Paul Reuter

1981 Balzan Prize for International Public Law

As an internationally famous jurist and an author of a large number of research works, as well as an expert in international negotiations, he has made original and at the same time conclusive contributions to the elaboration of important international agreements, and is considered the leader in his field by the generations of students of all nationalities who have developed their skills with the aid of his teaching.

Emeritus Professor of the Université de Droit, d’Economie et de Sciences Sociales of Paris, Paul Reuter (1911 – 1990) has devoted his life as a professor and researcher, as well as most of his personal life as a man of our time, to international law.

His scientific contribution is considerable. He is distinguished by extreme intellectual rigour, by an outstanding sense of the indivisible values of the progress of law and morals in international relations and by an acute sense of the realities and constraints of modern international relations, in the conviction that a law can neither be understood, nor analysed, nor oriented, unless set in the historical context where it has been formed and is applied, comprising all the latter’s political, economical, sociological, ideological, psychological and human components.
His works, which combine searching analysis and strong creativity, serve as a constant source of reference.

Professor Reuter has contributed, with both his teaching and his writings, to the development of generations of jurists, a great number of whom have, in turn, become professors. But his students also number diplomats, statesmen and managers who continue to support his ideas.
Reuter has guided the preparation of numerous outstanding theses.
Furthermore, Professor Reuter has acquired a unique experience in a field where theoretical and applied research merges and where practical work often contributes to the development of positive law, but always enriches theoretical work and teaching.

Some examples of his versatile activity include: his participation in a series of international bodies, and in particular in the UN International Law Commission and in the Drug Control Organization over which he presided for a long time; his participation in numerous diplomatic conferences, e.g. the UN Conference on treaty rights; the part he played during the particularly complicated negotiations that ed to the drawing-up of the treaty for the foundation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and to which he contributed with new and unique solutions; his functions of consultant to the jurist of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then to the direction of the Legal Department of the same Ministry. We should also remember his rôle as advisor of the French Government and various foreign governments in controversies submitted to the International Court of Justice of The Hague or to international arbitration courts and his work as an arbitrator or chairman of arbitration courts in numerous international problems arising between nations or nations and foreign corporations.

For all his activities and his works, Prof. Reuter is today among the outstanding world personalities in the field of International Law, acknowledged by the totality of international law institutions. The importance of his scientific works and his personal renown make him more than anyone else worthy of the Balzan Prize for lnternational Public Law.

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