The Lisl und Leo Eitinger Human Rights Award was bestowed on Prof. Manfred Nowak by the University of Oslo on 18 November 2013 for his achievements in the field of human rights. You find more information at http://www.uio.no/english/about/facts/human-rights/2013/ and in the flyer.
Attention change of hours and location:
The course International human rights regime by Prof Nowak and Ass. Januszewski will take place from 1-3pm at the lecture room U18 (instead of 4-6pm at U21).
Thank you for your understanding.
Joint Meeting of the Department of International Law and International Relations of the University of Vienna and the Eötvös Loránd University
On 29 April 2013, the Department of International Law and International Relations of the University of Vienna hosted a Joint Meeting with the Eötvös Loránd University. Numerous distinguished academics from both universities, including experts from different branches of Public International Law, attended the conference, dealing with current debates and trends of international law. The first speaker, Gábor Kajtár, started off with a very contemporary issue, presented under the title “Self-defense against non-state actors: a critical analysis”, followed by Ralph Janik’s paper concerning “The Tension Between Human Rights and the Security Council Actions in the War on Terror – New Developments or Stalemate?”. This was followed by presentations of Zsófia Deli on „Trade and environment: Conflict of laws in WTO dispute settlement” and Karin Traunmüller on “Naturalization of persons living abroad – evaluation under public international law”. The Hungarian colleague, Prof. Boldizsár Nagy, presented his thoughts on “Why to protect refugees? Metalegal foundations of a legal obligation”. Finally, Markus Beham dealt with “The Gabcíkovo-Nagymaros case – The neverending story?”. The considerable number of participants and their positive feedback reflected the success of this bi-annual Joint Meeting.
COST Policy Meeting on The Role of the EU in UN Human Rights Reform, 28 January 2013, Brussels
Following the international final conference of the COST Action IS0702 “The Role of the EU in UN Human Rights Reform” in September 2012 in Vienna, where the recommendations of the COST Action where finalized and presented, a meeting took place in Brussels now where these final recommendations where discussed with policy makers from the EU. Please find the final recommendations here.
Argentina in the “ARA LIBERTAD” Case (Argentina v. Ghana) at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
End of November 2012 Prof. Hafner represented Argentina in the “ARA LIBERTAD” Case (Argentina v. Ghana) at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea as Co-Agent. Details see here https://www.itlos.org/index.php?id=46&L=
EMPOWER HUMAN RIGHTS! – Final Conference of the COST Action IS0702 “The Role of the EU in UN Human Rights Reform”; 13th AHRI Conference, 10 – 12 September 2012, Hotel Schloss Wilhelminenberg/Academy of Sciences, Vienna
The high-level international conference “Empower Human Rights” on the role of the European Union in United Nations human rights reform was co-organized by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (BIM), the doctoral college “Empowerment through Human Rights” and the University of Vienna. It provided a forum where human rights experts from the leading European academic networks (Association of Human Rights Institutes–AHRI et al.) discussed the results of their research projects and respective policy recommendations with high-level representatives of the United Nations and the European Union. It also marked the closure of a four year-research project by AHRI financed by an EU-COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action based on the fact that the EU has been one of the most outspoken advocates of a stronger role of human rights in the UN architecture.
Welcome remarks by Prof. Manfred Nowak who is also Chair of the COST Action IS0702 and Co-Director of BIM, the then Chair of AHRI and director of the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights Prof. Nils A. Butenschøn and the Representative of the European Commission in Austria Mr. Richard Kühnel were followed by the high-level opening panel. The Secretary-General for Foreign Affairs Mr. Johannes Kyrle representing the Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Michael Spindelegger discussed the Austrian perspective on UN human rights reform summarizing the involvement of Austria in UN‘s human rights mechanisms, highlighting the importance and remaining challenges of the Human Rights Council, treaty bodies, special procedures, the Universal Periodic Review and the need to strengthen the system.
The Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Ms. Vesna Pusic described the vision of Croatia about the EU foreign human rights policy. She emphasized the need of linking peacekeeping or peace-making missions, such as the EU peacekeeping missions, to civilian projects in the field, including the rights of women and girls in these areas. She also stressed that the EU is faced with the challenge of finding ways to implement the policy of human rights and democracy being the most important part of the EU external action in the field.
The UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Kyung-wha Kang presented her view on how to reform the UN human rights architecture in the coming years. She highlighted the necessity to close the gap between resources and needs, capacity and expectations. In this regard she explained that the "third pillar" rhetoric had to be turned into reality, hereby urging the EU to take the lead among development donors to fully integrate human rights as a key anchor of their policy thinking and implementation and stressing the importance that peace operations are given fully-fledged human rights mandates by the Security Council. She also emphasized the recommendations in the High Commissioner’s report for a strengthened, revitalized treaty body system and urged the EU to support them. Finally, she stressed that stronger protection is required for mandate holders of special procedures, human rights defenders and civil society actors in general.
The Chair of the Working Party on Human Rights (COHOM) of the EU Council Mr. Engelbert Theuermann discussed the EU foreign policy on human rights and the role of the EU in the UN. He stressed the EU’s commitment, such as the newly appointed EU Special Representative for Human Rights, elaborated the recent positive developments in the Human Rights Council and explained the EU’s improvement of its working methods (strategic planning, cross-regional cooperation etc.), its stronger advocacy for economic, social and cultural rights and demanded closer cooperation between the UN in Geneva and New York.
The member of the European Parliament Ms. Ulrike Lunacek spoke about ideas and initiatives of the European Parliament for UN human rights reform. She explained the importance of the respective Committees LIBE and DROI for human rights within the EU and in third countries, analyzed the EU’s reluctance when it comes to commitment for changes in human rights in North Africa etc., and the intention of the Parliament to create an early warning system.
After a presentation of a summary of the proposals of the working groups of the COST Action, which was finalized the next day, the afternoon panel commenced its proceedings with the head of the Human Rights Department of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Ms. Snježana Bokulic who presented the role of the EU in developing/strengthening the Human Dimension of the OSCE. She pointed out that there is not necessarily an overlap or duplication of EU and OSCE efforts, that both of them have their roles and that cooperation is increasing.
Prof. José Doria from the University of Angola and Peoples Friendship University of Russia dealt with proposals on UN treaty body reform. He explained that due to the fact that the treaty bodies were initially not intended to be a system it now has to be reformed. He illustrated several proposals for such a treaty body reform or strengthening, including the proposal of a World Court of Human Rights and a comprehensive reporting calendar – the “master calendar”.
On Tuesday and Wednesday morning the PhD training school on poverty and territory, asylum and migration, mental health and human rights, human rights in development, trafficking in human beings, criminal and social justice took place as well as internal meetings of AHRI, COST and the Nordic Network and final discussions of the COST working groups on their recommendations which were presented in the public panel on Wednesday in the afternoon chaired by the Deputy Director of the Danish Institute for Human Rights Ms. Charlotte Flindt Pedersen. The chair of COST working group I Prof. Nowak elaborated on the final recommendations concerning the reform of UN human rights mechanisms which includes the treaty body system, a World Court of Human Rights, the Human Rights Council, National Human Rights Institutions and the Responsibility to Protect. The chair of working group II and UNICEF Chair in Children’s Rights Prof. Wouter Vandenhole together with his colleague Ms. Corinne Lennox from the Institute of Commonwealth Studies from the University of London presented the final recommendations on strengthening systems for human rights-based development, such as the need for a theory of change, longer project cycles, support to civil society organizations and governments and recommendations specifically addressed to the UN and the EU. The chair of working group III and director of the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy Prof. Wolfgang Benedek elaborated on the final recommendations on new perspectives on human rights partnerships including visions on the concept of human rights partnerships and on business and human rights and its implications.
Then the director of the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies Prof. Jan Wouters was the first to speak in the final panel about the academic perspective of EU and UN human rights reform. He pointed out that the EU’s contribution on human rights in the UN should not only concentrate on the typical UN human rights bodies but on all UN organs. He also stressed the importance of cross-regional outreach and coalition-building by the EU and of more focus on the EU’s own human rights record.
Prof. Dubravka Šimonovic from the MFA Diplomatic Academy in Zagreb who is also a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women elaborated on her visions for the UN human rights reform. She focused on treaty body reform and explained the wish of harmonization, that civil society and UN agencies should be more involved and highlighted that treaty bodies should be permanent institutions involving professionals and independent experts and that a World Court of Human Rights would be welcome.
The Vice-President of the Human Rights Council Mr. Christian Strohal spoke about the recent developments in the Human Rights Council. He elaborated on the reasons why the Council now acts beyond expectations, such as the positive influence of the Universal Periodic Review, of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, re-engagement of the US, better internal preparation and outreach of the EU, the Arab Spring etc. and gave an outlook.
