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Tobias Michael Carel Asser

(1838 - 1913)


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Tobias Michael Carel Asser (known as T.M.C. Asser) was a Jewish Dutch lawyer and co-recipient of the 1911 Nobel Prize for World Peace.

Asser was from a famous Dutch family which produced a long line of lawyers. From 1862 he took part in many international congresses in the field of international law. In 1868, together with Rolin Jaquemyns and John Westlake he commenced the `Revue de droit international et de législation comparée'. Between 1862 and 1893 he was Professor of civil law, commercial law and private international law at the University of Amsterdam. In 1893 he became a member of the Dutch Council of State.

His efforts towards the codification of public international law and the harmonization of private international law were to establish him as an eminent and distinguished lawyer. In 1873 he was also one of the founders of the `Institut de droit international', Ghent, Belgium.

Together with Alfred Hermann Fried (1864-1921), an Austrian journalist and well-known pacifist who was the founder of the peace journal 'Die Friedenswarte,' Asser received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1911, for his devoted work in establishing the Permanent Court of Arbitration during the first Hague Peace Conference of 1899.

Judged by the ambitiousness and the scope of the academic activities to which the Institute has committed itself, it may well be said to have adopted, along with T.M.C. Asser's name, some of the optimism and confidence of his days and some of that spirit of internationalism he represented.

1862 - 1877
Professor in Civil Law (University of Amsterdam)
1877 - 1893
Professor in Commercial and International Law
(University of Amsterdam)
1888 - 1895
Rijnvaartcommissaris
1870 -


Member and from 1898 President of the `Staatscommissie voor het Internationaal Privaatrecht' [State Advisory Committee for Public International Law]
1875 -
Legal advisor Ministry of Foreign Affairs
1893 -
Member of the Council of State

Sources: T.M.C. Asser Institute

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