Tobias Asser

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Tobias Asser
Black and white photo of the head of a man
Tobias Asser in 1911
Born Tobias Michel Karel Asser
(1838-04-28)28 April 1838
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died 29 July 1913(1913-07-29) (aged 75)
The Hague, Netherlands
Alma mater University of Amsterdam
Leiden University
Spouse(s) Johanna Ernestina Asser (m. 1864)
Awards Nobel Peace Prize (1911)

Tobias Michel Karel Asser (28 April 1838 – 29 July 1913) was a Dutch lawyer and legal scholar of Jewish background, cowinner (with Alfred Fried) of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1911 for his role in the formation of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the first Hague peace conference (1899).


Tobias Michel Karel Asser was born on 28 April 1838 in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. He was son of Carel Daniel Asser (1813–85), and grandson of Carel Asser (1780-1836). He studied law at the University of Amsterdam and Leiden University and was law professor at the University of Amsterdam.

Asser co-founded the Revue de Droit International et de Législation Comparée with John Westlake and Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns. He also co-founded the Institut de Droit International.[1] in 1873.

He was a delegate of the Netherlands to both Hague Peace Conferences in 1899 and 1907.[1] His work in the creation of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the first conference earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1911. In 1902, he sat on the first arbitration panel to hear an international controversy brought by two states under the auspice of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the Pious Fund of the Californias Case. He also took a hand in the establishment of what would become the Hague Academy of International Law, though he did not live to see its foundation.[1]

Asser died on 29 July 1913 in The Hague.


A research institute in the fields of Private and Public International Law, European Law and International Commercial Arbitration is named after Tobias Michael Carel Asser. This is the T.M.C. Asser Instituut, based in The Hague, Netherlands.

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  1. ^ a b c "In Memoriam: T. M. C. Asser". American Journal of International Law (American Society of International Law) 8 (2): 343–44. April 1914. 

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