The director of the Research and Right to Development Division of OHCHR Ms. Marcia V. J. Kran disclosed UN perspectives and action on a human rights-based approach to development. She provided an overview of how mainstreaming human rights and the human rights-based approach are anchored in the UN system. She then highlighted examples of what has worked and what needs to be strengthened. Finally, she shared some ideas on how the EU can play a part in the UN human rights reform and human rights based-development.
Mr. Theuermann closed the panel by elaborating on EU perspectives on UN human rights reform where he explained the development and challenges in this regard, such as strategic planning and building coalitions within and with the Human Rights Council and Security Council, the involvement in matters like CSR, economic, social and cultural rights, migrants’ rights, and gave examples of good practices.
The conference was then closed by final remarks by Prof. Butenschøn and Prof. Nowak.
The publication of the conference proceedings and final recommendations is envisaged by early spring 2013 by Neuer Wissenschaftlicher Verlag.
Transnational Judicial Dialogue of Domestic Courts on International Organizations
On 23 April 2012, the Head of the Section for International Law and International Relations of the University of Vienna, Prof. August Reinisch, hosted the Conference "Transnational Judicial Dialogue of Domestic Courts on International Organizations". The conference which was funded by the Austrian Science Fund (Project I581-G15), formed part of an international collaborative research effort within the project “10-ECRP-028 International law through the national prism: the impact of judicial dialogue” sponsored by the ESF (European Science Foundation).
On this one-day event, 16 legal scholars from research institutions in Austria, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Russia and Switzerland were joined by over 80 participants, including practitioners and representatives of international organizations. The aim of the conference was to discuss domestic court decisions concerning the domestic legal personality as well as the privileges and immunities of international organisations, also from the perspective of a possible "transnational judicial dialogue". All contributors were able to provide an overview of the most important legal issues and methods used by courts on the basis of an exhaustive analysis of the available cases. In addition, they analyzed the available jurisprudence also from the perspective of a possible judicial dialogue. In his introduction to the conference, Professor Reinisch defined transnational judicial dialogue broadly as "the willingness of domestic courts to look beyond their own jurisdiction and to take into account decisions rendered by other national or by international courts or tribunals (i.e. horizontal or vertical dialogue)." Indeed, most contributors were able to identify some instances of indirect/implicit judicial dialogue. Moreover, in a smaller number of cases, direct/explicit invocation or discussion of foreign or international court decisions by domestic courts could also be identified. The active participation of practising lawyers and legal advisers to international organizations during the conference greatly contributed to an exchange of views and experience.
The conference was part of a larger book project. The volume, to be edited in 2013, will include and build on the insights gained and networks established during the conference. In addition, three authors who were unable to attend the 23 April 2012 conference will contribute to the edited volume by examining the available cases in India, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom.
EU and Investment Agreements - Open Questions and Remaining Challenges
International Conference organised by The University of Halle, University of Siegen & University of Vienna in association with the Canada EU Strategic Knowledge Cluster. The transfer of FDI competence to the EU with the Treaty of Lisbon opened the way for a more coherent EU international investment policy. Two and a half years on, the EU and Investment Agreements conference assesses crucial issues that remain open. The role of the Member States in the negotiation and conclusion of future EU investment agreements, the inclusion of investorstate dispute settlement provisions, as well as the status of national investment insurance systems in the wake of the Treaty of Lisbon are key topics that leave unresolved questions and challenges that need to be successfully tackled in order to achieve the dynamic EU international investment policy desired by the EU Treatymakers. 18 June 2012. Vienna, Austria. Program and Registration you can find here.
Stanford - Vienna Human Rights Conference
In the framework of the cooperation between the University of Vienna and Stanford University regular bilateral conferences take place. In 2004, Prof. Norman Naimark’s research project “Austria in the Postwar World” led to the first conference, followed by further conferences in 2006 and 2009. This year’s Stanford-Vienna Conference brought together human rights experts to discuss US-American and European approaches to contemporary human rights problems. The conference took place from 20 to 22 June 2011 at the University of Vienna and was organized by the Section for International Law and International Relations of the Law School in cooperation with the Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights and the Research Platform “Human Rights in the European Context”.
