The Need of Popular Understanding of International Law: An(other) Introduction to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
The very first article of the American Journal of International Law, page 1, volume 1 issue 1 is titled “The Need of Popular Understanding of International Law.” Written by Elihu Root and published in 1907, the article lays out the case for why basic understanding of International Law is necessary for world in which democracy is becoming the norm and in which international peace-through-law is the goal. Elihu Root won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1912. One hundred and five years later (in 2017), The International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the organization responsible for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), was awarded this same prize. In this show, we discuss highlights of Root’s essay, its relevance and legacy, and connect it to some of the basic provisions of the TPNW which takes effect in January 2021. Our aim in this show is to convey the importance of education of basic international law for the project of International Peace and the protection of Human Dignity, and how the TPNW is a crucial piece of this project.