Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the Arab region and is faced with political instability. An acute water crisis looms over the country, as Yemenis are amongst those populations with the lowest water availability per capita in the world.
Climate change poses a risk to the basic needs and human rights of individuals and communities. As a result of extensive research in natural sciences, there is an emerging consensus both on the existence of climate change and the anthropogenic contributions. However, the social and human rights implications of climate change require a more rigorous understanding. The work of The Hague Institute under this theme aims to address some of the knowledge gaps through in-depth case study analysis and integrated stakeholder dialogue on socio-political tensions that are linked to climate change.
The Hague Institute supports IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with capacity building and training on participatory planning and conflict prevention in the project ‘Ecosystems for Life (E4L): A Bangladesh-India Initiative
’. Within this project The Hague Institute staff provides a training workshop on Benefits of Cooperation for Shared Ecosystems
, taking place on 18-19 September 2014 at IUCN Headquarters in Bangkok.
Many experts are dispatched on rule of law missions, but what mechanisms are currently in place to systematically collect first-hand the valuable information from these experts? Once collected, how can such information best be used for future rule of law missions?
The Distinguished Speaker Series invites prominent experts and practitioners in international affairs to discuss topics and issues related to global governance, the rule of law and conflict prevention.
The Hague Institute works with Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) on the development and application of a framework for political economy analysis (PEA) in transboundary river basins in Africa, funded by the World Bank.
Rule of Law
Fact-finding missions into human rights violations often precede criminal investigations. Yet, it is not clear how these two types of investigations relate to each other, particularly in terms of the sharing of information and evidence. Can criminal investigators and prosecutors interact more effectively with each other and with other investigators (including commissions of inquiry, UN panels of experts and the OHCHR, truth commissions etc.), without compromising their respective mandates? And if so, how?
The Global Governance Reform Initiative seeks to overcome the challenges of global governance in three important domains – cyberspace, migration and oceans – by improving the efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy of collective actions undertaken by relevant stakeholders.
Do people live in an environment where justice is hard to come by? And if so, what can be done to improve this? Whilst exploring how citizens experience justice is a largely neglected area, this project will redress the balance somewhat by evaluating how much access citizens have to justice, through which institutions, the quality of the procedures and the fairness of the outcomes obtained. By developing standardised tools, this project aims to support local human rights NGOs, legal aid NGOs and selected legal-service providers in their role as potential guardians of justice. Armed with the appropriate tools, these organisations will be better able to ask specific agents in the legal system for concrete improvements in laws, court procedures, legal information or the provision of legal services.
The core theme Global Justice through Business, Labor, and Economic Governance focuses on policy-relevant research and the provision of expert advisory services on the role of the private sector, labor, and multilateral institutions (for example, the G20, ASEAN, the EU, the WTO, and the UN system including the IFIs, ILO, and WIPO) in strengthening the peace-security-justice nexus, including by advancing the United Nations’ Post-2015 Development Agenda.
The protection of intellectual property (IP) is an incentive for research. However, developing countries often cannot afford to pay the high price of knowledge and technology that is protected by intellectual property rights (IPR). Several important global initiatives have been promulgated in recent years to promote research and innovation on how intellectual property rights can be harnessed for development and poverty reduction objectives. Unfortunately, the acceptance of the underlying standards, let alone the implementation process necessary for the approximation of these objectives has proven to be rather unwieldy in practice.
Building on the framework of three important elements -- access, security and sustainability -- this Transboundary Master Plan for the Lower Jordan River Basin seeks to integrate the disparate water management plans of Jordan, Israel and Palestine in an effort to produce a healthy ecosystem, distribute water fairly and provide open public access to the river.
The Hague Institute for Global Justice and the Geneva Initiative
jointly organized two seminars in The Hague: on 1-2 May and 28-29 August 2014. These seminars were part of a series of meetings taking place in Israel, Palestine, and the Netherlands in order to further a project to review the existing Geneva Initiative Water Annex
(2009) and to develop a supplementary paper to address outstanding issues not included in the Annex. This event was a civil society initiative and is not related to any formal negotiation within the context of the Middle East Peace Process.
The Hague Institute for Global Justice (The Netherlands) and Stimson view the intersection of security and justice as critical to understanding and addressing common global threats and challenges, the effective management of which requires innovative and collaborative action at various levels. On this fundamental theme, we have conceptualized a major new project built around a Commission on Global Security, Justice, and Governance, composed of a select group of eminent statespersons and public intellectuals.
