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06.02.2014 | Georgia
Constitutional Court of Georgia Rules MSM Can Donate Blood

Georgia’s Constitutional Court has upheld the claim challenging the conformity of the Order of the Minister of Labor, Healthcare, and Social Protection with human rights and fundamental freedoms as enshrined in the Constitution of Georgia. The Court ruled that the order that regulate the right to blood donation were unconstitutional.
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23.01.2014 | Austria
Supreme Court: Homosexuality No More Dishonourable

In a judgment of 23 January 2014 the Austrian Supreme Court reversed its longstanding case-law that homosexuality and homosexual acts are dishonourable. “There is nothing dishonourable in homosexual acts” the Court said. Homosexual contacts may not be judged any more dishonourable then heterosexual acts.
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17.01.2014 | Austria
Constitutional Court Turns Down Insemination-Ban for Lesbian Couples

Rechtskomitee LAMBDA (RKL), Austria’s civil rights organisation for homo-, bisexual and transgender people, celebrates the fifth victory of its registered-partnership-litigation-offensive. As the first supreme court in the world doing so the Austrian Constitutional Court (the world´s oldest constitutional court) turned down the statutory ban on donor insemination for lesbian couples as violating human rights.
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12.12.2013 | European Union
CJEU: Disadvantagement of PACS-couples vis a vis Marriage is Direct Discrimination

In a judgment delivered today the Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that – as long as civil marriage is not available for same-gender couples – the refusal of benefits granted to married couples is direct discrimination, no matter if registered partnership is also open for opposite-gender couples (Hay v. Credit agricole mutuel).
http://curia.europa.eu

 

07.11.2013 | European Union
CJEU: requirement that homosexual asylumseekers conceal their homosexuality at home not admissible

In a judgment delivered today the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that homo- and bisexual persons are eligible groups for claiming asylum in EU and they cannot be requested to conceal their sexual orientation (X, Y, Z v Minister voor Immigratie en Asiel).
http://curia.europa.eu

 

07.11.2013 | Council of Europe
European Court of Human Rights (Grand Chamber) says registered partnership for opposite-sex couples only is inadmissible

In a judgment delivered today the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Greece had violated the European Convention on Human Rights by excluding same-sex couples from registered partnership, restricted in Greece to heterosexual couples (Vallianatos et al v Greece, appl. 29381/09, 32684/09).
http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int

 

07.11.2013 | Council of Europe
European Court of Human Rights: victims of former homophobic sex laws must be rehabilitated

On 7 November 2013, the ECtHR has found that Austria discriminated against four gay men, represented by ECSOL-Co-Coordinator Helmut Graupner, when it refused to delete from their criminal record convictions under its discriminatory age of consent law (E.B. et al v Austria, appl. 31913/07 and others).
http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int

 

08.07.2013 | Austria
Constitutional Court lifts Office-Room-Compulsion

In a judgment delivered last week (VfGH 19.06.2013, G 18, 19/2013) the Austrian Constitutional Court has struck down the statutory prohibition on performing registered partnerships outside the authority´s office-rooms. The governing coalition of Social- and Christian-Democrats however had again inserted such a prohibtion into a new law coming into force next fall. Thus the office-room-compulsion will be reintroduced by 1 November 2013 and the Christian-Democrats - despite the Consitutional Court´s judgment - do insist on this reintroduction. Rechtskomitee LAMBDA (RKL), Austria’s LGBT civil rights organisation, denounces this as unbearable chicanery.
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19.02.2013 | Council of Europe
Strasbourg Court finds violation in lesbian step-parent-adoption case

In its judgment delivered today in the case X et al. v Austria the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights held that Austria violated the European Convention on Human Rights by banning step-parent adoption in same-sex couples. The judgment was taken by a majority of 10 against 7. The applicant family have been represented by ECSOL-co-coordinator Dr. Helmut Graupner. For details, for the full text of the judgment and for the webcast of the two oral hearings see: www.echr.coe.int

