Het primaat van de rechtspraak in de verzekering van de vrede

Rechtsgeleerd Magazijn Themis 2:38-47 (2011)
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In spite of his post-World War II works on international law, which seems more purely juridical, Hans Kelsen continues to put forward in his vast body of work an implicit – and sometimes even explicit – juridical objectivism and pacifism. Especially before and during the second World War he makes – by means of many moral-political writings – an effort for a more effective assurance of international peace. The fact that Kelsen regards the law as the pre-eminent means to achieve the end of peace, is – in view of the tradition running from Hobbes to Kant – still not very innovating. But the primary and central role he assigns to the judiciary in order to guarantee international peace is on the other hand really original. To bring out Kelsen’s juridical objectivism and pacifism, I restrict myself in this article to his plea before and during the second World War for the judicial primacy in the international legal order. In that plea, which is spread over many writings and founded by several arguments, I distinguish however three main convincing arguments – namely an evolutionary, a technical and a moral-political argument – for the establishment of an international court with compulsory jurisdiction as the ‘guardian of international peace’. The fact that Kelsen’s original plea is still relevant to our times, is already evident from the post-World War II UN-system of peace-enforcement, which still functions little satisfactorily and of which the existing plans of reform go no further than strengthening the position of the Security Council, the current hardly effective ‘maintainer of world peace’.

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Mathijs Notermans
Maastricht University


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