After welcome remarks by Christa Schnabl, Manfred Nowak and Helen Stacy, the Chair of the first session, August Reinisch, opened the first panel of the Conference, “Monitoring, Protection and Enforcement of Human Rights in Comparison – US & Europe”. The first speaker, Manfred Nowak, addressed the development and current state of European human rights mechanisms. After outlining each system in more detail, Prof. Nowak pointed out the major challenges to human rights protection in contemporary Europe and especially emphasized problems relating to the way Europe deals with non-Europeans. After this overview, Christoph Grabenwarter proceeded with a detailed account of the historical development of the procedures before the European Court of Human Rights and the legal force of its judgments. He assessed the background of the coming into existence as well as the benefits and downsides of the pilot judgment procedure and pointed out the practical problems resulting from the huge workload of the European Court of Human Rights and suggested possible solutions to it. Ursula Kriebaum continued with an introduction to the systems and principles of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT). As a major shortcoming, she identified the fact that the CPT has no coercive means to make states comply with its recommendations, the “most intrusive” tool being its “public statements”. Karin Lukas, introducing the European Committee of Social Rights, gave an account of the development of the European Social Charter (ESC) and its state of play. She pointed out the unique features of the ESC and concluded that even though there is a continuous issue of non-compliance, there have been a lot of substantive changes due to the Charter and outlined the importance of ongoing dialogue. Jonas Grimheden then proceeded with outlining the changes that came about with the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. In his concluding remarks, he elaborated on the nature and effectiveness of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). With Allen Weiner, the focus moved from Europe towards the US. He started off with an outline of the limited participation of the US with regard to International Conventions dealing with human rights and made the audience familiar with explanations for this approach. Whereas Allen Weiner talked about the external dimension, how the US views itself in comparison with Europe, Helen Stacy focused on the internal debates within the US. She pointed out the ubiquitous use of rights-language within the US and related it to the realities by giving examples, like the health care system, the death penalty or the right to hold handguns. She argued that there were basically two framing understandings of human rights in the US; being the Constitution and the political discourse on individualism. James Cavallaro proceeded with an account of the capacities and the potential of the OAS, relating it to European systems of human rights protection. He analyzed in more detail the peculiar relationship between the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights and the US. Influence, according to him, comes about insofar as media pressure, civil society and grass root pressure, referring to findings of the Inter-American Commission, can exert political leverage.
The first session was followed by a Public Lecture, entitled “US v. Europe – Human Rights Standards, Mechanisms and Policies”. After opening remarks by the Chairs, Ursula Kriebaum and Allen Weiner, Manfred Nowak talked about the roots of domestic human rights protection in the US and Europe and their role in the founding of international and regional human rights protection. He drew the conclusions that in domestic human rights protection, Europe has taken the lead since WWII, while the US is more reluctant to be monitored. However, in foreign policy, the US as a “global player” is more effective. Helen Stacy confirmed the conclusions of Manfred Nowak. She emphasized dualism in the US and the fact that whereas the US certainly has a lot of human rights jurisprudence, this relates to civil rights within the US rather than to international human rights law. Friedl Weiss then sketched the human rights architecture of the EU. He elaborated on the implications of the entry into force of the EU-Charter of Fundamental Rights but came to the conclusion that it was not a paradigm change. He also outlined that access to justice at the EU level was only indirectly possible, a fact that would be improved through accession to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). James Cavallaro reaffirmed the reliance of the US jurisprudence on domestic civil rights instead of international human rights. He pointed out the downsides of it; especially that the US Constitution does not contain economic, social and cultural rights and that there can be different interpretations of for example what amounts to torture.
Helen Stacy opened the Tuesday session on “Responsibility to Protect – The Case of Libya 2011” with a short account of the historical development of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). Irmgard Marboe started off with an evaluation of the still controversial legal nature of the R2P. She gave a detailed assessment of Articles 138 and 139 of the World Summit Outcome Document of 2005 and their legal implications. Prof. Marboe subsequently elaborated on the legal nature of the veto, whether it was capable of being abused or not and what the implications of an abuse could be. Hanspeter Neuhold analyzed in detail SC Resolution 1973 of 17 March 2011. He concluded that in the case of Libya, arguably, the SC lived up to its R2P even though until now the actions have not been successful. Referring to the situations in other countries like Syria and Saudi Arabia, he made the point that unfortunately Realpolitik prevails over more noble goals. Heinz Gärtner proceeded with an elaboration on the report “The Responsibility To Protect” of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty of December 2001 and the concept of “just war”. He applied the different criteria to the current situation in Libya and concluded that it could be argued that the Libyan case was a R2P case even though the Resolution refers to the UN Charter and the threat to international peace and security. Allen Weiner elaborated on the US position with regard to the intervention in Kosovo, arguing that the US did not consider it legal but rather justified, pointing to the legitimacy, however, not to legality. He concluded that the R2P is no independent, legal basis to act but much more a political exhortation. He related this finding to the arguments brought forward by the US for the use of force in Libya. Stephen Xenakis proceeded with an assessment of the R2P from the more practical perspective of a military physician. He argued that also humanitarian intervention without the use of force but rather with deploying health service personnel could be envisaged.The afternoon panel on “Corporate Social Responsibility / Human Rights and Business” was opened by Friedl Weiss with introductory remarks. David Brady introduced Friedman’s conception of responsibility of business. He pointed out the problems of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and mapped three types of motives to CSR, being strategic, defensive self-interest or principled. He presented an analysis of the different approaches towards and motives behind CSR on the part of companies. Karin Lukas proceeded with human rights and business in the European Union. By analyzing the Commission’s documents on CSR and the role of the European Parliament as an antagonistic player, she sketched the different tracks of the voluntary and regulatory approach that could be pursued. After giving a short introduction to Export Processing Zones (EPZs) and outlining their positive as well as negative effects, Christina Binder focused on the challenges to implementing human rights in EPZs. Her assessment of the impact of different strategies to foster the implementation and enforcement of human rights and labor standards in EPZs led her to the conclusion that there have been improvements with regard to rights in EPZs but she also emphasized the insufficiency of the focus on the responsibility and accountability of the host states to improve working conditions in EPZs.
