Peace Palace Library
The international law library

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Research guide International Criminal Law

International criminal law is the part of public international law that deals with the criminal responsibility of individuals for international crimes. A distinction can be made between international crimes which are based on international customary law and therefore apply universally and crimes resulting from specific treaties which criminalize certain conduct and require the contracting states to implement legislation for the criminal prosecution of this conduct in their domestic legal system.

Check our Research Guide on International Criminal Law
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Library blog COVID-19 Flyer and Protocol for Non-residents: Visiting the Library's Premises

The Peace Palace Library implements new COVID-19 procedures for visiting the Library’s Reading Room. Registration upon visiting the Library is obligatory. Please read the flyer and protocol in advance.

The health of our guests and staff is our highest priority and we therefore ask you to respect our measures regarding COVID-19. As these rules and procedures are subject to constant monitoring, evaluation and review, the the flyer and protocol too, will be subject to ongoing monitoring and evaluation. If need be, they will be updated.

Stay healthy, stay safe!

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News and events Re-opening 22 June: Visiting the Library upon Registration

As of Monday June 22, the Library is re-opened for visitors. Your visit will be impacted by Covid-19. We kindly request you to prepare for your visit by reading the COVID-19 Flyer and Protocol first.

Registration for each visit will be compulsory. A maximum of 30 people will be allowed to visit the Library on a daily basis. The Reading Room will be open on workdays from 10.00-17.00 hrs. Studying, returning and borrowing books is possible during time slots only. Please bring your own laptop with you and a valid ID card. There are no public computers available in the Reading Room.

We look forward to welcoming you again soon!

Kind regards, PPL Staff

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World War II

World War II was the global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving two opposing military alliances, the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history. In a state of “total war,” the participants placed their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities at the service of the war effort. Marked by significant events involving the mass death of civilians, including the Holocaust and the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare, it was the deadliest conflict in human history.

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The Nuremberg Trials Legacy

Picture: the archives of the International Military Tribunal on their way to the International Court of Justice, arriving at the Peace Palace, 14 March 1950.

The Nuremberg Trials mark an important moment in the history of international law. Individual war criminals, prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of Nazi-Germany, were held responsible and indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity and brought to justice before an international tribunal. The Nuremberg Trials provided a legal framework on which thereafter prosecution of international crimes was built and thus laid the foundation for international criminal law to emerge as a modern discipline.

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Peace Palace Library showcase

  • READ HUM 060 507

  • Thirlway, H., The Sources of International Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2019.

  • 529 C 17

  • 534 C 27

  • 534 C 2

  • 536 C 23

You can find the showcase in our Reading Room.