August 28th marked not only the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” but also the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Peace Palace at The Hague. The Peace Palace is the home of the International Court of Justice, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and the Hague Academy. It is also the core around which the other “Hague Institutions” were built, including the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and a large complement of think tanks, associations, and institutions dedicated to international law.
In commemoration of this centennial, the Government of the Netherlands and Radio Netherlands Worldwide brought a group of bloggers and online journalists from around the world to The Hague for a series of programs, meetings, and interviews surrounding the festivities. Professor Christopher J. Borgen, St. John’s Associate Dean for International Studies, participated on behalf of Opinio Juris, the blog he co-founded withProfessor Peggy McGuinness and others nine years ago. Opinio Juris is a website dedicated to discussion and debate concerning international law and policy and is one of the most widely-read law blogs in the world. Professor Borgen and McGuinness are also the Co-Directors of the Law School’s Center for International and Comparative Law (CICL).
Over the last week, Professor Borgen, who is currently on research leave, attended the official celebrations at The Hague, presided over by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and among other events, had meetings with International Court of Justice Chief Judge Peter Tomka, Chief Judge Sang-Hyun Song of the International Criminal Court , Secretary General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration Hugo Hans Siblesz, and Marten Youssef, spokesperson for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
As part of the program, Professor Borgen and the other bloggers and online journalists participated in roundtable discussions at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at Clingendael, a Dutch foreign policy think tank, on the role of social media in foreign policy and international justice. Here is a short video about the program produced by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which includes an excerpted quote from Borgen.
Professor Borgen is writing a series of essays about events at The Hague on Opinio Juris. We are delighted to share those essays with you in the coming days.