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Teaching SS 2021

Coming up: Courses in Summer Semester 2021

Jürgen Pirker

  • Rule of Law “first”!? Development, Functions and Challenges of the Rule of Law in Austria and Europe 
    s the rule of law in danger?" Numerous "crises" at the beginning of the 21st century, such as terrorism, the asylum and migration crisis, attacks on supreme courts in European states, suspensions or restrictions of fundamental rights in a state of emergency as recently in the Corona Crisis, lead to this question being a permanent part of political and academic debates. Warnings regarding the status of the rule of law are not new, nor are the challenges of the rule of law – but what are the core elements of the rule of law? The seminar first compares the development of the concepts of “Rechtsstaatlichkeit” and the rule of law, analyzes their core elements, and then sets a focus on the rule of law in Austria and Europe. Additionally the seminar will provide lessons of past and present challenges of the rule of law. The following areas will be covered: development and specifics of the rule of law in Austria and Europe, core elements of the rule of law, formal and substantive elements of the rule of law, rule of law in crisis and in a state of emergency in past and present cases (e.g. "unjust regimes" in the 20th Century, fascism and the rule of law in the interwar period, failure state institutions safeguarding the rule of law in crises), rule of law in the European multi-level system and current debates about the rule of law in European case studies (e.g. Hungary, Poland), selected case studies from the judicature of the Constitutional Court, ECtHR and ECJ, and much more.

Benedikt Harzl

  • SE International Law in Domestic Courts: A Comparative Analysis between Russia, the US and EU member states
    How does international law apply in domestic legal systems? When are treaties and customary international law binding in national courts? What are the rules and mechanisms of “incorporation”? Do judges have a responsibility to follow generally accepted rules of international law? This seminar offers students an opportunity to research and make presentations about specific issues related to the status of international law in domestic legal systems. The focus will be on the U.S. system, but a comparative approach is included and students will investigate the treatment of international law in the legal systems of EU states and the Russian Federation, exploring how and if they incorporate customary international law. They will also examine situations where international legal rules always require legislative enactment. These issues arise in varying contexts, from human rights litigation, from compliance with ICJ and ECHR decisions to displacement of state law under ratified treaties and executive agreements, from the impact of rulings by the International Criminal Court to questions of sovereign immunity and Acts of State, from using international law to interpret domestic statutes to the proof of foreign law in civil and commercial cases. More broadly, we will be exploring whether domestic courts can or should act as enforcers of international law, whether domestic courts should be considered part of an emergent “global judiciary,” the importance of transnational cooperation between courts, etc.
  • SE The Ukraine crisis: Legal and political perspectives
    The annexation of the Crimea Peninsula as well as Russia’s ongoing and consistent support for the rebels in Eastern Ukraine constitute violations of international law. Yet, Crimea’s secession, which is frequently compared to the Kosovo case, also raises a number of fundamental - and as yet unresolved – questions. The lines of conflict in Ukraine are marked by contentious issues of international and European Union law, in particular against the background of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine. The US and EU sanctions imposed on Russian (and Ukrainian) individuals and entities also highlight pivotal legal issues, which are often neglected in political debates. The seminar is dedicated to discussing these and related issues. The brutal conflict in Ukraine will be examined by considering the perspectives and research methodology of law and political science.

Maximilian Lakitsch

  • SE The Anthropocene. Implications for Theories of the Social, Political, and the International
    The Anthropocene represents the current era of our planet. It follows the Holocene as the era in which mankind built up civilizations and learned how to make itself a home in a chaotic world. The Anthropocene emphasizes the fact that mankind has left indelible footprints on earth in the course geohistorical political, economic, and scientific developments – led by primarily American and European interests – from the late 18th century onwards. The inability to cope with the destructive consequences of human doing also means that there is no denying that the modern claim of human mastery of the natural and the man-made world has always been an illusion. As a consequence, the implications of the Anthropocene go far beyond ecology and are of fundamental relevance for reasoning about the social, the political, or the international.
  • SE Introduction to Peacebuilding
    Die Geschichte des Peacebuilding ist alles andere eine Erfolgsgeschichte. Trotz der Aufbruchstimmung und des Enthusiasmus nach Ende des Kalten Krieges sind nicht nur die neuesten Initiativen des internationalen Friedensengagements im Südsudan, in Libyen oder der Demokratischen Republik Kongo wenig effektiv. Die meisten in den jüngsten Jahren für beendet erklärten bewaffneten Konflikte drohen erneut auszubrechen. Gleichzeitig war und ist Peacebuilding dennoch sehr reflektiert und hat sich dementsprechend als äußerst lernfähig erwiesen. Das betrifft sowohl Wissenschaft als auch Praxis bis hinauf zum UNO Generalsekretariat und zum Sicherheitsrat.

Aiste Mickonyte

  • VO Sources of EU law, fundamental freedoms, harmonization
    The lecture is conceived as an introduction to selected areas of institutional and substantive EU law. Basis knowledge of these areas will be provided and a practical understanding of the particularities of this supranational and multilingual legal order will be aroused. The lecture will encompass first the sources of EU law, the making of this law and down the line its relations with the law of the Member States. With special reference to the fundamental freedoms and some selected acts of harmonization the legal implications for the law of the Member States will illustrated. In this context, the implications of EU law for the law on technical professional qualifications will be given special consideration, i.a. by referral to selected readings.
  • VO Foundations of Institutional EU Law
    The class offers an introduction to the law of the European Union. The focus lies on the institutional foundations of EU law. The thematic scope of the class includes the institutions and the organization of the EU, the key terminology as well as other basic questions of the EU legal order. The discussion in class draws among other things on the case law of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU).
  • VO Foundations of EU Business Law
    The class offers an introduction to the foundations of EU business law. The focus lies on the key terms and the functioning of EU competition law. The thematic scope of the class includes the prohibition of cartels; the prohibition of the abuse of a dominant position; merger control; State aid. The discussion in class draws among other things on the case law of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU).

Stephan Hinghofer-Szalkay

  • SE Islamic Law (The relationship between State, law and Islam in the Austrian context), with Kramer M, Wonisch K  
    Introduction to traditional concepts of moral and legal thought in Islam; the path from the sources and methods of obtaining norms to the hierarchy of norms and the major Islamic schools of law; legal-historical analysis of law, religion and constitutional systems in the Islamic world including their origins in Medina and comparative perspectives to European constitutional systems today; religious-legal foundations facing Islam in Austria; Islam and freedom of religion and other fundamental rights in Austria and Europe; case law of the Austrian Supreme Courts and the European Court of Human Rights with regard to Islamic law including civil law matters and the ordre public.

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