On the last day of the Stanford-Vienna Conference, 22 June 2011, the participants dealt with “Asylum, Immigration and Human Trafficking”. The session was opened by Gerhard Hafner. He gave the floor to the first speaker Margit Ammer, who introduced the development of the competences of the EU in the area of asylum and immigration. She outlined the major human rights challenges. Joachim Stern took over with his presentation on EU policies and perspectives on migration and human rights after Lisbon. He concluded that the effects of the new framework included minor improvements but, however, also substantial drawbacks. With Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, the focus shifted from EU immigration and asylum law and policy to human trafficking. She outlined the factual situation of trafficked human beings and the striking easiness with which a crime like that can be committed. The social vulnerability of migrants often makes them subject to human trafficking, which links the phenomenon of migration and human trafficking. Further policy areas that would have to be included would be the labor market as well as the responsibility of businesses with regard to human rights. Katherine Jolluck dealt with trafficking of women and girls in Eastern Europe for sexual exploitation. She focused on the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings of 2005 and argued that it followed a human rights based approach. She sketched the actions taken by Eastern European countries, which led her to the conclusion that even though considerable progress has been made in Eastern Europe with regard to the understanding of human trafficking and best practices, the commitment however, needed to run deeper in the governments and societies in order to achieve real progress.
During the closing session, the outcomes of the Conference were summarized and the different approaches compared. In her final comparison, Helen Stacy concluded that Europe is the envy of the US when it comes to the existing institutionalized human rights framework. She analyzed that to a certain extent, Europeans have recognized that national sovereignty has become a secondary interest and Europe has become a collective primary interest. In the US, human rights are much more a political matter and are not so much present in the legislative discourse. How human rights are implemented is a question of politics. Her final conclusion was that many roads lead to Rome. She sees that law is only one of the options, which works with civil society, individuals and global capital. The European systematic regulatory path is not the American way. Manfred Nowak observed that the major differences are in foreign policy where the US takes a leading role and Europe has a problem to speak with one voice. Further differences relate to the manner how human trafficking is dealt with. Whereas in Europe it is at least to some extent framed by a human rights discourse, in the US, it is approached from the criminal law aspects.
Allen Weiner concluded the theoretical discourse by applying it to six hypothetical individuals and analyzing how the different approaches in the US and in Europe and the supposedly “better” human rights system in Europe would affect their particular situations: The middle class student, the blue-collar worker, the female corporate executive, the illegal immigrant from Algeria, the lawful immigrant from Ghana and the chronically ill person. Manfred Nowak concluded that on average, most of them would be better off in Europe, however, the immigrant would most probably have better chances to climb the career ladder in the US than anywhere in Europe. Helen Stacy confirmed this by relating it to the background to US human rights approaches and observing that in the US the great leap is easier no matter who you are, which encourages individuals to be exceptional. The successful conference was formally closed by the University of Vienna’s rector Georg Winckler.
3rd Franz Vranitzky Lecture with Dinah L. Shelton
In summer term 2011, the distinguished human rights expert Dinah Shelton of George Washington University, Washington DC, held the third „Franz Vranitzky Chair for European Studies“. This chair, which was established in 2007 in honor of the former Federal Chancellor Franz Vranitzky, enables the University of Vienna to invite outstanding scholars to teach at the University. In the course of her visiting professorship, Dinah Shelton presented two courses: “Human Rights and Foreign Policy” at the faculty of law and “Human Rights and Environmental Protection” at the European Studies Program of the University of Vienna.
