To revive an old tradition and make a meaningful international appeal to peace, the Olympic Truce was first adopted in 1992 and officially reintroduced at the Olympic Games in Lillehammer in 1994. Its revival did not appear unexpectedly. Wars and armed conflicts accompanied the modern Olympic Games for quite a period. They provoked debates within the International Olympic Committee and triggered a need for a general overarching undertaking for peace. Discussions span, among others, whether an act of aggression constituted a potential breach of Host City Contracts or the Olympic Charter, as well as various political and diplomatic initiatives for peace. In recognising possible criticism that the Olympic Truce might meet mainly because of its idealistic nature, the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee stood on the position that 'in the search for peace nothing should be overlooked'. Many countries and organisations supported the initiative practically immediately after the call from the International Olympic Committee. Already in September 1993, Judge Mbaye, Vice president of the International Olympic Committee, reported on 107 positive replies. The same year, the Olympic Truce received its first support from the United Nations in the form of the resolution of the General Assembly. After that, it was continuously supported in the same form and gained unprecedented voting support among states. Drawing on the information obtained in the archives of the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, the article addresses the historical context for the emergence of the Olympic Truce and problematizes the choice of its legal form and effect as part of customary international law.
Yuliya Chernykh is associate professor at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences and adjunct associate professor at University of Oslo.
She researches questions related to the interpretation of legal texts and the intersections between national law and international law in international adjudication. Her monograph dealing with the practice and theory of contract interpretation in investment treaty arbitration Contract Interpretation in Investment Treaty Arbitration: A Theory of the Incidental Issue <https://brill.com/view/title/56164?language=en> (Brill 2022) is available as an Open Access book. Yuliya leads the Working Group III 'Compliance with ISDS Awards: Empirical Perspectives and Reform Implications' of the Academic Forum on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) and co-leads the Working Group I of the UiO research project 'Compliance Politics and International Investment Disputes’ (COPIID) financed by the Research Council of Norway. Her recent research projects are based on archival studies on Olympic Truce and host city contracts for conducting Olympic Games in the International Olympic Studies Centre (Lausanne).
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