On 24 March 2016, the Commentary on the Conventions on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations and its Specialized Agencies was published with Oxford University Press (OUP). This is the final outcome of the Austrian Science Fund project “International Law Through the National Prism”. On more than 1000 pages the provisions of the two multilateral treaties were analyzed by more than 30 contributors, among them many legal advisers of the specialized agencies as well as leading academics. The commentary was edited by August Reinisch with the assistance of Peter Bachmayer. It was presented on 11 April 2016 in the Peace Palace in The Hague, the seat of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the framework of a panel discussion on the privileges and immunities of international organizations. On this occasion, Niels Blokker of the University of Leyden, Anna Segall, Legal Adviser of UNESCO, and Philippe Couvreur, Registrar of the ICJ, discussed historic aspects, current problems and the future necessity of privileges and immunities of international organizations. At the ensuing book presentation, organized by the Austrian Embassy The Hague and the Peace Palace Library, James Crawford, ICJ judge, gave a speech and Merel Alstein of OUP officially presented the commentary.
Series of lectures "International Investment Law"
On 22 and 23 March 2016, August Reinisch held a course on "International Investment Law – Substantive Protection Principles" at the International Training Centre of the ILO and the University of Turin in the framework of their Master's Programme on Sustainable Development.
Conference "Intra-EU BITs and Intra-EU Disputes"
On 7 March 2016, Marc Bungenberg (Europa-Institut, Saarland University) and August Reinisch hosted the third Vienna Conference on International Investment Law and EU Law at the Law School of the University of Vienna. The focus of this year’s conference was on international investment agreements concluded between EU Member States and legal disputes resulting therefrom. In their presentations, various investment law experts dealt with questions concerning ‘Intra-EU BITs and Intra-EU Disputes’. More than 90 participants from all over the world including attorneys, scholars, representatives of the EU institutions, of international organizations and of governments joined in an intensive discussion.
The conference started off with Panos Koutrakos (City University London) who touched upon various aspects of the conference theme by discussing the relevance of EU law for arbitral tribunals (‘Relevance of EU Law for Arbitral Tribunal in General – Overview’).
The speakers of the second panel provided a comparative overview of the treatment of foreign investors under EU law and under international law. Mavluda Sattorova (University of Liverpool) talked about ‘Investor Rights under EU Law and International Investment Law’ and Martins Paparinskis’ (University College London) presentation was devoted to the issue of ‘Investors' Remedies under EU and International Law’.
After the lunch break, Marco Uccelli (EU Commission) provided firsthand information on the view of the European Commission on Intra-EU BITs. Christina Binder (University of Vienna) adopted a generalist approach and shed light on the treaty law implications of intra-EU BITs (‘A Treaty Law Perspective on Intra-EU BITs’).
Then, Hanno Wehland, an internationally renowned arbitration practitioner and formerly at the PCA, demonstrated issues in the enforcement context (‘Enforcement of Intra-EU BIT Awards within and outside the EU’). Steffen Hindelang (FU Berlin) elaborated on the suitability of ‘Potential Alternative Instruments for intra-EU Investment Disputes’.
The conference was concluded by Marc Bungenberg who shared some of his thoughts on ‘Intra-EU BITs and Intra-EU Disputes’ and gave a brief summary of the conference.
„Peace Palace Librarian’s Choice 2016
The public international law textbook „Völkerrecht verstehen“ that was authored by our section member Ralph Janik and two former members and now affiliated researchers Markus Beham and Melanie Fink, which was published last year by Facultas, has been included as Librarian’s Choice in the Public International Law Research Guide of the Peace Palace Library in The Hague.“
Jessup European Friendly
From 25-27 February, the Section for International Law and International Relations hosted the Jessup European Friendly. For European countries without national rounds, European Friendly serves as preparation for the Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, which takes place in April in Washington, DC. Twelve teams from all over Europe and Israel came together at the Juridicum to compete against each other in friendly matches. The team of the University of Vienna, coached by Philipp Janig and Jane Hofbauer, was matched against teams from Albania, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Cyprus and ranked in third place. The Jessup European Friendly was organized by ILSA in cooperation with the Section. For more information see http://jessupeuropefriendly.com/.
The Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy grants the „Jerusalem – Doctoral Research Fellowship“
Janos Böszörmenyi, researcher at the Centre for Computers and Law, at the Section for International Law and International Relations, is for the academic year 2015/2016 in Jerusalem, assisting the Center for Austrian Studies at the Hebrew University as a doctoral fellow. The “Austrian Studies” focuses on Austria in a Central European context, it covers a wider geographical area as present-day Austria. In particular, the Jewish population of the Habsburg Monarchy is being examined. The Center promotes academic cooperation, arranges movie screenings, fosters the Austrian Library of the Hebrew University and provides grants to Israeli students for short term studies in Austria.
The Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy grants the „Jerusalem – Doctoral Research Fellowship“.