The highlight of her visiting professorship was a public lecture entitled “Regional Approaches to Human Rights: Europe and the Americas” which took place on 9 June 2011 in the Small Ceremonial Chamber of the University of Vienna. Following the opening words by the former Chancellor Franz Vranitzky and Vice-Rector Arthur Mettinger as well as the introduction by Vice-Dean August Reinisch, Dinah Shelton discussed different regional human rights instruments in a comparative context.
Stanford - Vienna - Human Rights Conference
From 20 to 22 June 2011 the Stanford - Vienna - Human Rights Conference "US-American and European Approaches to Contemporary Human Rights Problems" takes place at the University of Vienna. Details you will find here.
Vienna/Budapest. On 30 May 2011, the Section for International Law and International Relations participated, already for the third time, in a joint-meeting with the Budapest Eötvös Loránd Department for International Law. The meeting was held in the premises of the Budapest Faculty of Law. The highlight of the meeting formed a seminar with the topics “The EU as an International Actor”, “Human Rights and Investment Law” and “The ECHR as a Supplementary Constitution”. Contributions on the part of the Vienna Department were made by the two young faculty members Melanie Fink and Sahib Singh.
TELDERS INTERNATIONAL LAW MOOT COURT
Gold in Several Categories for the Team of Vienna University
Best applicant memorial, best respondent memorial, second-best overall applicant, second-best oralist: Michael Moffatt, forth-highest overall score
Vienna/The Hague. Markus Beham, Ralph Janik, Andrea Leiter and Michael Moffatt successfully represented Vienna University in the final rounds of this year’s Telders International Law Moot Court, that were recently held in The Hague. The team competed against more than 40 law faculties from all over Europe and earned top placements: best applicant memorial, best respondent memorial, second-best overall applicant, second-best oralist: Michael Moffatt, forth-highest overall score. The fictitious legal dispute before the International Court of Justice addressed issues related to International Environmental Law, Human Rights, the legal status of colonial treaties and sanctions of the UN Security Council. Jane Alice Hofbauer and Florian Dunkel, two Teaching and Research Assistants of the Section for International Law and International Relations had supported the team during the preparation phase.
- Strukturierung der Juristischen Semantik – Structuring Legal Semantics - Festschrift für Erich Schweighofer, A. Geist/C. R. Brunschwig/F. Lachmayer/G. Schefbeck (Hrsg.)
- Online specialist publication Jusletter IT – Die Zeitschrift für IT und Recht, Erich Schweighofer/Franz Kummer (Hrsg .) available here!
"Simulation d’une conférence internationale" at the Juridicum
As part of the elective specialisation module "Culture juridique francophone européenne et internationale ", jointly coordinated by the Section for International Law and the Department of Roman Law, a model conference in French was held in December 2010. This course of Dr. Isabelle Buffard was offered in cooperation with the French Embassy in Vienna (Pôle d'excellence) and held in the prestigious environment of Palais Clam-Gallas (Institut français de Vienne). The participating students assumed the role of state representatives who had to negotiate an Additional Protocol to a Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at an international conference.
See also the article "Simulation d’une conférence internationale am Juridicum" in the Juridicum Journal: http://journal.juridicum.at/?c=145&a=2794 (in German)
Photos of this event can be downloaded here.
Polis Fondi v IFAD
An UNCITRAL tribunal presided by Professor Reinisch rendered an arbitration award in a lease dispute between a private party and an international organization. The text of the award is available at http://www.pca-cpa.org/showpage.asp?pag_id=1380."
UNCTAD “G 15 of Law Schools” Initiative
During the recent World Investment Forum 2010 held in Xiamen, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) launched the so-called “G-15 of Law Schools” initiative. The University of Vienna Law School is one of fifteen law schools from around the globe participating in this international project.
This project aims at drawing together a select group of law schools with a demonstrated commitment to international investment law. Participating law schools contribute to exploring mutual interests, facilitate academic opportunities, and develop ideas related to investment law and policy.
Several members of the Section of International Law and International Relations, who are specializing in the field of international investment law, will offer their expertise and participate in this international initiative. More information about this project is available from the “G 15” blog website (registration required) at https://www.g15law-unctadpilot.org/blog/
- ACUNS 23rd Annual Meeting
- Changed office hours of Prof. Marboe
Office hours will NOT be held on Tuesday, 12.01.2010 but on Thursday, 14.01.2010 from 11:00 to 12:30 a.m.
