In cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Association of Austrian Judges (Expert Group “Fundamental Rights”) and two other Austrian human rights institutes, the BIM has been developing a human rights curriculum for judgeship trainees from April 2007 onwards.
In 2008, a first round of fundamental rights seminars was conducted, which have continuously been modified and optimised based upon both, the lecturers’ experiences and the feedback received from the participants. The initial workshop took place in April 2008 in Graz, followed by two seminars in Vienna in September and November 2008, as well as one organised for trainees from Linz and Innsbruck.
To provide a basis for the training of judgeship trainees, a script was being drafted that explains, clarifies and provides case studies on sensitive issues with regard to fundamental and human rights. The seminars are based on a tandem-principle, in which human rights experts from the three institutes involved together with senior judges, introduce the trainees into fields of national law that are notably linked to the diverse fundamental and human rights issues. The curriculum as such has a strong focus on the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the “European Convention on Human Rights” and the “EU Charta of Fundamental Rights”, 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.