The 'Media Policy and Media Law' project, jointly organized by the Institute for European Tort Law and the Commission for Comparative Media and Communication Studies, addresses several aspects of the tension between the freedom of the press and the protection of the individual. Public lectures held in the Austrian Academy of Sciences on topics such as media governance, related questions about liability and insights from daily media routines and communication sciences spurred discussions and reflection on these topics.

From these lectures, a first collection of papers explicitly addressing these basic questions was published in 2010:
In the further course of this unique project scholars and practitioners from the fields of media and legal sciences outlined future paths in this important and ever-changing area in the course of a season of symposia.

The findings of this second season of symposia are now available as
The papers presented in the second installment by Brandner-Radinger (Vienna), Puppis (University of Zürich, Switzerland), Warzilek (Austrian Press Council) and Weberling (University Viadrina, Germany) focus on questions concerning the virtues of and difficulties faced by Austria's new Press Council (Presserat); in the second chapter the legal implications of new forms of digital media, journalism and 'leaking' of documents are controversely discussed by Berka (University Salzburg, Austria), Kurz (Chaos Computer Club, CCC, Germany) and Thimm (University Bonn, Germany); while the third chapter addresses Journalistic Privilege (Redaktionsgeheimnis) with papers from Hinterhofer (University of Salzburg, Austria), Seethaler (Commission for Comparative Media and Communication Studies, Austria) and Stöger (University of Graz, Austria).

For further information on the project please do not hesitate to contact thomas.thiede@oeaw.ac.at.



9/4/2013 12:32:50 PM | 0 comments


The inaugural Sino-European Private Law Forum, jointly organised by the Institute for European Tort Law and the Sino-European Tort Law Institute of Yantai University, Shandong Province, China, will be held in Yantai on 20-21 September 2013. The theme of the first meeting is The Protection of Personality Rights in Comparative Perspective.
Papers to be given include the following:
  • The protection of personality rights in comparative perspective: basic questions (Barbara C Steininger, ETL)
  • On personality rights in general (Eva Ondreasova, ETL)
  • The protection of personality rights in private law (Monika Hinteregger (University of Graz)
  • Personality rights and the mass media: watchdog, bloodhound or guard dog of power? (Thomas Thiede, ETL)
  • Personality rights and the internet (Laura Ascher, ECTIL)
  • Comparative conclusions (Ken Oliphant, ETL)
The Forum provides a focal point for the formal cooperation agreement between the Institute and Yantai University signed in 2011.'
8/20/2013 12:23:19 PM | 0 comments


The inaugural meeting of the newly-established World Tort Law Society will be held on 14-15 September 2013 in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China. The theme of the meeting is product liability. The Society, jointly founded by the Institute with the European Centre of Tort and Insurance Law (ECTIL) and the Research Centre for Civil and Commercial Jurisprudence, Renmin University, Beijing, China, aims to provide a forum for the discussion of current tort law issues on a global basis. It has an invited membership of approximately 25 leading scholars from around the world. The first President of the Society is Helmut Koziol (ECTIL). The Society’s Executive Committee consists of Yang Lixin (Renmin), Ken Oliphant (Institute for European Tort Law) and Michael D Green (Wake Forest, USA).
8/20/2013 12:22:10 PM | 0 comments


Cao Xiangjian, a postgraduate in the Law School of Yantai University, Shandong Province, China, will be a visiting researcher in the Institute for a period of three months from August to October 2013. Mr Cao is the chief editor of Shaohai Law Review (a student-edited law journal) and his fields of research include tort law and the relationship between civil law and constitutional law. His visit to the Institute's further cements the existing ties between the Institute and Yantai University following the conclusion of a formal cooperation agreement between the two institutions in 2011.
8/20/2013 12:20:20 PM | 0 comments


The Institute is pleased to announce a lecture entitled 'The Influence of Human Rights on Belgian Tort Taw’ by Stefan Somers of Vrije University, Brussels. It takes place on Thursday, 11 July 2013 at 10 am.

In recent years, the idea that human rights, via their so-called horizontal effect or 'Drittwirkung', should have some influence on tort law, has become more and more accepted. This evolution raises questions on the methods whereby one can appeal to human rights in tort law litigation and on the overall impact of human rights on tort law.

In Belgium, these questions are becoming more and more pressing since, on the one hand, the Constitutional Court develops 'a tort law jurisprudence' whereas, on the other hand, the Court of Cassation more often makes use of human rights when dealing with tort law. This presentation will discuss the methods whereby human rights influence tort law in the litigation before these two courts and will give a rough overview on the overall impact of human rights on Belgian tort law.

All are welcome to attend.
6/21/2013 9:23:23 AM | 0 comments


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