The proceedings of the Vienna International Arbitration Forum 2008 which was jointly organized by the Section for International Law and International Relations and the Department for Civil Procedure Law of the University of Vienna in November 2008 have now been published:
Christina Knahr/Christian Koller/Walter Rechberger/August Reinisch (eds), “Investment and Commercial Arbitration – Similarities and Divergences” (Eleven International Publishing 2010)
For more information about the book and how to order please click here
- On Thursday 10 September 2009, the 2nd edition of the ICSID Commentary was officially presented in London. The almost 1500-pages volume was originally written by Professsor Christoph Schreuer alone und is now available as a revised and updated version co-authored by Loretta Malintoppi (Eversheds Paris), Anthony Sinclair (Allen & Overy, London) and August Reinisch (University of Vienna).
ECSL Summer Course on Space Law and Policy 2009 in Lisbon, August 31 - September 11, 2009
The ECSL is organising its 18th Summer Course on Space Law and Policy. It will take place at the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon (Faculdade de Direito da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Campus de Campolide, 1099-032 Lisboa), Portugal, August 31-September 11, 2009.
Students should send in their application form until June 26, 2009 to:
NPOC Space Law Austria
Prof. Dr. Irmgard Marboe
Department of European Law, International Law and Comparative Law
University of Vienna
Schottenbastei 10-16, A-1010 Vienna
Tel.++43/1/4277/35311; Fax. /35321
For selection criteria and more information about ECSL and the Summer Course see http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/ECSL/SEMLMNGHZTD_0.html .
- Within the framework of the European COST-Program (Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research), the University of Oslo hosted the “Conference on Unity or Fragmentation of International Law: the Role of International and National Tribunals” on 14 and 15 May 2009, which also formed the “Second International Law in Domestic Courts Colloquium”. This international event hosted not only “Editorial Board” and “Management Committee” meetings deciding on the future development of the Oxford University Press database “International Law in Domestic Courts”, but also involved outstanding international law scholars as well as young academics.
The increase of different fora for adjudicating disputes involving international law, including the application of international law before domestic courts, was scrutinized in four sessions on “Methods of Interpretation by International Tribunals”, “Jurisdictional Overlaps between International Tribunals and Compliance Mechanisms”, “Dialogue or Conflict between International Tribunals and National Courts?” and “Unity or Fragmentation of International Law: The Practice of Domestic Courts”, respectively. Highlights included presentations from Professor Mads Andenæs (University of Oslo) on “The Use of Judgements of other Courts by International Courts”; Professor Hélène Ruiz Fabri (Université Paris 1) on “The rationale of decisions of international jurisdictions“; Professor Yuval Shany (Hebrew University, Jerusalem) on ”One Law to Rule Them All: Should International Courts be viewed as Guardians of Legal Uniformity“ and last, but not least from Prof. Christoph Schreuer on „Interactions of International Tribunals and Domestic Courts in Investment Law”.
INTERNATIONAL LAW MOOT COURT: Vienna University students at the top
Vienna University Team reaches the finals with the highest overall score of all participating teams.
VIENNA/THE HAGUE The team coached by the Section for International Law and International Relations has most successfully represented the University of Vienna in the Telders International Law Moot Court 2009 in The Hague. The team, consisting of Peter Bachmayer, Tomasz Hara, Gregor Novak and Max Wälde-Sinigoj, achieved the highest overall score for its written and oral performance among the more than 30 participating teams from all parts of Europe. Both applicants and respondents received an award for best oral performance, applicants furthemore won the award for the best applicant memorial. Thereby, for the first time in the Telders Moot Court’s 32-year history, the same team achieved the highest score for both applicant and respondent side. Since the rules do not allow the applicant and respondent sides in the finals to be from the same team, the Vienna University applicant side, consisting of Gregor Novak and Max Wälde-Sinigoj, faced the second ranked respondent side of the University of Novi Sad. The finals, presided by the ICJ Judge Abdul G. Koroma and two renowned professors, were won by the Serbian team, with the award for best speaker in the final going to Gregor Novak. In preparing the case, which dealt with the law of the sea, environmental law and treaty law, the team was coached by Mag. Breitegger and Mag. Schicho.
Max Wälde-Sinigoj, Gregor Novak, Tomasz Hara, Peter Bachmayer (from left to right) during the finals in the Peace Palace's Hague Academy.
