Eyffinger, A., T.M.C. Asser (1838-1913) : "in quest of liberty, justice, and peace", Leiden, Boston, Brill Nijhoff, 2019

This publication presents a comprehensive review of the life and intellectual legacy of the Dutch Nobel Peace laureate and father of the Hague tradition of international law. It is the first research study based on a wealth of recently disclosed private and family files, and deepens and modifies all earlier evaluations. It enlarges on Asser’s achievements as legal practitioner, university don, pioneer of private international law, diplomat and arbitrator, and State Councillor. It discusses his durable impact as founder of international law bodies and institutions. It likewise highlights the impressive Asser family tradition that exemplifies 19th-century Jewish emancipation in Amsterdam, addresses Asser’s youth and student years, his role as family man and the impact of personal drama on his career.

In a recent article in the Netherlands international law review the author Arthur Eyffinger explains that Asser’s role in the creation of L’Oeuvre de La Haye was pivotal. He launched a first journal of international law, co-founded the Institut and the International Law Association (ILA), initiated the Conférence de La Haye, helped materialize the PCA and fund the Peace Palace Library and the Hague Academy.

The book launch by the author took place in the evening of Thursday 29 August 2019 in a Joint panel of the Institute of International and the Royal Netherlands Society of International Law:

The Life and Work of Tobias Asser: what are their echoes in the 21st century?


The 79th Session of the Institut de Droit international has been organized at the Peace Palace in the Hague from 26th August - 31st August.

The IDI is committed to promoting the development of private and public international law. The 132 members meet in session once every two years. During the sessions, following deliberations, resolutions are adopted with proposals for the development and clarification of international law. The IDI was established in 1873 and is based in Geneva. Sessions of the IDI were also held in the Netherlands in 1875, 1898 and 1925 (The Hague) and in 1957 (Amsterdam).

Librarian's choice

A selection of relevant publications from the Peace Palace Library collection

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