 

19.02.2013 | Germany
German Constitutional Court paves the way for joint adoption by same-sex couples

In a judgment delivered today the German Federal Constitutional Court has held that the ban of successive adoption in same-sex registered couples violates fundamental rights. Thus registered partners will be able to adopt children which their same-sex partner has adopted before so that both partners are sharing joint legal parenthood, what so far has been a privilege exclusively for married couples of opposite gender. For details and for the full text of the judgment see: www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de

 

18.01.2013 | Austria
Constitutional Court: Same Ceremony as for Marriage

Rechtskomitee LAMBDA sees governing coalition disgraced.
In a decision delivered today the Austrian Constitutional Court has ordered to apply the same ceremony (wedding vow, witnesses etc.) for the formation of registered partnerships as for marriage. And it started proceedings to repeal the law prohibiting the performance registered partnerships outside the authority´s office-rooms. Rechtskomitee LAMBDA (RKL), Austria’s LGBT civil rights organisation, welcomes the decision and sees the federal governing coalition disgraced as just last month they have passed this law anew.
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15.01.2013 | Council of Europe
European Court of Human Rights: No Right to Refuse to Serve Same-Sex Couples because of Religious Beliefs

Ms Ladele was a Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, and Mr McFarlane a Relate counselor. They complained about their dismissal, confirmed by the British courts, for refusing to carry out certain of their duties which they considered would condone homosexuality.

The Court has held, it could not be said that national courts had failed to strike a fair balance when they upheld the employers’ decisions to bring disciplinary proceedings. In each case the employer was pursuing a policy of nondiscrimination against service-users, and the right not to be discriminated against on grounds of sexual orientation was also protected under the Convention.

Eweida v UK: Documents

 

04.12.2012 | Council of Europe
European Court of Human Rights: Media Reports about Homosexual Acts in Catholic Seminary Admissible

The European Court of Human Rights in three judgments of today has found that media reports about homosexual acts in a catholic seminary are admissible. In view of the Roman Catholic Church’s position condemning homosexuality, the public had a right to be informed about the conduct of a dignitary of the Church which was in open contradiction with that position. This included the disclosure of the identity of the persons concerned but not the publication of intimate photographs (Küchl v A, Rothe v Austria, Verlagsgruppe News GmbH & Bobi v A).

The judgments can be found here: Documents

 

31.10.2012 | United Nations
Human Rights Committee Condems Criminalisation of “Homosexual Propaganda” in Russia

Ms Fedotova had been brought to administrative responsibility for “public actions aimed at propaganda of homosexuality among minors”. The UN Human Rights Committee found a violation of CCPR article 19(2), in conjunction with 26 (Irina Fedotova v RUS).

The decision can be found here: http://www.ohchr.org

 

24.04.2012 | Austria
One More Inequality between Marriage and Registered Partnership turned down by Constitutional Court

Rechtskomitee LAMBDA calls on the government to allow reason to prevail.
In a decision delivered today the Austrian Constitutional Court turned down another discrimination of registered vs married couples. Registered partners could acquire a joint surname only at registration while spouses can choose a joint family name also at any time later. Such a statutory provision discriminates against registered couples and violates equality before the law. The Constitutional Court therefore turned it down and stressed again that also same-sex couples enjoy the constitutional protection of the family. Rechtskomitee LAMBDA (RKL), Austria’s LGBT civil rights organisation, called on the federal government to allow reason to prevail and repeal all the differences between registered partners and spouses
. more

 

21.04.2012 | Norway
Supreme Court: Asylum Seekers may not be Required to Conceal Sexual Orientation

29 March 2012 the Norwegian Supreme Court has given a judgment concerning lgbt asylum seekers. As for determining whether there is a well-founded fear of persecution, the court stated that a gay person cannot be expected to go into the closet again on his/her return to her country of origin, if the reason for doing so is to avoid persecution.

