Frontcover HB

A Mission for his Time - Tobias Asser’s Inaugural Address on Commercial Law and Commerce - Amsterdam 1862

2012 Editor: Prof Dr Ernst M.H. Hirsch Ballin , University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands



  • Published: 2012
  • Pages: V + 40 pp.
  • Publisher: T.M.C. ASSER PRESS
  • Distributor: T.M.C. Asser Press
  • ISBN: 978-90-6704-342-7
  • Price: € 15.00

It is my great pleasure to introduce the publication of the English translation of T.M.C.  Asser’s inaugural lecture as professor at the Athenaeum Illustre, now the University of Amsterdam, on the occasion of its 150th anniversary. Its subject, Commercial Law as a separate field of study and practice, has not lost its importance in the one and a half centuries that have passed since Asser addressed it in Amsterdam’s Agnietenkapel. And although the subject has been widely debated, and there have been important changes in the position of Commercial Law in the Dutch legal system, the main themes of Asser’s lecture are as fresh as its tone and style. Its republication and translation into English is therefore not only of historical interest – although the lecture certainly is important from that perspective.

It was Ernst Hirsch Ballin who had the excellent idea to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Asser’s inaugural lecture with the publication of an English translation. He proved willing to write an accompanying essay, in which he places the lecture and Asser’s distinguished career in the socio-historical perspective of the emancipation of the European Jewry and Asser’s family history.

The University of Amsterdam Law School is proud to have had T.M.C. Asser among its professors, and is grateful to its current Professor, Ernst Hirsch Ballin, for his eminent celebration of Asser’s achievements. His mission to strive for peace and justice is now ours.

Foreword by Edgar du Perron, Dean of the University of Amsterdam Law School, Executive Board Member, T.M.C. Asser Institute, The Hague.

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