Joseph L. Daly


Throughout history most peacemaking has been a response to a particular crisis - efforts of two countries to solve a dispute by treaty or to negotiate the end of a war. But as the instruments of war have become more and more horrible, as wars have come to take an ever increasing toll on civilian populations, world leaders have tried to establish a structure for peace, a permanent way of avoiding conflict by appealing to reason, not to weapons. Our century has hoped that some sort of international tribunal - a world court - would decide disputes on enduring principles of justice, not on the size of battalions.

Skeptics look at the meager results of these efforts - the modern International Court of Justice issued less than one contentious case judgment a year in its first 35 years of existence' - and wonder whether the world is ready for international justice. Defenders point out that war is unthinkable in a nuclear age and that international justice offers the best hope for peace.