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Two winners of The Hague Prize for International Law

Published: 28 June 2013 Modified: 18 April 2014

The Hague Prize for International Law was granted on 27 June to the Egyptian Professor Georges Abi-Saab and British professor Sir Elihu Lauterpacht. For the first time since the creation of the Prize, the jury qualified two winners.

The laureates received a medal of honour, a certificate and a sum of money from Bernard Bot, chairman of The Hague Prize for International Law.

Chairman of the jury Nico Schrijver explained the jury’s decision to award two laureates this time. ‘Both gentlemen have made exceptional contributions to the scientific development of international law… Abi-Saab represents the East and South, Lauterpacht the West. We, as a jury, are very pleased to express our appreciation by honouring both perspectives through this award.’

The Hague Prize’ rose 

The award ceremony took place at the Peace Palace in The Hague. During the ceremony a specially cultivated rose was baptised by the laureates. The rose, called ‘The Hague Prize’, will be planted in the rose garden of the Peace Palace. It gave this award ceremony an extra celebratory ambiance, in honour of the centennial of the Peace Palace (28 August).

Past laureates

Since 2002 The Hague Prize for International Law has been awarded to individuals or organisations who have contributed, in a special way, to the development of international law (both public and private) or to the global advancement of the rule of law.

Previous winners include M. Cherif Bassiouni, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, for his contribution to international criminal law and Professor Paul Lagarde, for his commitment to the study and promotion of private international law. In the presence of HM Queen Beatrix, the Prize was also awarded to Dame Rosalyn Higgins, former President of the International Court of Justice.

Professor Georges Abi Saab

Professor Georges Abi Saab (1933) owes the award due to his distinguished career as an academic, author and counsellor, in which he has inspired several generations. Moreover, the prize recognises him for his efforts as a judge and arbitrator in many international disputes, such as the border dispute between Egypt and Israel (Taba).

Professor Georges Abi Saab is currently Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development studies in Geneva. Furthermore, Abi Saab is also known by his modern Third World perspective on international law and as an advocate of human rights.

Professor Sir Elihu Lauterpacht

Professor Sir Elihu Lauterpacht (1928) receives the award for his significant contribution to the development of international law and its dissemination through the so called International Law Reports. The International Law Reports are the only publications in the world completely devoted to statements of international courts and arbitrators as well as judgements of national courts.

Sir Elihu Lauterpacht has conducted pioneering research in the field of international law and built a research centre for international law at the University of Cambridge, the Lauterpacht Research Centre. 


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