via #EURoad2Sibiu.

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  • Breakthrough in the Debate about the Nature of the EU

    October 5, 2017

    In January 2013, PM David Cameron delivered a speech on Europe in which he announced his decision to give the people a say on British membership of the EU. His address, which triggered a series of blogs on this website about the nature of the EU, contained a remarkable dichotomy. In the ensuing debate, the EU proved to be unable to defend itself against the accusations of its opponents that it forms a ‘Fourth Reich’, a modern Leviathan or even the reincarnation of the medieval Golem of Prague.

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  • Turkey: Constitutional Referendum during a State of Emergency

    March 30, 2017

    Turkey’s upcoming constitutional referendum on 16 April 2017 is deeply polarizing Turkish society and concurrently threatening its foreign relations with Western allies. According to the latest polls, the battle for the constitutional reform package is a neck and neck race, with the opposition having a slight lead for now. So far neither side has taken a convincing lead but if president Erdoğan gains the necessary support for the referendum, eighteen amendments will alter the Turkish constitution in a way that will grant the president sweeping powers and mark the biggest changes since the inception of the 93-year old Turkish Republic. Prior to the referendum, Turkey’s already brittle democracy had been dealt a huge blow by the declaration of the State of Emergency after the failed coup in July 2016, which initiated a purge of nearly unprecedented scale.

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  • After Brexit a Citizens' Declaration

    After Brexit a Citizens’ Declaration

    August 12, 2016

    Although EU citizenship has become one of the most distinctive symbols of the European Union since its foundation in 1992, the majority of UK voters have decided to leave the EU and to relinquish their rights as citizens of the Union. As discontent in other member states is growing too, the European Council should shed new light on the relation between the EU and its citizens through the adoption of a Citizens’ Declaration at its earliest opportunity. Guest blog by Jaap Hoeksma, author of the EU-monograph: From Common Market to Common Democracy.

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  • Book Launch: From Common Market to Common Democracy

    March 31, 2016

    Our esteemed guest blogger Jaap Hoeksma, philosopher of law, director of Euroknow and creator of the Boardgame Eurocracy, has presented his new book From Common Market to Common Democracy: A Theory of Democratic Integration in the Peace Palace Library during a special book launch ceremony. The monograph is a small book with a relatively long history. It has been triggered by the reactions to Hoeksma’s finding that the Lisbon Treaty construes the European Union as a democracy without, however, turning the Union into a State. In order to submit his ideas to academic scrutiny, Hoeksma initiated a scientific meeting in the Peace Palace some time ago with a view to establish whether the European Union may be regarded as a new phenomenon in International Law, and, if so, how this novel entity can be described. In a series of blogs on our website Jaap Hoeksma explored the intricacies of the Westphalian system of International Relations.

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  • Enforcing the Rule of Law: The Case of Poland

    Enforcing the Rule of Law: The Case of Poland

    January 22, 2016

    After the Law and Justice Party (PiS) took control over the presidency in May 2015 and won a clear majority in Poland’s last parliamentary elections in October 2015, the new conservative PiS government quickly expanded its control over the media and judiciary. They did so by introducing controversial amendments to laws, which were first passed through the Sejm: the Polish Parliament and then approved by the Senate and Poland’s new President Duda.

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  • Peace Weekend Celebrations – International Rule of Law?

    September 18, 2015

    This weekend The Hague will celebrate the International Day of Peace, September 21st, with a designated ‘Peace Weekend’.

    The celebrations vary from a peace run (with a Peace Palace team) to The Hague Open Doors Event, where the Peace Palace Library, together with the other international organizations of The Hague, will open their doors to the public.

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  • 33rd IALL Annual Course on Libraries and the Rule of Law, Buenos Aires

    33rd IALL Annual Course on Libraries and the Rule of Law, Buenos Aires

    September 26, 2014

    The International Association of Law Libraries helds its 33rd Annual Course in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 28th September – October 1st, 2014. Theme this year: ‘Libraries and the Rule of Law’.
    33rd IALL Annual Course on Libraries and the Rule of Law, Buenos Aires

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  • Connecting Habermas with International Law

    Connecting Habermas with International Law

    June 13, 2014

    The financial crisis has intensified the debate about the feasibility of the European Union as a new phenomenon in international law. In his essay ‘On Europe’s Constitution’, philosopher Jürgen Habermas underlines that he regards the EU as a step in the direction of a politically constituted world order. In an 2012 interview Habermas focuses on the conceptual challenges of the EU by asking the quintessential question: How should we imagine a for closer co-operation necessary, supranational association which complies with stringent demands of democratic legitimacy without assuming the shape of a state?

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  • Beyond the Westphalian Paradigm

    Beyond the Westphalian Paradigm

    January 3, 2014

    For decades, the process of European integration has been hampered by the predominance of the Westphalian system of international relations. According to this system, which owes its name to the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, the process of European integration had to result either in the creation of a federal European state or in the establishment of a confederal union of states. Founded in 1992, the EU defied the Westphalian paradigm from the outset.

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