The project departs from the insight that no single state or group of states can manage current and emerging global challenges on their own. Since uncertain governance begets insecurity and insecurity is a gateway to injustice, a renewed effort to upgrade the global governance architecture so as to manage interdependence effectively, justly, and with strategic vision is both a moral and a practical imperative. Security, justice, and governance are inextricably linked.
In June 2012, Ben Knapen, former Dutch State Secretary for European Affairs and International Cooperation, launched five Knowledge Platforms. These platforms are now part of the new knowledge agenda and policy of the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen. Her current development agenda focuses on a number of spearheads, including Security and Rule of Law. Key to this agenda is improving security for civilians and building rule of law, and developing knowledge infrastructure in developing countries, to make these countries self-reliant in the long term.
The foundations of this project were first laid out during the three years of extensive research conducted jointly by the Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL) and The Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law (HiiL). From that project, came a set of ‘general rules and principles of international criminal procedure’ (to be published with Oxford University Press in March 2013
. These principles were found to govern the investigation of international crimes by the various international criminal tribunals and will provide a solid base for a Model Code for the Investigation and Prosecution of International Crimes (‘the Model Code’) in the years to come.
Rule of Law
The “peace versus justice” debate is one of the central controversies in the application of international criminal law. The “justice” side of this debate uses fundamentally deontological reasoning to argue that pursuit of justice (human rights) is a social good in and of itself. Thus, the pursuit of justice cannot be held to be subordinate to any other concern, such as the achievement of sustainable peace.
In contrast, the “peace” side of the debate contends that considerations of conflict resolution should be prioritised and that sometimes justice will need to be sacrificed, or put aside, in order to achieve the greater social good of peace. Neither side believes that either peace or justice is unimportant, rather the controversy is really a question of priority and strategy.
Developments in globalization and industrialization continuously push governments, international organizations and NGOs to reexamine the opportunities available to people at all levels of society to attain basic socioeconomic necessities. Research into existing social justice initiatives has shown a need for an institution that serves as a one-stop shop for individuals, businesses, NGOs, and policymakers seeking advice and information or needing technical assistance relating to social justice; specifically pertaining to international labor rights and regulatory framework.
Rule of Law
Justice can be a scarce commodity in countries affected by conflicts. The Hague Institute draws lessons from experiences of post-conflict rebuilding activities in Afghanistan and Iraq and from current endeavors in Libya for peacebuilding and the rule of law. The Hague Institute is partnering with the Van Vollenhoven Institute (VVI) to examine access to justice and building institutions for the rule of law in these fragile states. Findings will be presented at the centenary celebrations of the Peace Palace on 28 August 2013.
The Hague Roundtable Series gathers international experts, policymakers, global thought leaders, civil society representatives and diplomats to disucss various topics and issues on peace, security and justice. Events from the series are typically held under Chatham House Rule.
Water management and the fair distribution of water is an issue of growing importance on the international agenda. Building on the internationally renowned Dutch expertise in water technology, water governance, conflict resolution, and legal systems, The Hague Institute for Global Justice has joined forces with the Netherlands Institute for International Relations “Clingendael,” Water Governance Centre, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, and the UPEACE Center The Hague to form a Water Diplomacy Consortium (WDC). The consortium aspires both to become a knowledge hub for water diplomacy, governance, and law, and to contribute to conflict prevention and conflict resolution in relation to water management across and within national borders.
In 2012, The Hague Institute for Global Justice and the Netherlands Institute for International Relations Clingendael conducted a feasibility study to map out the challenges and problems related to the democratic legitimacy of existing processes of transnational governance.
ACCESS Facility is a global, nonprofit organization independent of The Hague Institute for Global Justice. ACCESS supports rights-compatible, interest-based problem solving to prevent and resolve conflicts between companies and communities. The organization explores better ways of working together among companies, communities and governments. It is a neutral space for a broad range of stakeholders to learn, explore, share ideas, forge relationships and find solutions appropriate for their work.
The Hague Institute will explore the role of education in conflict prevention, which will involve a 30-month research project that aims to assess and measure how formal and non-formal education can mitigate and prevent the escalation of violent conflict in fragile and conflict-affected states.