The Peace Palace is a historic landmark in The Hague. It is considered the seat of international law because it houses the International Court of Justice (the primary judicial branch of the United Nations), the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the The Hague Academy of International Law and the Peace Palace Library. The library has one of the world’s largest collections in the field of international law, public and private law. In addition to hosting these institutions, the Peace Palace is also a regular venue for special events in international policy and law, like the upcoming General Assembly of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ).
The Peace Palace officially opened on 28 August 1913, and was originally built to provide a symbolic home for the Permanent Court of Arbitration, established by treaty at the Hague Peace Conference in 1899 to facilitate arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution between states. Head of the U.S. delegation to the conference and co-founder of Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, Andrew Dickson White (1832-1918) helped convince steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) to donate $1,5 million to furnish humanity with an ‘outward and visible sign’ for the historic achievement of the 1899 Hague Peace Conference.
The Peace Palace has become the icon of The Hague, the ‘international city of peace and justice’ (nowadays supplementend with security). The Hague is the United Nations’ second city, after New York. There are 160 international organisations in The Hague, employing around 14,000 people dedicated to the cause of world peace. Indeed, there is more to the city than the Peace Palace: the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), the International Criminal Court (ICC), Eurojust and Europol, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and many other large and small international organisations. The Hague even has an International Zone, a large area in which an increasing number of international organisations are based.