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By Howard N. Meyer


Foreword by Fr. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C.

Over a century ago, a precursor to the International Court of Justice, usually called the World Court, was created. The United States had an important role in founding the Court and a U.S. citizen - Andrew Carnegie - funded the Peace Palace, the building in which the World Court still convenes. But in 1985, during the second Reagan-Bush Administration, the United States effectively withdrew its support and authority from the Court in response to its ruling on the U.S. use of force in Nicaragua. Since that time, the role of the World Court has grown in importance internationally even though the United States refuses to participate fully. And because the U.S. role has been so attenuated, the full story of the World Court has not been told, especially to U.S. citizens and students whose ignorance of it is a national embarrassment.

Howard N. Meyer - longtime legal authority, activist, and champion of untold or misunderstood histories - traces the World Court all the way back to The Hague Conference of 1899 and shows its development through World War I, the League of Nations, World War II, and the Cold War, all the way up to the contemporary challenges of East Timor and Kosovo. More recently, Meyer distinguishes between the nation-state oriented work of the World Court and the work of the International Criminal Court which was proposed in 1998 to prosecute individual war criminals like Milosevic and others coming out of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. As different as they are, the World Court and the ICC have a common problem that this book seeks to address: resistance in Washington to the international rule of law, especially when it comes to authority surrounding the use of force.

About the Author


Howard N. Meyer is a lawyer and a well-regarded social historian of major epochs and emblematic political actors within them. His book, The Amendment That Refused to Die, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Review of The World Court in Action (pdf) by Jennifer R. Johnson & Ami Mudd DeCelle

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