As the „guardian of the Constitution“, the Counstitutional Court of Austria (VfGH) is an important institution in the Austrian system of government. It is the oldest constitutional court in the world, celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2020.
In light of its important role – for example, it may strike down Acts of Parliament as unconstitutional – the court enjoys considerable media attention and its decisions are often subject to controversial discussions. Therefore, it is unsurprising that the Department staff asked many wide-ranging questions. Constitutional judge Prof. Georg Lienbacher answered all of them comprehensively and with many shots of humour. He discussed not only the way constitutional judges are selected and his views on the architecture of the impressive building housing the court; Prof. Lienbacher also gave an insight into the daily work of the court’s members and scientific staff. The group had the opportunity to not only visit the magnificent courtroom, but also the building’s „inner sanctum“, the judges‘ conference room, as well as Prof. Lienbacher’s personal chambers.
Two of Prof. Lienbacher’s scientific assistants, Andreas Stefan Huber and Bernhard Mittermüller, were previously employed at the Institute of Law. Therefore, the department trip even featured a dose of joy of reunion.