The judgment: http://lovdata.no

 

19.03.2012 | Montenegro
Montenegrin Government hosted international conference on LGBT rights “Together against Discrimination”

International conference on the rights of sexual minorities entitled “Together against Discrimination” took place in Budva, Montenegro on 19 March 2012. The conference was organised by the Government of Montenegro, under the auspices of Prime Minister Igor Lukšić, and supported by the International Academic Conference Justice in the Balkans: Equality for Sexual Minorities, the Lund University Department of Sociology of Law in Lund, Sweden, the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law and the European Commission on Sexual Orientation Law (ECSOL).

The conference brought together prominent international experts, scholars and human rights advocates from throughout Europe, senior government officials, members of the diplomatic corps and representatives of the European Commission and the Council of Europe
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30.12.2011 | Austria
Austria Extends Incitement-to-Hatred-Law to Sexual Orientation

RKL’s application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) made an impact. From 1 January 2012 after long struggle also lesbians, gays and bisexuals will be protected against incitement to hatred. The conservative coalition partner, ÖVP, however also connected this progress to pinprick. The price for extending the offence was it´s castration
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01.12.2011 | European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights Held Hearing on Stepparent Adoption in Same-Sex Families

1st December 2011 the Court held a Chamber hearing in the case of X. and Others v. Austria. The case concerns the complaint by two women, who live in a stable homosexual relationship, about the Austrian courts’ refusal to grant one of the partners the right to adopt the son of the other partner without severing the mother’s legal ties with the child (second-parent adoption). The applicants (the two women and the son) are represented by ECSOL-Co-Coordinator and RKL-president, Dr. Helmut Graupner.

Website of the Court: http://www.echr.coe.int
Press release: http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int
Webcast: www.echr.coe.int

 

11.11.2011 | Austria
Constitutional Court: Same-Sex Couples are Family

In a decision delivered today the Austrian Constitutional Court ceased hyphen-discrimination of registered partners. Also same-sex couples enjoy the constitutional protection of the family. Disadvantageous treatment of registered versus married couples require particularly serious reasons. Separation as an end in itself (on principle) is inadmissible. Rechtskomitee LAMBDA (RKL), Austria’s LGBT civil rights organisation, now calls on the federal government to allow reason to prevail and repeal all the differences between registered partners and spouses
. more

 

19.10.2011 | Cyprus
Cyprus: Arrest and detention of adult individuals accused of committing ‘’unnatural acts’’

The European Commission on Sexual Orientation Law (ECSOL) condemns the arbitrary arrest and continued detention of the former Minister of Finance of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Sarris and other individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation by the regime in Northern Cyprus. We strongly believe it is entirely unacceptable that people are still prosecuted on the basis of their sexual orientation for ‘’acts against the order of nature’’ in the 21st century
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29.08.2011 | Montenegro
Milestone international conference on rights of sexual minorities

Senior state officials, members of the diplomatic corps, prominent international experts, scholars and human rights advocates from throughout Europe, the United States and Canada will meet in Danilovgrad, Montenegro from 2-5 September for the international conference on the rights of sexual minorities and European integration, entitled “Toward Europe, Toward Equality”. The conference is organised by the Government of Montenegro, in cooperation with the International Academic Conference Justice in the Balkans: Equality for Sexual Minorities, The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law in the United States, the Lund University Department of Sociology of Law in Lund, Sweden, and the European Commission on Sexual Orientation Law (ECSOL). Financial support is provided by the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Belgrade
. more

 

10.05.2011 | Römer v. City of Hamburg
ECJ: Equal Treatment of Same-Sex Couples

In its judgment delivered today in the case Jürgen Römer vs. City of Hamburg (C-147/08) (litigated by RKL-President Graupner) the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that same-sex couples must have access to all the employment benefits for married couples
more

 

21.10.2010 | European Court of Human Rights
Russian Gay Pride Cases Won

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has ruled that the bans of the Moscow Pride marches and pickets in 2006, 2007 and 2008 violated Art. 11, 13 and 14 ECHR. The cases have been represented before the ECtHR by Russian ECSOL-member, Dmitri Bartenev.