August Reinisch elected membre associé of the Institut de droit international
The Institut de droit international/Institute of International Law founded in 1873 is one of the oldest and most prestigious, international academic societies devoted to the development of international law. It was set up in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War in order to further the “progress of international law” to serve peace. Since its founding the Institut has dealt with all questions of international law independent from state influence and according to its motto “iustitia et pace”. In 1904 the Institut was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
According to its statutes, the Institut consists of not more than 132 which are elected by the existing members at the biennial sessions from persons who have distinguished themselves in theory and practice of international law. At the session of the Institut de droit international in Tallin, Estonia, taking place from 22 to 30 August 2015, the Head of the Section of International Law and International Relations and Dean for International Relations of the Law School of the University of Vienna, Professor August Reinisch, was elected as a member of the Institut together with distinguished scholars like Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Professor in Geneva, Georg Nolte, member of the International Law Commission of the United Nations, and Christopher Greenwood, judge at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
With August Reinisch the other two Austrian members of the Institut, Professor Gerhard Hafner, legal consultant to the Austrian Foreign Ministry, and Professor Franz Matscher, former judge at the European Court of Human Rights, together with the emeritus member, Professor Karl Zemanek, will from a national group at the Institut de droit international.
40 Years of a Divided Cyprus
2014 is witness to the tenth anniversary of Cyprus joining the EU. Still, ten years after this event, Nicosia is still the last militarily divided capital of the world. When Turkey intervened, following a coup d’état supported by the Greek military junta, by sending troops to the northern part of the island on 20 July 1974 and which later occupied a third of the island, international observers and the population assumed this to be a temporary situation. As Turkish troops closed in on Varosha, the most important Cypriot tourist destination of the 1960s and 1970s, the Greek-Cypriot population took with them only their most indispensable belongings. More often than not, provisional arrangements became the status quo: the so-called ‘Green Line’, a military buffer-zone, which runs from West to East across the whole island. Today, Varosha is probably one of the most (in)famous ghost town in Europe and still a restricted Turkish military zone. Following a number of unsuccessful attempts at solving the conflict – inter alia the so-called ‘Annan-Plan’, which failed at a referendum in 2004 – recent talks and a joint communiqué by both sides early 2014 bring new hope.
Against this background, the conference ‘1974-2014 – 40 Years of a Divided Cyprus’ faces the historical and political, as well as the legal and diplomatic aspects of separation and military occupation. In light of recent events such as the renewal of peace-talks in the Middle East by the US, the civil war in Syria, or the situation in the Ukraine and the Crimea, the topic as well as possible approaches to a solution appear more relevant and topical than ever. The history as well as the allocation of an EU Member State that is partially occupied by a NATO state, represents an early warning model in light of recent shifts in political and geo-strategical interests. How much weight do the political, legal, and historical aspects have? How may Southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean be placed between ethno-centrism and globalised interconnection? Which geo-strategic and national political interests are brought forward by involved states, alliances, and international organisations and how is the situation in Cyprus instrumentalised therefor? What is the role of bi-, tri-, or multilateral attempts at solving the conflict? And what is the divergence in these assessments between theory and practice, or are there coherences?
These highly relevant topics – for Cyprus, Turkey, the EU, but also for Austria and Vienna with its manifold economic interests and political role as a provider of good offices as far back as the 1960s – will be addressed from various perspectives. The projection of the concepts, the implications for other crises and conflict, and the interrelation of ethnic and transnational interests provide the basis for a discussion that can only take place on an interdisciplinary level. Therefore, the conference presents itself as a place/platform for dialogue between Austrian and foreign academic experts, which are active in the fields of history, law, and the social sciences.
10th Anniversary Conference of the European Society of International Law (ESIL)
The 10th Anniversary Conference of the European Society of International Law (ESIL) will take place in Vienna, Austria, from 4-6 September 2014. The conference will be hosted by the University of Vienna and organised by its Law School’s Section for International Law and International Relations in cooperation with the European Society of International Law. The theme of this year’s conference is “International Law and … - Boundaries of International Law and Bridges to other Fields and Disciplines”.
Online registration is now available!
For further information see https://esil2014.univie.ac.at/home/
39thAnnual Austrian Symposium on Public International Law
The 39th Annual Austrian Symposium on Public International Law was organized by the Section for International Law and International Relations of the Faculty of Law at the University of Vienna and took place at the Klosterneuburg Monastery from May 22 to 25 2014, where leading experts discussed recent issues pertaining to International Law.
