Foto: © Universität Wien/Lorenz Dopplinger

Diverse Spectrum of Courses

As a mandatory subject for law students at the University of Vienna, Legal and Constitutional History aims to teach the development of Austrian law over the course of history, while also taking European influences into account. Legal and Constitutional History - as it is being teached at the Department – is generally divided into two separate, but interlinked parts:

The history of public law aims to outline Austrian constitutional history, its foundations and its European framework. The focus hereby lies on constitutional developments since 1848, when the first formal Constitution came into force. In particular, the historical foundation of different constitutional structures shall be explored.

The history of private law contains the history of legal science from its Roman origins and the development of legal institutions, such as personal autonomy, are being teached in detail. The focus lies not only on the normative aspects in this regard, but also on the discrepancies between the normative legal order and the actual application of law.

In addition, through the study of Legal and Constitutional History, students are encouraged to compare and contrast the European legal system with other legal systems – such as Common Law – from a historical perspective to demonstrate the contingent elements of legal systems.

The Department offers a diverse set of courses. Practical Exercises serve as an introduction to Legal and Constitutional History. Interested students can choose from a wide range of supplementary courses, seminars, and lectures on specific topics as well as lecture series to deepen their knowledge on the history of law. The Institute furthermore regularly sends teams to the Ius Commune and Historical Jewish Law Moot Court.