The prize is given to those whose work has proved outstanding and helpful for supporting and/or developing the knowledge of the NATO legal position(s) and NATO legal works, in accordance with the different governing treaties and/or in relation with NATO-led operations, and NATO's activities as an International Organisation.
SHAPE established a prize for both honouring the memory of Serge Lazareff and recognising those significant contributions to the NATO Legal Activities.
The recipients of the day were: Brigadier General Thierry Poulette, assistant chief of staff J4; Mr. Mark Laity, SHAPE Communication Division director; Mr. Christophe Rappe, Finance and Acquisitions chief; and Mr. Steve Poet, STREN J1 Cell Head (Policy).
According to SHAPE representatives, individuals are incentivised to pursue this path of collaboration though words and research, stimulated by the exceptional life and achievements of Serge Lazareff, who combined genius intelligence with hard-working ethics.
Only a maximum of six awardees are presented the prize each year.
Serge Lazareff's NATO career started as General Dwight D. Eisenhower's (the first Supreme Allied Commander Europe) interpreter and continued as the chief legal advisor of the US Air Forces Central Command. He is the author of the seminal book of NATO Status of Forces (SOFA), a must read for all NATO lawyers, he was an inspiration and permanently reminded members that when facing a complex legal issue, always go back to the fundamentals, which are always closer to the truthful solution. Lawyer, Doctor of Law and the first French post-war scholar to be accepted to Harvard, he advised large corporations and governments, including his instrumental role in the Euro Disneyland Paris project.
Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office