Faculty members Prof. Dr. Hafner, ret. and Prof. Dr. Wittich, first discussed the latest developments in the Crimean Crisis from the perspective of international law. The second day panels focused on the role of non-state actors in international relations and presided by Prof. Dr. Zagel, LL.M. from the Institute of Public and International Law at the University of the German Federal Armed Forces in Munich, Mag.a Karolina Januszewski (Vienna University) and MMag.a Andrea Bockley (Vienna University) presented their perspectives. Afterwards, Prof. Dr. Benedek, Head of the Institute of International Law and International Relations at the Karl-Franzens-University Graz, presided the next panel prepared by Mag.a Barbara Lindner (BiM) and Dr. Michael Postel (BmEIA) addressing recent issues relating to human rights protection, with an emphasis on transnational companies, the OECD guidelines and their implementation in Austria. In addition, Prof. Dr. Vranes, Head of the Institute of European and International Law at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, discussed the legal personality of EU-Agencies with presentations by Dr. Andreas Orator (VU Business and Economics) and Mag.a Melanie Fink (University) Leiden). Furthermore, under the presidency of Univ.-Prof. Dr. Stadlmeier, LL.M., Head of the Institute of International Law and International Relations at the Johannes-Kepler-University in Linz, MMag. Ralph Janik (Vienna University) and Dr. Nicole Ehlotzky (VU Business and Economics) focused on several aspects of the principle of non-intervention.
Ambassador Dr. Reiterer, Senior Advisor at the European External Action Service, Ambassador Dr. Lehne, MA, visiting Scholar at Carnegie Europe and Mag. Toncic-Sorinj, envoy to the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, reported on four years of practical experience at the European External Action Service. Finally, practical insights were provided by Ambassador Dr. Tichy and envoy MMag. Schusterschitz from the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, as well as Ambassador Dr. Zellweger, from the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador Prof. Dr. Hector, from the Federal Foreign Office Berlin.
Many thanks to our Sponsors for their help to accomplish this event.
Small Satellites: Chances and Challenges
The NPOC Space Law Austria organizes a conference on “Small Satellites: Chances and Challenges” which will take place on 29 March 2014 at the Faculty of Law of the University of Vienna. Small satellites have become more and more popular in recent years. The development of technology has made it possible to build, launch and operate satellites at rather low costs. 16 experts from various countries and institutions will speak about the specificities of small satellite missions from the practical, the legal, and the economic perspectives. Programme
The Anatomy of the (Invisible) EU Model BIT
With the on-going negotiations of the first EU international investment agreements and in the absence of a definitive EU Model BIT, the debate on the scope, the standards of protection, investor-state dispute settlement provisions and on additional features to be included in new EU investment treaties has taken center stage in recent EU investment policy discussions
On 25 and 26 November 2013, Prof. Dr. Marc Bungenberg (University of Siegen) and Prof. Dr. August Reinisch (University of Vienna) hosted the second Vienna conference on the European Union and International Investment Law at the Law School of the University of Vienna. The focus of this year’s conference was the possible shape of future EU Model Investment Treaties. Various investment law experts dealt with questions concerning “The Anatomy of the (Invisible) EU Model BIT”. More than 110 participants from all over the world including attorneys, scholars, representatives of the EU institutions, of international organizations and of governments joined in an intensive discussion.
The conference started off with Prof. Dr. Frank Hoffmeister (EU Commission) who provided firsthand information in his presentation on the “Current State of Play in EU Negotiations”. After a vibrant discussion about Prof. Hoffmeister’s talk, the focus was turned to the scope of application of future EU BITs with Prof. Dr. Marc Bungenberg (University of Siegen) sharing his thoughts on “investors and investments” under future EU investment agreements. His lecture was followed by Prof. Wenhua Shan (University of Cambridge/Xi'an Jiaotong University) who addressed the issue of market access clauses. After the lunch break, the rest of the program was devoted to the following topics: Expropriation and FET (Prof. Dr. Ursulua Kriebaum, Universtiy of Vienna), National Treatment and MFN (Dr. Antonios Tzanakopoulos, University of Oxford), Umbrella Clauses and Transfer Provisions (Dr. Anna de Luca, Bocconi University) and Full Protection and Security as well as Arbitrary or Discriminatory Treatment (Dr. Catharine Titi, Université Panthéon-Assas Paris II).
The second conference day’s program initially addressed various procedural issues of possible future EU BITs. Dr. Markus Burgstaller (Hogan Lovells, London) talked about the “Division of Responsibilities EU/Member States and the Role of ICSID”. Prof. Dr. Christoph Herrmann (University of Passau) outlined the role of the CJEU in the context of EU investment agreements. Prof. Dr. Chistian Tams’ (University of Glasgow) lecture on “Coherence and Appellate Possibilities – Procedural Matters and Enforcement” revealed further interesting procedural matters. These presentations were commented on by Prof. Dr. Christoph Schreuer (University of Vienna).
Then, Prof. Dr. Karsten Nowrot (University of Hamburg) talked about the inclusion of environmental protection, human rights and sustainability in international investment law. Finally, N. Jansen Calamita (Investment Treaty Forum, BIICL/University of Birmingham) raised the question whether there is a need for more transparency in investment arbitration.
The conference was concluded by Prof. Dr. August Reinisch, who ‘put the pieces together’ and shared his thoughts on the yet invisible EU Model BIT.