chapter  2
21 Pages

Peace through law

The Hague Peace Conferences and the rise of the ius contra bellum
WithRandall Lesaffer

The major thrust of the proponents of pacific settlement at The Hague was to promote arbitration as a means to dent a state's right to resort to force and war and thus take a step towards moving from an ius ad bellum to an ius contra bellum. The chapter addresses the question of how this concept of international law related to and impacted on existing use of force law. Mainstream proponents of the 'peace through law' movement sought to regulate rather than abolish the right to wage war. After the first Hague Peace Conference opened on 18 May 1899, the delegates set about organising the conference's work. One of the first Hague Peace Conference's greatest achievements was the convention's chapter 'On Arbitral Procedure'. The calling of the second Hague Peace Conference eight years after the first was a triumph for the international peace movement. The second Hague Peace Conference directly addressed ius ad bellum in one other major instance.