Asser was born in Amsterdam in 1838 to a family of jurists. At the age of 22 he obtained his PH.D. degree in Law and was appointed the representative of the Netherlands in the International Commission on Free Navigation on the Rhine River. In 1893, he joined the Netherlands Council of State and 5 years later he served as the Chairman of the State Commission for International Private Law.
He employed much efforts pursuant to the establishment of the International Court of The Hague, in which he served from 1900 in the framework of the International Arbitration Committee and was found to be a most skillful arbitrator and mediator. From 1904 he served as a Minister Without Portfolio in the Netherlands’s Governments until his death in 1913.
Asser was awarded the 1911 Nobel Peace Prize, together with Alfred Fried, in recognition of his extensive activity for the unification of legal ruling among various nations, and for his struggle to insure individual justice and safety in international relations.
Asser believed, that international conflicts can and should be solved in a peaceful way, by an elective adoption of universal laws, that will not upset the legislative authority in each and every state.
Tobias Asser is regarded as one of the forefathers of modern International Law.
Alfred Fried was born in 1864 in Vienna, but spent most of his life in Berlin.
He established pro-peace organizations, and until his death in 1921, wrote many books and essays and published magazines on the topic of peace.
For this lifework, Alfred Fried was awarded in 1911 the Nobel Peace Prize.