4/2007 Content

82 (2007) 4: The Second Hague Peace Conference of 1907

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Jost Dülffer


Arbitral Jurisdiction, Statehood and Peace: Reflections on the Hague Peace Conference of 1907 subsequent to Kant and Hegel
Thomas Kater

The Permanent Court of Arbitration, established by treaty 1899, revised 1907 during the Second Hague Peace Conference, is the first global institution for the settlement of conflicts between states. Without doubt the Court of Arbitration is an important step to realize peace by law, but also it is only a small step, because the sovereignty of states is the main burden on the Court. The possibility of peace and war depends on the will of the states and their particular interests. With respect to Kant and Hegel I discuss both the necessary conditions which must be accomplished by institutions to guarantee global peace and law and the boundaries that are inevitably given in a state dominated world. By reason of these boundaries it must be proved whether a global state could guarantee peace and law or if the institutions of modern international law show us the only way to go.

From Directorate to Multilateralism? The Hague Peace Conference of 1907 in the Development of the International States’ System before the First World War
Matthias Schulz

Around 1900 the European states system was featured by numerous changes which entailed tensions and nervousness. The decline of the European Concert as a framework for Great-Power cooperation formed the background to this transformation. Decision-makers and public opinion looked for alternative instruments for securing peace. Here, proponents of traditional strategic instruments like alliances and armaments were opposed by adherents of arbitration and of the institutionalisation of inter-state cooperation especially professors of international law and the international peace movement. The Second Hague Conference which took place partly due to pressure from the latter groups can be understood as an attempt to repair the more or less defunct international states system. However, this attempt was sabotaged rather successfully by militaristic elites. The hopes and expectations of internationalists were disappointed first and foremost by the stubborn opposition of the German Empire to such binding rules and regulations which could have stabilized the international order. It was only logical that the instruments for conflict regulation which the Conference improved in comparison to the 1899 conventions were not used during the July crisis in 1914 due to German failure to uphold them against both Austria-Hungary and Serbia.

The Emergence of New Agencies in Information Politics at the Second Hague Peace Conference
Madeleine Herren-Oesch / Cornelia Knab

At the Second Hague Peace Conference diplomacy was confronted with a market of political information significantly shaped by an international public sphere. The media and civil society wanted to be acknowledged as new participants of international politics. Increasingly they tried to challenge the hitherto existing diplomatic privilege of interpretation. This article analyses the manifold interactions of diplomacy, civil society networks and the public sphere using the newspaper edited specially for the Peace Conference by William T. Stead, the Courrier de la Conférence, as an example. The preparations for the Third Hague Conference were to show that an international public sphere and multilateral cooperations had become an essential part of international politics.

The Hague Regulations Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land in the International Academic Debate on War Crimes during World War I and World War II
Danial Marc Segesser

Especially during World War I the Hague Regulations respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land played an important part in the international academic debate on the punishment of violations of the laws and customs of war. Again and again academics and publicists pointed to specific rules of the regulations and most of them accepted that such violations had to be punished in court. In the interwar period violations of the written rules of the laws of war were more and more often just called “war crimes“, a term which had already been used during World War I. During World War II violations of the Hague Regulations or of the Geneva Convention were not at the forefront of the debate on the punishment of the Nazi mass crimes, although almost nobody claimed that such violations should go unpunished. The debate centred mainly on the question of the punishment of violations against the unwritten laws of war referred to in the Martens Clause of the fourth Hague Convention of 1907. These crimes were finally summed up as “crimes against humanity“ at a conference in London in July 1945.

Maritime Law and the „Civilizing of Mankind“: Debates about the Second Hague Peace Conference and its Outcome
Alexander Rindfleisch

Maritime law stood (quantitatively) at the centre of the Second Hague Peace Conference. The Russo-Japanese war had again demonstrated the need for clear and generally accepted rules for naval war. Especially at a “Peace Conference” debates were therefore under severe pressure from the expectations of the press and the public. Thus delegates were inclined to use humanitarian arguments for their – decisive – military-political interests, for example in debates about submarine mines, contraband or the right of capture. But only when this determining factor had vanished, at the London Naval Conference an agreement about binding rules became possible.

From ius in bello to ius contra bellum: The Impact of The Hague Peace Conferences on the Development of Contemporary Public International Law
Stephan Hobe / Johannes Fuhrmann

This article shall demonstrate the significance of The Hague Peace Conference of 1907 for the development of contemporary Public International Law. Important achievements of modern international law found their beginning within the 1907 codifications. It will be shown how the 2nd Hague Peace Conference caused a distinct change of the “westphalian” international law system with its free right of warfare (ius ad bellum) as an expression of sovereignty. The Conventions of 1907 mark the beginning of a new development in Public International Law – starting with the codification of an ius in bello and leading to a general prohibition of the use of force, a legal system of collective security and consequently a law against war (ius contra bellum). Furthermore, some new tendencies in international law will be identified, which do not only regulate the sovereignty of states related to the law of warfare, but which also constitute a set of rules that requires the states to conduct active peacemaking.

The Hague Peace Conference of 1907 and the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes
Christian J. Tams

There is broad agreement today that the Hague Peace Conferences have influenced the modern rules of dispute settlement. It is much more difficult to assess the specific influence of the Second Peace Conference of 1907. The article attempts to do so. It analyses agreements concluded in 1907 (such as the 2nd Convention on the Pacific Settlement of Disputes and the Drago-Porter-Convention) as well as the Conference’s unsuccessful attempts to establish permanent courts and the principle of compulsory arbitration. It argues that while its immediate results were disappointing, the 1907 Conference has shaped the modern law of dispute settlement, often precisely because subsequent generations were able to build on its preparatory work.