"A first meeting for students interested to participate in next years Telders International Law Moot Court will take place on 3. June 2009, at 3pm in Juridicum, Seminarraum 63"
The „First International Law in Domestic Courts (ILDC) Colloquium“ took place on Thursday, 27 March and Friday 28 March 2008 in the Peace Palace in The Hague. The international conference was organized by the Amsterdam Center of International Law (Faculty of Law, University of Amsterdam) on the occasion of the first year following the successful official launch of the ILDC database providing extensive State practice relating to public international law.
Funded primarily by the Brussels-based COST initiative (European Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research), meetings of the ILDC Editorial Board and the COST Management Committee addressing ILDC organizational matters as well as so-called Working Group discussions on the “Rule of Law in International Law" and “The Hierarchy in International Law" preceded the reception of approximately 180 participants representing jurisdictions ranging from Azerbaijan to Syria.
On Thursday, 27 March 2008, after the welcome address of Prof. André Nollkaemper from the University of Amsterdam, Ernst Hirsch Ballin, Minister of Justice of the Netherlands, officially opened the ILDC Colloquium.
In her discourse on “The changing position of domestic courts in the international legal order" H.E. Judge Rosalyn Higgins QC provided an overview of recent State practice relating to international law. She particularly drew on State immunity examples of European courts and the most recent US Supreme Court decisions on the reception of international law in the United States in order to underline the growing awareness of domestic courts in relation to international law.
The program of Friday, 28 March 2008, was divided into three Panel Sessions.
The morning Panel on “International Law in three domestic jurisdictions: France, India and Russia" was chaired by Prof. Christof Heyns University of Pretoria). It sought to identify trends in relation to the application of international law through the dialogue of distinguished scholars from France, India and Russia. The presentations started with the Former Senior Member of the French Conseil d’Etat Roger Errera on “The Law and Practice in France: General Issues and Recent Developments". He particularly referred to the place of international law in the French legal system, the methods applied by French judges in identifying and applying international law and the French court practice in relation to the ECHR. Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov from the Moscow Diplomatic Academy held a speech on “International Law in the Russian Constitutional Court". He notably stressed the role of the Russian Constitutional Court in applying international law, the “protective function" of the Russian constitution in relation to international law and alluded to Human Rights aspects in the respective Russian case law. In her presentation on “International Law in Domestic Courts in India" Prof. Surinder Kaur Verma from the University of Delhi particularly pointed to the differences between the reception of international law in India as opposed to the British practice. She cited examples in the field of Human Rights and Environmental Law for the interplay between concepts developed in international law and domestic court approaches.
Prof. Sienho Yee from Xi’an Jiaotong University, X’ian chaired the noontime Panel on “Domestic courts and the international rule of law". In light of the methodological challenge inherent to the topic, the Panel undertook to identify the contribution of court practice to the protection of the international rule of law. As an illustrative example, Lord Thomas Henry Bingham (Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary) addressed the United Kingdom House of Lords’ Decision in Al-Jedda relating to the detention of an individual by British forces in Iraq in order to demonstrate problems of attributability of acts of British forces under the UNSCR 1546 to the United Kingdom. Further, Lord Bingham discussed issues of an alleged violation of the Convention of for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, implemented to the UK Legal order by virtue of the UK Human Rights Act 1998. Particular reference was made to the related decisions of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in Behrami v. France and Saramati v. France, Germany and Norway.
Judge Mark Villiger from the European Court of Human Rights added the perspective of the European Court of Human Rights in his presentation on “Domestic Courts and the International Rule of Law". In his extensive analysis of the case law, the particular importance of the principle of subsidiarity was underlined.
The afternoon Panel on “Domestic courts and hierarchy in international law" was chaired by Prof. Claudia Martin from the American University in Washington. It analyzed the importance of a small category of fundamental values shared by States which challenge the traditional concept of equality of rules of international law. Prof. Dinah Shelton from the George Washington University presented the US American perspective on “Action and Reaction: Hierarchy, Advocacy and the United States Federal Courts". In her presentation on “The Emergence of Hierarchy in International Law through the Practice of European Courts: Towards Constitutionalization or Fragmentation" Prof. Erika de Wet from Amsterdam University linked the power of domestic courts to review acts implementing UNSCR according to the severity of the impact of the UNSCR on the Human Rights.
Prof. Eyal Benvenisti from Tel Aviv University provided a policy explanation for the emerging domestic jurisprudence relating to international law as a reaction to forces of globalization in his closing address on “Judicial Checks and Balances: The Emerging Balance of Power Between International and National Courts". He particularly stressed the dialogue between national and international courts, which, interestingly, does not necessarily lead to a further harmonization of law