Photo essay: Postcards from the Peace Palace

By Khadija Patel 30 August 2013

On Wednesday, the Peace Palace in The Hague celebrated the 100th anniversary of its inauguration. KHADIJA PATEL toured the palace this week and sent home some pictures.

On Wednesday, the Peace Palace celebrated the 100th anniversary of its inauguration. The building, whose construction was funded by Andrew Carnegie in the early 20th century, hosts two crucial tenets of the global justice, the international court of justice and the permanent court of arbitration.

The United Nations flag flies in the gardens of the Peace Palace. The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the UN, which is based at the palace, is the only one of the six UN principals based outside of New York. The Peace Palace remains the property of Carnegie’s foundation and the ICJ leases space within it at a rate of more than 1.26 million euros annually.

Peter Tomka, the president of the International Court of Justice, which deals only with disputes between states, says the court currently has 10 cases in its docket. And while some accuse the ICJ of working too slowly to be trusted with disputes of grave importance, an employee of the court admitted that the court was a dinosaur, adding however that it was “an efficient dinosaur”.

While Andrew Carnegie constructed the shell of the Peace Palace, many of its furnishings, art and décor are gifts from nations to the palace. Here, in the foyer of the palace, a man photographs a statue of Lady Justice, which was a gift to the palace from the United States of America.