Peace Palace Library 2017 in Review


As we turn the page on 2017, a lot has happened in the world and also specific on the international law arena. In this blog the Peace Palace Library looks back on the most notable international law news and Peace Palace Library lectures and events.

As we turn the page on 2017, the Peace Palace Library looks back on the most notable international law news and Peace Palace Library events. What a year 2017 was! Hereby some highlights.

The year started with the appointment of a new ninth secretary general of the United Nations. Portuguese politician and diplomat António Guterres replaced South Korean Ban Ki-moon. The Syrian civil war continues and thus the violence, human rights violations and the terrible humanitarian crisis. We had the fall of Mosul and the terrible ongoing Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar. Because of global warming and climate change we had several natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, fires and devastating hurricanes like Irma and Jose. We had Donald Trump Champions America First. He has canceled U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, withdrawn the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, refused to certify that Iran is in compliance with its nuclear obligations, recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, ramped up the use of drones, and relegated democracy and human rights to the sidelines of U.S. foreign policy.

North Korea defied the world with testing of ballistic missiles. Brexit negotiations continues and will likely be difficult. EU members have yet to agree among themselves on what terms to offer and the British Parliament has asserted its right to vote on the final agreement. Unless a deal is signed, sealed, and delivered by March 29, 2019, or a unanimous EU agrees to an extension, Britain faces a “hard Brexit”. That would maximize how much disruption its divorce from the EU causes. The clock is ticking. Catalonia’s October independence referendum triggered a political crisis in Spain. The International Olympic Committee announced that Russia is banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea over the country's "systemic manipulation" of anti-doping rules.

On international law, we had the last trial by the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). On 22 November 2017, Ratko Mladić, the former commander of the Bosnian Serb army and one-time fugitive from international justice, also called “Butcher of Bosnia” has been sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity by ICTY. The ICTY is to be dissolved at the end of the year. The appeal proceedings will be carried out by the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (MICT). And last but not least, a historic decision has been taken to activate the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the Crime of Aggression, at the Sixteenth meeting of Assembly of States Parties (ASP) to the Statute of the ICC in New York. The ASP adopted a resolution that adds the crime of aggression to the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Library Services

In 2016 the Library created a new service for you: Library Specials. These specials are posts on our website concerning specific topics or actual events. The specials are created for you to provide you easy access to our collection about the specific topics. Hereby a list with our Library Specials:

All these Library Specials on specific topics provide you easy access to our collection: a selective bibliography, newsletters, books, articles and online resources. Explore them!

Do you know that the Library make use of a systematic classification of international law? The Online Public Access Catalog includes bibliographical references to books, periodicals and articles that are available in the Peace Palace Library. The Library possesses an in-house systematic classification, modernised and updated as of 01-01-2016, which is used to classify books, essays and articles. Originally created in 1916, the systematic classification supports your search with regard to content and is divided into five sections.

Peace Palace Events and Lectures

The Peace Palace Library and the Carnegie Foundation organised several events and lectures on issues of general international law. Hereby some highlights of these lectures and events. We had the third HELF Lecture in May. The HELF Lecture, a joint effort of four organizations in The Hague, will bring attention to a pending case between American Youth Groups and the Federal Government of the United States. Also in May the Benjamin Ferenczpad was unveiled. The path next to the Peace Palace has been named Benjamin Ferenczpad. Together with the students of the Duinoord School, 97-year-old Ferencz unveiled his street name board. After revealing, he spoke to the children in the Peace Palace Library who were allowed to ask questions. In September there was the annual Just Peace Festival and the Hague Open Doors Event that allowed the public to catch a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes of the Library. The Peace Palace Library will announce early 2018 about new upcoming events and lectures.

Your most favorite@

We composed a list with your favorites. These are a selection of the most popular newsletter posts, blog posts, publications you searched via our plinklet resolver, popular research guides, library specials, facebook themes and databases.

1. Newsletter posts 

  • Ladies of The Hague Academy of International Law
  • Academy Students In The Spotlight 
  • Interview Professor Yves Daudet

2. Blog posts

  • South China Sea Territorial Disputes
  • Africa and Withdrawal from the ICC
  • Syria Crisis: Humanitarian Law, Warfare, Refugees

3. Publications

4. Library Specials

5. Research Guides

6. Facebook themes 

Actual news and facts on international law like the posts on Crime of Aggression, Jerusalem, Iraq/Syria, ICTY (Mladic) Peace Palace photos and events Posts about the Hague Academy, news and programme

7. Databases

  • Hein Online (e-journals)
  • Oxford University Press (e-journals)
  • Westlaw International (e-journals)

If you subscribe to alerts via our alert service, we will notify you on the new acquisitions on topics of your interest. These new titles can be books, book chapters, journals and journal articles, either in print or electronic.

Next year the Library will be compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Therefore we will ask our members and future members to subscribe (again) to our newsletter. So if you do appreciate our services and you would like to be informed of our lectures and events, please subcribe again!

On behalf of the Peace Palace Staff, I like to thank our members, users and readers. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year and if you like, we will keep you updated! Stay tuned!