Friday, October 07, 2005

You'd Be Smiling Too (If You Had Won the Nobel Peace Prize)

It was announced today that the International Atomic Energy Agency and its director, Mohammed ElBaradei, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2005. The Committee cited Baredei and IAEA "for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way." They join these past winners.

If you, like me, wonder who else was nominated, you won't have the satisfaction of finding out. The Nobel Committee, unlike the Academy of Motion Pictures, does not release the list of those nominated in a given year. There is no short list of nominees announced in advance, no red carpet, no deconstructing of the nominees fashion choices. Only the nominators and, if they tell the nominee, the nominees themselves know about the nomination, though they often issue press releases to let the world in on it. But, similar to the Academy Awards, not just anyone can make a nomination. Nominators are restricted to a group that reflects the "principle of competence and universality" which under the Nobel Statute means:

1. Members of national assemblies and governments of states;
2. Members of international courts;
3. University rectors; professors of social sciences, history, philosophy, law and theology; directors of peace research institutes and foreign policy institutes;
4. Persons who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize;
5. Board members of organizations who have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize;
6. Active and former members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee; (proposals by members of the Committee to be submitted no later than at the first meeting of the Committee after February 1) and
7. Former advisers appointed by the Norwegian Nobel Institute.

Yes, that's right: law professors! Who knew we had so much power?


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