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A Blossoming Seed: Peace through Law and the 1899 Hague Peace Conference

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Ethics Talk

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Article 33 of the United Nations Charter found in a section (Chapter VI) titled “Pacific Settlement of Disputes”, enumerates a number of non-violent means by which to secure international peace: among them "arbitration" and "judicial settlement." But what is "arbitration" and how does it differ from "judicial settlement"? In this final show of 2020, we welcome special guest Steven van Hoogstraten, former Director of the Carnegie Foundation of the Netherlands (CF), which has a profound connection to both "arbitration" and "judicial settlement". Located in The Hague, The Netherlands, the CF was established in 1903, and was an important outcome of the 1899 Hague Peace Conference. In this show, we discuss this history and draw attention to one of its most significant outcomes: The Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes. This 1899 Treaty established the first permanent international court, The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). One of the goals of the organized Peace through Law Movement, The PCA was seen by peace activists such as Bertha von Suttner as heralding a new age in which power pays tribute to Reason and Conscience. Were they correct? This question is also discussed.

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