 

14.10.2010 | EU Civil Service Tribunal
W. v. Commission

The Tribunal interprets the 2004 amendments to the EU Staff Regulation in favour of a same-sex couple which choose Belgian registered partnership instead of civil marriage
more

 

04.09.2010 | Court of Justice of the European Union
Advocate General Asks ECJ for
Equal Treatment in all 27 Member-States


Groundbreaking case for the whole of Europe
more

 

24.06.2010 | European Court of Human Rights
WE ARE FAMILY!

EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS RULES THAT SAME-SEX COUPLES ENJOY 'FAMILY LIFE', "JUST AS DIFFERENT-SEX COUPLES DO"
. more

 

31.05.2010 | Portugal
Marriage Ban Turned Down

Law no. 9/2010, of 31 May, allowing same-sex marriage, has been published in the Portuguese Official Gazette today
. more

 

29.04.2010 | Council of Europe
Parliamentary Assembly strongly condemns discrimination against LGBT people

At the end of a debate on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) condemned discrimination and called on European States to guarantee equal rights, i.e. legal recognition and equal treatment of same-sex partnerships and provide for the possibility of "joint parental responsibility" for each partner's children “bearing in mind the interests of children”
. more

 

21.04.2010 | Germany
German Parliament Heard ECSOL-Members

The German federal parliament (the Bundestag) on 21 April 2010 heard two members of ECSOL as experts in a public hearing on inclusion of “sexual identity” into the federal constitution’s bill of rights
. more

 

11.04.2010 | Portugal
Constitutional Court Affirms Same-Sex Marriage

The President of the Republic had some doubts about the constitutionality of the bill lifting the prohibition of marriage for same-sex couple, and decided to ask the Constitutional Court to review it before he signed it. The Court has decided that the bill is not unconstitutional.
The decision is available online at www.tribunalconstitucional.pt (in Portuguese only). If past practice is followed in this case, this means that the President of the Republic will sign the bill into law shortly
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31.03.2010 | Council of Europe
Committee of Ministers Recommends to Combat Sexual-Orientation- & Gender-Identity-Discrimination

The Committe of Ministers of the Council of Europe (COE) adopted a historical Recommendation on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Recommendation to the 47 member-states of the COE is an important overarching document which deals with: right to life, security and protection from violence; freedom of association; freedom of expression and peaceful assembly; right to respect for private and family life; employment; education; health; housing; sports; right to seek asylum; national human rights structures; discrimination on multiple grounds. In many respects the Recommendation reaffirms and specifies the ECtHR;s case law. The Recommendation has been elaborated by a COE-expert-commission presided by Swedish ECSOL-member Hans Ytterberg.

The full text of the Recommendation: https://wcd.coe.int

The Explanatory Report: https://wcd.coe.int

 

23.03.2010 | Hungary
Constitutional Court Affirms Registered Partnership

The Hungarian Constitutional Court has delivered its opinion on the Act on Registered Partnership that entered into force on July 1, 2009. The Court considered nine petitions among them a petition from the Christian Democratic Peoples Party (sister party of FIDESZ, the likely winner of the forthcoming general elections) and rejected them all, declaring that the Act is in line with constitutional requirements
. more

 

17.03.2010 | Austria
Mandatory Surgery: Supreme Court Reprimands
Ministry


In a sensationally speedy decision the Austrian Administrative Supreme Court quashed as unlawful a decision by the Ministry of Interior, which – despite constant case-law to the contrary – required a transsexual woman to remove her genitals. Rechtskomitee LAMBDA (RKL), Austria’s civil rights organisation for homo- and bisexual as well as transgender women and men, calls for the misuse of power committed in the Ministry of Interior to lead to consequences
. more

 

