A particularly distinguished American lawyer, James Brown Scott, was born in 1866, studied at Harvard, Berlin, Heidelberg and Paris and went on to teach international law over the course of a remarkable University career. In particular, he created the Los Angeles Law School, was Dean of the Law Faculty of the University of Illinois and professor at Columbia University.
His talents were such that he was appointed Solicitor at the State Department of the United States. He was also a delegate of his country at important international conferences, including the Second Hague Peace Conference (1907) and the Paris Peace Conference (1919).
For several decades he held the position of Secretary General of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Elected in 1908 an Associate of the Institute of International Law, he became in 1910 a regular Member. Quite exceptionally he was called upon twice to preside over the Institute, which he would do at the Lausanne (1927) and New York (1929) Sessions.
It was in 1931 that J.B. Scott inaugurated the prize. In the spirit of recognition towards the Institute and in a feeling of heartfelt homage to the memory of his mother, Jeannette Scott, who had had a constant influence on his life (Institute Yearbook, 1931, vol. II. p. 229). During his lifetime, he looked after the awarding of the prize in person. He passed away in 1943 and bequeathed to the Institute, in memory of his mother and sister, a sum of capital, the interest of which enables the regular disbursement of the prizes. The prizes bear each time the name of a distinguished jurist, on the basis of a list elaborated for the initiator of the prize.
The Prize Award Regulation (available in format) was established already in 1931 and now includes several amendments adopted since.
The next Prize will be awarded at the Hyderabad (India)session. Papers have to be submitted to the Secretary-General of the Institute at the latest by 31 December 2016.