Mar 30

Past Event

The Contribution of the Hague’s International Courts: Dispute Settlement in Complex Conflicts

Event Materials



  • Role of International Courts

    Jozias Van Aartsen, Mayor of the Hague: In the city of the Hague, the international courts are part of a network that strives to protect our interests, helps maintain global stability and punishes those who violate the world’s fundamental values.

  • ICC's Defined Role

    Peter Tomka, International Criminal Court: The ICC has a clearly defined role in matters of international jurisprudence.

  • Transparency Critical to Arbitration

    Brooks Daly, Permanent Court of Arbitration: Transparency can be critical for arbitration outcomes; and the case of the disputed region of Abyei or the People’s Liberation Movement in Sudan clearly illustrates the importance of an open process.

  • ICC a Compliment to National Jurisdictions

    Sang-Hyun Song, International Criminal Court: The ICC is not a panacea, it is a compliment to national jurisdictions. Countries themselves have to be strengthened so that they’re better able to prosecute crimes against humanity and genocide.

  • Long Term and Immediate Effect of Courts

    Theodor Meron, International Criminal Tribunal of the Former Yugoslavia: There are many things to consider in these cases and it is important that we factor in both the long term and immediate consequences of our decisions.

Full Event


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Recent conflicts in the Arab world point to the contribution and challenges of the international justice system in the promotion of peaceful dispute settlement and human rights. The United Nations Security Council referred the Qaddafi regime in Libya to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for criminal investigation, yet comparable violations in Syria have yet to warrant a similar response. Balancing the complicated dynamics of global politics while promoting international law is only one of several difficulties international courts navigate. The rise of non-state actors in conflict is another challenge they must address to remain effective in their efforts to bring domestic law in line with international standards.

On March 30, the Managing Global Order project at Brookings and the Royal Netherlands Embassy hosted the leaders of the Hague’s international courts to discuss their accomplishments and challenges in the pursuit of international justice. Panelists included: Peter Tomka, president of the International Court of Justice; Sang-Hyun Song, president of the ICC; Theodor Meron president of International Criminal Tribunal of the former Yugoslavia; and Brooks Daly, secretary general of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Jozias Van Aartsen, mayor of the Hague, chair of the Hague Institute for Global Justice, and former foreign minister of the Netherlands, offered introductory remarks. Senior Fellow Elizabeth Ferris, co-director of the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, moderated the discussion.

Event Agenda

  • Introduction

    • Jozias Van Aartsen

      Mayor, City of the Hague

      Chair, Hague Institute for Global Justice, The Netherlands

  • Moderator

  • Panelists

    • Brooks Daly

      Secretary General

      Permanent Court of Arbitration

    • Theodor Meron


      International Criminal Tribunal of the former Yugoslavia

    • Sang-Hyun Song


      International Criminal Court

    • Peter Tomka


      International Court of Justice


March 30, 2012

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM EDT

The Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105