Library lectures

The Peace Palace Library Lecture Series is a lecture series on issues of general international law. Each year, approximately four lectures will be organized. All lectures are held in the Peace Palace Library, either in the Historic Reading Room or in the Academy Auditorium.

The Peace Palace Library Lecture Series are open to everyone. They are especially interesting for researchers and students, as well as diplomats, international civil servants, journalists and other professionals working in the field of public international law.

Upcoming lecture

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Previous lectures

Third Peace and Security Salon on Biological and Chemical Weapons, May 11, 2016.

The Peace Palace Library has the pleasure to invite you for the third Peace and Security Salon on biological and chemical weapons. The Salon is part of a new lecture series of the Peace Palace Library on peace and security issues. The Salon will discuss the international legal, practical and policy aspects of the use of biological and chemical weapons and the threat of biological and chemical terrorism.

The Salon will take place in an informal setting with room for discussion. The language will be English. Please note that the number of seats is limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Read more.

Hermann Goering at Nuremberg'70 Years Nuremberg', Lecture and Film Screening, November 14 and 26, 2015.

On November 14th and November 26th, the Peace Palace Library commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials against the principal perpetrators of the Hitler regime. The Nuremberg Trials mark an important moment in the history of international law. Individual Nazi war criminals were held responsible and indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity and brought to justice before a 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. Read more.

Second Peace and Security Salon on Irregular Migration, October 15, 2015.

The Peace Palace Library organized the second Peace and Security Salon on irregular migration to Europe. The Salon is part of the lecture series of the Peace Palace Library on Peace and Security issues. The salon discussed the migration policy and the human rights of migrants from a European perspective. The focus was on the legal, political and sociological challenges of managing irregular migration to Europe. Read more.

Reaper drops first precision-guided bomb, protects ground forcesFirst Peace and Security Salon on Modern Warfare, April 9, 2015.

On Thursday April 9, 2015 the Peace Palace Library organized the first Peace and Security Salon on modern warfare. A new lecture series of the Peace Palace Library on Peace and Security issues. The Salon discussed the current and likely future of drones and robots and the implications of such systems. The focus was laid on the legal, military and operational and ethical challenges these new technologies pose in relation to modern warfare. Three specialists each discussed the use of autonomous weapon systems from a different background. Professor Terry Gill, professor of military law at the University of Amsterdam and the Netherlands Defence Academy, discussed the legal perspective regarding the deployment of drones during warfare. The second speaker, Christine Boshuijzen Van Burken, a postdoctoral researcher and technology philosopher at Linnaeus University Sweden and the Netherlands Defence Academy, focused on the ethics of the technology of drones and how underlying information structures affect decision-making on the modern battlefield. The last speaker of the evening, Commodore Professor Frans Osinga, professor in War Studies, Head of the Military Operational Art and Science Section of the Netherlands Defence Academy, spoke about arguments for and against the deployment of drones. The evening was moderated by Remy Jorritsma, lecturer at the University of Maastricht, who also gave a brief introduction into the subject for the audience. Overall, it was a very interesting and informative evening about a highly debated subject. Read more.

Judge Kenneth KeithUPEACE/Peace Palace Library Lecture: Judge Kenneth Keith and PCA Legal Counsel Judith Levine on International Water Disputes, January 28, 2015.

On Wednesday January 28, 2015, the fourth of a series of lectures on Peacebuilding in Progress was held at the Academy Building of the Peace Palace, The Hague. The lectures on Peacebuilding were organised by the UPEACE Centre The Hague and the Peace Palace Library. Sir Kenneth Keith, judge at the International Court of Justice, held a speech about international water disputes and specifically the roles of international courts and arbitral tribunals in resolving them. A second speech was delivered by Ms. Judith Levine, senior legal counsel of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. She gave a short introduction about the work of the PCA and proceeded by discussing three recent PCA cases concerned with the settlement of international water disputes. Read more.

Documentary Film 'Justice for Sale' on Criminal Justice in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), June 26, 2012.

On June 26 2012, The Peace Palace Library held a screening of the award-winning Documentary Film Justice For Sale about the criminal justice system in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by Dutch Documentary filmmakers Ilse & Femke van Velzen . The documentary was introduced by Dr. Janine Ubink, an expert on African legal issues from the Van Vollenhoven Institute of Leiden University. After the screening finished, the Question & Answer took place and audience members interacted with Ilse & Femke van Velzen. The Lecture was attended by over 85 people. The Documentary provoked many reactions from audience members. Some sent us their thoughts and opinions. Watch video and read more.

50 Years since the Eichmann Trial-Memories, March 26, 2012.

The Peace Palace Library together with the Embassy of Israel have the pleasure to organize the “50 Years since the Eichmann trial-Memories" lecture by Judge Gabriel Bach. Judge Bach was a member of the Eichmann prosecution team, and was the only member of the team to interview him. Later on in his career, he was also involved in the Demjanjuk trial. Opening remarks by H.E. Judge Theodor Meron, President of The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunal. Read more.

Piracy in Somalia, January 10, 2012.

The meeting's central theme was the international community’s efforts in combating and prosecuting pirates. Commodore Michiel Hijmans discussed  the operational aspects of military operations to combat piracy, focusing on NATO’s counter-piracy operations. Marten Zwanenburg discussed the legal aspects of such operations. Henny Baan discussed the prosecution of the arrested pirates. When prosecuting Somali pirates in the Netherlands, the Dutch criminal system is confronted with various novel questions of both domestic and international criminal law. Watch video and read more.

Abyei Arbitration between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, November 30, 2012.

On the 22nd of July, 2009, an Award on the delimitation of the Abyei Area was rendered, thereby settling a dispute between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army. The PCA acted as registry and provided administrative support. The rendering of the Award was meant to facilitate the organization of a referendum about the future of the area, where various oil fields are located. On the 9th of July 2011, South Sudan declared its independence, making the outcome of the referendum even more important. However, the referendum was postponed and despite the rendering of the award, the Abyei Area continues to be contested between the Republics of Sudan and South Sudan. Watch video and read more.

The 'Eichmann' Case, October 11, 2011.

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. The trial was omnipresent in Israeli and global politics, media and academic discussions. Watch video's and read more.

The Legacy of Prof. B.V.A. Röling, June 22, 2011.

After the successful organization of the first Peace Palace Library Lecture, a second lecture was organized inside the historic reading room of the Peace Palace on 22 June 2011, between 17.30 and 19.30. Professor Nico Schrijver, Professor of Public International Law at Leiden University, spoke about the international legacy of one of the most prominent international lawyers in The Netherlands after 1945, B.V.A. Röling (1906-1985). Read more.

The 'Van Anraat' Case, May 23, 2011.

The first Peace Palace Library Lecture took place in the seminar room of the Peace Palace. Simon Minks, Public Prosecutor to the Court of Appeal in The Hague, and Roel van Rossum, coordinating Vice-President at the District Court The Hague, discussed the Van Anraat Case, and the challenges Dutch courts face when dealing with complex issues of international criminal law. The lecture was organized in close cooperation with the JASON Institute.