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Training Curriculum on Fundamental Rights for Judgeship Trainees

Since 2008, fundamental rights are part of the final examination of Austrian judgeship trainees and are thus included in their mandatory training curriculum. Questions of human rights protection in the daily business of prospective judges and public prosecutors are being addressed in the context of three-day seminars on a very practical level. The course has a strong focus on the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights and the Charta of Fundamental Rights of the EU, e.g. the right to liberty and security, the right to a fair trial, the right to respect for private and family life, freedom of expression and the prohibition of discrimination.

The so-called “Fundamental Rights Curriculum” was developed in a joint effort by the Association of Austrian Judges (Fundamental Rights Section), the Federal Ministry of Justice, the BIM and two other Austrian human rights institutes, ETC Graz and ÖIM Salzburg. Up to four fundamental rights trainings take place in the Higher Regional Courts’ districts (Graz, Innsbruck, Salzburg and Vienna) each year. These seminars are based on a tandem-principle, which means that human rights experts from the three institutes train the participants together with senior judges. In 2015, one seminar took place within the district of the Higher Regional Court Vienna, arranged by the BIM team in January 2015.

Due to the close co-operation of all actors involved in the project, the fundamental rights training module has continuously been modified and optimised based upon both the lecturers’ experiences and the participants’ feedback. The latter shows a constant high degree of interest in and appreciation for the subject within the target group. Latest developments and case law are reflected in the training script. In 2014 and 2015, all project partners reviewed and updated the comprehensive seminar reader. 

Persons involved: 

Legal researchers, lecturers: 

Katrin Wladasch

Christof Tschohl (Research Institute)

Project leader :

Hannes Tretter



Lead Organisation: 
Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights
Partner organisations: 
• Association of Austrian Judges (Fundamental Rights Department) • Federal Ministry of Justice • Austrian Human Rights Institute (ÖIM) of the University of Salzburg • European Training Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (ETC)
Project start: 
Funded by: 
• Federal Ministry of Justice (concept, script) • Higher Regional Courts of Vienna, Graz, Linz and Innsbruck (seminars)