The Department of Legal Philosophy


Due to the current measures to curb the spread of the Covid 19 virus, we ask you to send your concerns to our secretary by email. We are also available by phone during the opening hours of the department. You can find information on electronic consultation hours of our departmemt members on their personal pages (accessible via "Team").

All courses are currently and for the time being switched to distance learning. You can find an overview of the current offer on our page on distance learning. For individual courses, please also inform yourself on u: find and on the respective Moodle pages. As a participant, you will be regularly informed by email. Despite the difficult circumstances, we wish you a productive and successful semester!

Further informations about the Law Faculty

University operations as of 16 March

CoV news: Emergency operation in research and administrationThe University of Vienna stops all operations requiring its members’ attendance at the University and changes to emergency operation as of 16 March

Legal philosophy has a long tradition in Vienna, dating back to the days of the natural law theorists Karl Anton von Martini (1726–1800) and Franz von Zeiller (1751–1828). During the first half of the twentieth century, Viennese legal philosophy earned itself international acclaim when Hans Kelsen (1881–1973) and his collaborators developed a pronounced and much debated version of legal positivism, the so-called Pure Theory of Law. Owing to the initiative of Gerhard Luf, whose works have contributed considerably to the rehabilitation of practical reason in legal philosophy, the discipline became established as a separate Department in 1985. 

To this day, both legal theory and legal philosophy are very much alive in Vienna.

In 2005, the Department of Legal Philosophy was merged with the Department of Law and Religion. It dated back to the founding of the Vienna law faculty and was home to many eminent scholars, such as Paul Joseph von Riegger (1705–1775), a defender of religious toleration, and Max Hussarek von Heinlein (1865–1936), a leading theorist of the legal relation between the state and religious communities. Under the stewardship of Richard Potz, the discipline was expanded into the comprehensive study of law and religion. 

This fused unit has been given its current name in 2016.