Conference on Human Rights and Tort Law, Tuesday, December 1, 2009
  • Overview
  • Programme
  • Accommodation in Vienna
  • Institute for European Tort Law
  • Contact Information
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The goal of the “Human Rights and Tort Law” Conference is to provide a general overview and thorough analysis of how the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) deals with tort law issues such as causation, attribution of liability, heads of damage as well as the assessment and the award of damages – particularly in respect of Article 41 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

The following questions will be addressed:

  • What methods are adopted by the Court and what methods should be adopted when interpreting the Convention?
  • How is Article 41 ECHR (“If the Court finds that there has been a violation of the Convention or the protocols thereto, and if the internal law of the High Contracting Party concerned allows only partial reparation to be made, the Court shall, if necessary, afford just satisfaction to the injured party”) interpreted and applied? Is there a set of principles the Court follows when awarding “just satisfaction”?
  • How is the term “just” interpreted by the Court and how should it be interpreted in the context of assessment and apportionment of damage? Are the concepts of justice in public international law, national public law and tort law congruent? What are the overall yardsticks in ascertaining justice?
  • What elements does the Court take into account when establishing causation?
  • What kinds of damage (pecuniary/non-pecuniary loss) are usually compensated and to what extent are damages and non-compensatory remedies (e.g. punitive damages, nominal damages, satisfaction by finding a violation) awarded?
  • How can damages be reduced, e.g. in cases of contributory negligence? Is there a reduction clause?
  • What is the Court's approach to the law of evidence concerning these matters?

These issues will be examined on the basis of a comprehensive selection and detailed analysis of the Court’s judgments and a thorough study of the most important literature dealing with the topics. The findings will be compared with the Principles of European Tort Law and the tort law systems of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, Turkey and the Common Law.

This one-day Conference will bring together a distinguished panel of scholars and judges of the ECtHR as keynote speakers. There will be ample room for discussion, both at the Conference as well as informally.

Institute for European Tort Law (ETL) 

Focusing on European jurisdictions, the Institute for European Tort Law of the Austrian Academy of Sciences conducts comparative legal research in the field of tort law. With its research, ETL aims to enhance and promote the harmonisation and further development of tort law in Europe.

Accommodation in Vienna 

ETL has provisionally booked a number of rooms for Conference participants in the HOTEL REGINA**** (Eur 76 for a single room incl. breakfast), until Friday, October 30, 2009. Please contact the hotel directly and make your own reservation, indicating that the reservation is for the Conference on Human Rights and Tort Law. A credit card number will be required to secure the reservation.

Hotel Regina
Rooseveltplatz 15,
1090 Vienna

Tel. (+43-1) 404 460,
Fax (+43-1) 408 83 92


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Austrian Academy of Sciences,
Dr. Ignaz-Seipel-Platz 2,
1010 Vienna [MAP]


E. Steiner: Introduction

Panel I Methodological Questions


F. Bydlinski: Methodological Approaches to the Tort Law of the ECHR


W. Berka: Human Rights and Tort Law


Coffee Break


W. Karl: Just Satisfaction under Article 41 ECHR and Public International Law

Panel II Analysis of the ECtHR Judgments


K. Oliphant/K. Ludwichowska: Just Satisfaction and the Concept of Damage


M. Kellner: Causation


Lunchbreak (light buffet provided)


B.C. Steininger/N. Wallner-Friedl: Wrongfulness and Fault


D. Kelliher: Compensation for Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Loss


M. Józon/V. Wilcox: Non-Compensatory Remedies


O. Riss: Contributory Negligence


E. Büyüksagis: Reduction Clause



Panel III Conclusions


E. Karner: Causation and Remoteness


H. Koziol: Non-Pecuniary Loss


A. Fenyves: Contributory Negligence and Reduction Clause


M. de Salvia: Human Rights - Moral and Effectivity of the Sanction.
Is the European Court's Actual Practice proportionate to the Gravity of the Violations?


Final Discussion

Austrian Ministry of Justice
(Palais Trautson), Museumstrasse 7
1070 Vienna [MAP]




Contact Information  

Institute for European Tort Law
Reichsratsstrasse 17/2,
1010 Vienna,

Tel.: (+43-1) 4277-29651
Fax: (+43-1) 4277-29670