Neither Justice nor Order


Neither Justice nor Order
Reflections on the State of Law of Nations
Frans A.M. Alting von Geusau
Pages: 324 pages
Shipping Weight: 450 gram
Published: 09-2014
Publisher: WLP
Language: US
ISBN (softcover) : 9789462401228

Product Description
This is the fifth and last volume in the series “Footprints of the Twentieth Century”, a
critical assessment of the state of the law of nations. In the twenty first century the world
needs true global law anchored in the dignity of the human person rather than weak
international law built on the interests of major sovereign states. One hundred years
after the outbreak of the Great or First World War in 1914 and twenty five years after
the peaceful end of the Cold War in 1989, little appears to have been learnt – from the
scale of disasters that befell the world between the assassination in Sarajevo in 1914
and the annexation of Sebastopol in 2014.

The failure to learn from history largely comes from various ideologies of progress,
enlightenment ideology in particular. The birth of modern international law, assumed
to have taken place in 1648, was no moment of progress, nor was the Congress of
Vienna in 1815. The peace of Westphalia reduced the law of nations to interstate
law. Vienna legitimized the concept of demarcated linear boundaries. Decisions on
war and peace needed no deeper justification than raison d’état as stated by the
sovereign. Law-making was reserved to a few major powers. The so-called principle
of the balance of power concealed policies of aggrandizement and domination. The
leaders of all five major powers in Europe are to be held responsible for the outbreak
of war in 1914. The entry into force of the Statute of the International Criminal Court in
2002, might be a first step towards international criminal justice for all and not just for
the losers.

Nicknamed the ‘international community’ major sovereign powers offer a dismal
record on dealing with such issues as human rights, the use of force, the abolition
of nuclear weapons and peace in the Middle-East. Human right policies are still to
be oriented to the common good, as understood in the Universal Declaration, rather
than to blaming other countries. Nuclear weapons can be abolished only by good
example. Peace in the Middle-East cannot be found on the dead end road of a twostate

Throughout the book one finds lightening examples of persons who by their courage
and dedication could and did make the difference. Among them are Henri Dunant,
Ruth Klüger, Andrei Sacharov, Nelson Mandela and Pope John-Paul II. Justice and
order need a transition from international law to global law to be realized.

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