News item | 03-12-2020
A recent study shows that the Peace Palace in The Hague contributes very positively to the international economy. The Peace Palace houses two of the most important Courts in the world, the United Nations International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. By solving conflicts in the courtroom, the Courts in the Palace help avoiding billions of damage and loss as a result of warfare.
The recently published study by Decisio shows that the Peace Palace has great value for the world economy as the institutions located at the Palace are saving the international community billions of euros in economic damage. It is hard to measure exactly what would have happened without the intervention of the two Courts housed in the Peace Palace, which is why three scenarios with variations in the type and number of conflicts were applied during the study. In the lowest scenario, it was conservatively assumed that in the history of the Courts only 1 small-scale conflict was solved, and in the highest scenario 4 small-scale conflicts and 2 large-scale conflicts were prevented or solved. Of course, ensuring peace and saving human lives are of paramount importance, but the economic value of these scenarios is also enormous: billions in costs of damage and loss are saved by preventing wars.
Even on a national level, the Peace Palace contributes positively to the economy: It accounts for more than 720 jobs (of which 229 within the Palace) and the institutions located at the Peace Palace annually spend 120 million euros in the Netherlands, contributing an added value of 70 million euros to the Dutch GDP.
Societal impact and improvement of international law
In addition to the economic impact, the study also demonstrates that the Peace Palace and the Courts housed in the Palace serve societal development. The researchers state that “a high rule of law score saves money, brings trust and investments and prevents people from getting stress-related diseases.”
In addition to the facts and figures, the report shows that the development of international law provides additional social impact coming from the Peace Palace. It facilitates conferences during which concepts for important regulations such as international adoption law are elaborated. At the same time, The Hague Academy of International Law, since its establishment, has educated more than 50,000 students and lawyers from all over the world, the future ambassadors and judges of their countries.
International radiance of the cultural heritage site
Only one of the six principal organs of the United Nations is located outside of New York – and that is the International Court of Justice based in The Peace Palace in The Hague. The more than a century old Palace is also the oldest of a small number of buildings related to the UN. It is registered as a National Monument and carries the European Heritage Label. According to the researchers, the Peace Palace therefore has a high cultural, historical and architectural value.
“In the Peace Palace, international jurisdiction, cultural heritage and international relations come together on neutral ground and the fruits of these endeavors are made accessible to a broad public. We can be proud of this, but at the same time, we also have an obligation to maintain this successful concept for future generations” explains Mr. Piet Hein Donner, chairman of the board of the Carnegie Foundation and former Minister of Justice of the Netherlands.
The Peace Palace
The Peace Palace was built after the First Hague Peace Conference in 1899 in which many countries at that time participates. It opened its doors in 1913, thanks to a donation from the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie who established the Carnegie Foundation to build and maintain the Palace in perpetuity. Today, the Peace Palace houses the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), the United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the Hague Academy of International Law. The two Courts settle international disputes through arbitration and jurisdiction. The Carnegie Foundation also manages the Peace Palace Library that supports the Courts and the Academy with its collection of international law since their beginning.
A group of international experts with, among others, a Judge from the International Court of Justice, as well as experts from Leiden University, the municipality of The Hague, the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH), and several ambassadors contributed to the report. Decisio’s researchers collected and analyzed all figures, facts and interviews independently and neutrally, with the support of the Municipality of The Hague, and the commissioning party being the Carnegie Foundation that owns and manages the Peace Palace.