Human Rights and Peace Law Docket
PEACE LAW DEFINED
Peace law starts with individuals, their organizations, and their governments. Like all basic law, it emerged from horrors and necessities: the holocaust, the Great Depression, World War II, and the atomic age. Albert Einstein warned that the atomic bomb has changed everything except our way of thinking and thus we drift toward unparalleled disaster. Peace law is part of the new way of thinking and acting to stem this drift.
Peace law breaks through the traditional separation of law into one's domestic law, international law, the domestic law of other nations, and the law in transnational agreements. Peace law requires lawyers, litigants, nongovernmentalorganizations,transnationals, governments, and armies to comprehend the reality that there is a cohesive body of law at the center of all law that must be included in consideration of many issues. They are no longer governed only by the domestic law of one country, or by customary public international law.
Peace law is based on the UN Charter, with nations pledging to settle their international disputes by peaceful means and establishing the United Nations to work unceasingly toward this goal. The Nuremberg Principles are at its core, clearly setting forth the duty of each government and each individual not to commit war crimes, crimes against peace, or crimes against humanity, and not to be complicit in their commission. The stench from Nuremberg, Dresden, Bataan, Soweto, Hiroshima — and other tragic regions too numerous to list — has led governments to sign more international and regional treaties. Peace law includes legislation passed by governmental bodies from city councils to the UN General Assembly. Peace law inspires actions for peace and protects peaceful activists who feel responsible. It rejects much traditional military law and ideology.
In all nations, peace law encompasses portions of existing law: international, human rights, constitutional, criminal, environmental, administrative, commercial, tort, legislative, immigration, labor, military, municipal, and tax. In the United States, for example, it includes constitutional limitations on the President's war powers and statutes enforcing neutrality.
Peace Law is also found in the peaceful customs of ethnic, racial, religious, and national groups, and has traditionally been especially close to the minds and hearts of women.