14.03.2010 | Poland
Interview with Piotr Kozak

Fascinating interview with Piotr Kozak, applicant in Kozak v. Poland, providing an interesting insight into the real life of Polish gay community
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more

 

11.03.2010 | European Union
ECSOL-Factsheet on Lisbon-Treaty

The new EU treaties introduce equality mainstreaming with respect also to sexual orientation in all Union activities, attach the same legal value to the Fundamental Rights Charter (probiting sexual orientation discrimination) as to the Treaties and offers potential for recognition on same-sex marriages, registered partnerships and rainbow-families in crossborder-cases. ECSOL has elaborated a fact-sheet on these important progress in Union law
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Factsheet

 

08.03.2010 | Slovenia
Supreme Court Upholds Gay Adoption

The Supreme Court of Slovenia has upheld a US ruling which allowed a gay couple with dual US-Slovenian citizenship to adopt a girl in America, making the couple the girl's legal parents in Slovenia as well
. more

 

16.02.2010 | EU-Agency for Fundamental Rights
ECSOL accepted to the Fundamental Rights Platform

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (http://fra.europa.eu) accepted the European Commission on Sexual Orientation Law (ECSOL) as a member of its Fundamental Rights Platform. The Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP) (http://fra.europa.eu) is a network for cooperation and information exchange, set to act as the main channel for FRA's cooperation with civil society and to ensure a close cooperation between the Agency and relevant stakeholders
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10.02.2010 | European Union
European Parliament reaffirms LGBT rights are a condition to join the European Union

Today the plenary session of the European Parliament adopted reports on the accession to the European Union for Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey. All three reports call on candidate countries to provide genuine protection to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender minorities, and remind candidate countries that the protection of all minorities is a non-negotiable condition to access the European Union
. more

 

08.02.2010 | Albania
Albania passes comprehensive anti-discrimination law

Albania's Parliament banned discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity, last week
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 Details

 

21.12.2009 | Mexico
Federal District Allows Same-Sex Marriage & Joint Adoption

On 21st December 2009 Mexico's Federal District, by amendments to its Civil Code, opened up civil marriage for same-sex couples and allowed joint adoption
. more

 

14.12.2009 | Gibraltar
Privy Council grants right to joint tenancies for unmarried partners

The Privy Council (the final court of appeal for Gibraltar) decided that a prohibition on the grant of joint tenancies to unmarried partners (unless they had a child in common) unlawfully discriminated against same sex partners and violated the Gibraltar constitution
. more

 

10.12.2009 | Ireland
Supreme Court Awards Visitation Rights to Gay Sperm Donor

The Irish Supreme Court ruled that a gay man who acted as sperm donor for a lesbian couple is entitled to access (contact) though not guardianship (parental responsibility) in respect of the couple’s child. (McD. v. L.) In doing so, the Supreme Court reversed in part an earlier High Court decision denying access on the basis that this would not have been in the best interests of the child. The Supreme Court, however, did uphold ‘for the present time’ the High Court’s decision not to confer guardianship on the father
. more

 

10.12.2009 | Vienna
Austria passes Registered Partnership Law

Austrian federal parliament (the “Nationalrat”) today (on the International Day of Human Rights) passed a law on registered partnership for same-sex couples (110 : 64 votes). When the law enters into force on 1st Jan 2010 Austria will become the 18th state in Europe legally recognizing same-sex couples. Rechtskomitee LAMBDA (RKL), Austria’s civil rights organisation for homo- and bisexual as well as transgender women and men, welcomes that Austria finally found its way into the 20th century, and deplores that it did not make it into the 21st century
. more

 

02.12.2009 | European Union
European Council Declares Homophobia an EU Priority

The Stockholm Programme adopted by the European Council states (p. 14): "Since diversity enriches the Union, the EU and its Member States must provide a safe environment where differences are respected and the most vulnerable protected. Measures to tackle discrimination, racism, anti-semitism, xenophobia and homophobia must be vigorously pursued"
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Stockholm Programme

