CHARLES S. RHYNE Founder & Past President, World Peace Through Law Center (World Jurist Association)
From the dim dawning of civilization in the oft obscure pages of history until the present, it is clear that humankind’s greatest dream has been the hope for development and acceptance of a method for decision of disputes between individuals and nations to replace a battle to the death. As to disputes among individuals, every nation on earth now offers the alternative of battle in courts to replace battle to the death. In fact, duels to the death of individuals are outlawed universally. But even today, for all the advances in civilization, duels to the death (killing both soldiers and non-combat civilians) are the ultimate methods of decision for disputes between nations.
The relative military might for all nations determines their place in the constant power struggle for “security” via arms. Trillions of dollars are wasted on arms even as people die for lack of food. With humankind having developed the power to incinerate all peoples in a matter of minutes, the unreasonableness of continuing the current arms race should be obvious, but sadly it is not. So also should be obvious the lesson of history that every arms race has, sooner or later, by accident or design, exploded into war. So also should be the danger to all peoples of such an explosion in today’s world.
Yet the search for new and more terrible arms continues as a major area where rich and poor nations expend the assets of their people. Pennies are spent on arms control measures while billions of dollars go into arms and research on more destructive weapons.
No nation on earth directly budgets funds of consequence for translating of the ancient dream of development and acceptance of an obviously workable program of replacing decision by death for disputes among nations with a decision under the law in courthouses.
In every dispute between nations, each claims “the law” is on its side, but no nation has a consistent record of urging “let us go to the law in courthouses rather than using the ancient and archaic method of determining which of us can kill the most of the other’s people.”
Since the law in a courthouse does work universally on disputes between persons, there is no reason why the same concept cannot work universally on disputes between nations. These Demonstration Trials, and their predecessor at Belgrade, are designed to prove that regardless of differences in law systems, there are universal principles to which all nations adhere so that lawyers from many nations and judges from many nations’ courts can perform their function on international disputes between nations as they do on domestic disputes between persons. We hope by these Demonstration Trials to help hasten the day when the decision by death in the nation vs. nation disputes will be so universally condemned as to create an outcry, “go to court; not to war” so strong that at long last law methods will replace force methods. These trials demonstrate the utility of the law method. What is needed is such universal knowledge and support worldwide of the law methods that humankind’s most ancient dream will be realized before nuclear incineration is a lot of all peoples.
The International Court of Justice is a tremendously outstanding forum with members who are great jurists, fully capable of deciding law disputes through nations. We who labor in the World Peace Through Law Center to strengthen law in the World are dedicated to increasing the use and usefulness of that tribunal.
This towering goal is the concept advanced by the World Peace Through Law Center and its component parts: The World Association of Judges, The World Association of Lawyers and the World Association of Law Professors. Recognizing this is a long-term and difficult goal, we invite all men and women of good will to join us in this effort so that law rather than force will control the fate of humanity.
- 2011 International Drug Trafficking
- 2009 Nuclear Energy & Nuclear Weapons
- 2005 International Airborne Pollution
- 2003 Weapons of Mass Destruction
- 2001 International Environmental Contamination
- 1999 Capital Punishment
- 1997 Water in the Desert
- 1995 International Child Abduction
- 1993 Mass Expulsion of a Minority Group by Forced Deportation
- 1991 Discovery of Natural Resources by Satellite in Adjacent Nations
- 1990 Title to Objects of Great Cultural Value Seized in War
- 1987 Genetic Technology
- 1985 Law of the Sea
- 1983 Murderous Export Case
- 1981 International Damage Implications of a Nuclear Accident
- 1979 Legality of Unilateral Anti-Terrorist Rescue Operations
- 1977 Legal Rights to Results of Deep Sea Mining Under International Waters
- 1975 States Economically Damaging Other States
- 1973 Airplane Hijacking
- 1971 Liabilities of Governments Involved for Damages Caused by Crashed Space Vehicles