 

22.11.2009 | European Court of Human Rights
Oral Hearing in Marriage Case Postponed

In Schalk & Kopf v. Austria (Application No. 30141/04) the First Section of the Court has postponed the oral hearing on the admissibility and merits of the application to Thursday, 25 February 2010 at 9:00 am. www.echr.coe.int

 

21.11.2009 | European Union
General Court Grants Right to Sickness Insurance to EU-Officials' Unmarried Partners

A male-female couple with cohabitation agreement in Netherlands with the male partner being an official of an EU institution sought sickness insurance for the female partner. The General Court, in a judgment of 15 October 2009 (Commission v Anton Pieter Roodhuijzen, T 58/08 P), found that she is eligible even though the cohabitation agreement does not give rise to legal consequences similar to those of marriage in the Netherlands. The same reasoning should apply to same-sex cohabitation agreement.
Press release
The judgment 

 

09.11.2009 | European Court of Human Rights
Oral Hearing in Marriage Case Scheduled

In Schalk & Kopf v. Austria (Application No. 30141/04) the First Section of the Court (which includes the Austrian judge) has scheduled an oral hearing on the admissibility and merits of the application for Thursday, 14 January 2010 at 9:00 am, before a 7-judge Chamber of the Court (which has 47 judges, one per Council of Europe member state).  Hearings are now exceptional, because of the Court's heavy caseload, so this indicates the importance of the case. more

 

17.10.2009 | European Court of Human Rights
Russian Gay Pride Cases Communicated

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has given Russia until January 20 to answer the cases of the bans of the Moscow Pride marches and pickets in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Those cases are represented before the ECtHR by Russian ECSOL-member, Dmitri Bartenev.
more

 

08.10.2009 | Podgorica
Register Now! Justice in the Balkans: Equality for Sexual Minorities

The DAAD Alumni Club of Montenegro is hosting the conference Justice in the Balkans: Equality for Sexual Minorities in Podgorica 23-25 October 2009. The European Commission on Sexual Oriention Law (ECSOL) gladly serves as a partner to this outstanding event in a very sensitive region. Ministers and representatives of Balkan governments, lawyers, academics and activists from Europe and North America will be present. Register now!
more

 

23.09.2009 | European Court of Human Rights
"Undead" Humophobic Offences – Criminal Record Cases communicated

Years after repeal by the Constitutional Court the Vienna Appeals Court justified former anti-homosexual Art. 209 of the Austrian Criminal Code as “morally understandable” (OLG Wien 13.06.2006, 20 Bs 155/06z). The European Court of Human Rights now communicated six cases concerning the nationwide criminal record and the use of prior homophobic convictions still listed there to the Austrian government.
more

 

26.07.2009 | Copenhagen
World Outgames 2009 Human Rights Conference –
ECSOL-Workshops a great success


The 2nd International Conference on LGBT Human Rights has been held 27-29 July 2009 as part of World Outgames 2009 in Copenhagen. ECSOL provided a stream of 6 workshops on various aspects of national and European law. These workshops provoked considerable interest and lively discussions from the audience which highly esteemed the various high level presentations. Prior to the conference, on 26 July 2009, ECSOL held a fruitful and productive internal members working meeting.
more

 

18.07.2009 | Vienna
ECSOL-meeting 2008

The European Commission on Sexual Orientation Law (ECSOL) held its 2008 members meeting 31 Oct to 2 Nov 08 in Vienna. Alongside this meeting, which was organised by Rechtskomitee LAMBDA (RKL), ECSOL provided a workshop on the case-law of the European Court of Justice at ILGA-Europe’s simultaneously held Annual Conference. Dr. Mia Witmann-Tiwald, judge at the Vienna Court of Appeals, gave us the honour and guided ECSOL-members through Vienna’s Palace of Justice and presented not only the building and the courts hosted there but also provided a very interesting journey into Austria’s legal history.

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