Mission of the Austrian Chapter

The Austrian Chapter of the International Society of Public Law (hereinafter: ICON.S) is established to create a diverse and interdisciplinary academic forum to discuss contemporary Public Law challenges, including administrative law, constitutional law, international law, and related fields such as political science, political theory, jurisprudence, and political history. It fosters an intergenerational dialogue that will include both established scholars and junior academics. It will seek to provide an academic space for scholars using diverse methodologies and coming from different legal education backgrounds. It will serve the mutual dialogue between the Austrian academia and the international forum that the Society offers. In its composition, the Chapter will promote the following principles: diversity, plurality, gender balance and academic excellence.

The aim of the Austrian Chapter is to pursue the mission of ICON.S within Austria.

I. The Chapter is established in order to:

1. Promote the values of ICON.S, and in particular, the commitment to an interdisciplinary approach to public law and the contribution of Austrian constitutional developments to the global public law;

2. Advance and promote the fundamental constitutional values of democracy, rule of law, and human rights;

3. Encourage the engagement of junior / early-career scholars, especially

a. establish a permanent working group on the advisory council dedicated to junior / early careers scholars;
b.  ensure that junior / early-career scholars are represented at events organized by the chapter;
c. support junior / early-career scholars to present their work at ICON.S; and
d. invite junior / early-career scholars to join the Austrian Chapter.

4. foster the development of regional and transnational collaborative research projects;

5. Work with ICON.S to promote knowledge of and membership in the organization globally;

6. Complement and work cooperatively with existing national and regional organizations, but remain distinct from them; and

7. Provide a unique forum for the discussion of the role and position of Austrian constitutionalism in global and transnational legal developments.

II. The Chapter shall:

1. Be organized in a way that reflects ICON.S commitments to transparency, accountability and good governance, as well as intergenerational dialogue, equality and diversity;

2. Regularly disseminate notice of its events and activities via ICONnect, and communicate an annual summary of its activities to the ICON.S Executive Committee;

3. Submit to ICON.S information on its activities, which will, where appropriate, be featured on the ICON.S website;

4. Promote joining ICON.S by the members of the Chapter;

5. Be subject in its scope, governance and membership, to periodic reviews (approximately every three years) by the members of the ICON.S Executive Committee, with the possibility of being asked by the Executive Committee to dissolve, reconstitute or alter the scope and membership.

Governance of the Austrian Chapter

III. Organisational Structure

The governance of the Austrian Chapter consists of

  • the co-chairs
  • the advisory council
  • the international board of advisors

IV. Co-Chairs

1. The Chapter will be governed by two co-chairs who will take decisions by agreement. The identity of the co-chairs and the advisory council shall reflect the chapter’s commitment to gender equality and diversity in governance. Only ICON.S members can be co-chairs. Each year, the two co-chairs will communicate an annual summary of their activities to the advisory council, and to the members of the Chapter.

2. The founding co-chairs are appointed by the founding member of the Austrian Chapter for a 3-year term. After this initial 3-year term co-chairs will hold office for 3 years with one possible re-election. Every three years, the two co-chairs will be elected by majority vote of the members of the advisory council.

3. They will be able to create administrative positions and appoint a general secretary. The co-chairs may establish working groups and committees of the Chapter to organize events and other activities. The co-chairs will inform the advisory council about the appointments, working groups, and committees they create.

V. Advisory Council

1. Membership of the advisory council will be based on excellence in public law scholarship and the need for diversity, plurality and gender equality.

2. Every three years an election of new council members will take place by the members of the Chapter (organised by the co-chairs); at the end of their three-year term, half of the number of the advisory council should stay on for another term of three years.

3. The electoral rules will be proposed by the co-chairs and approved by two-thirds of the council members. The electoral rules should also reflect the Chapter’s commitment to gender balance.

4. Only members of the Austrian Chapter are eligible to stand for and vote in elections for membership of the advisory council. Only members that are ICON.S members can vote and be elected as members of the council. Providing a statement of self-confirmation of the membership status will be a sufficient condition to exercise these rights.

5. The advisory council will vote for the co-chairs after its instalment. A retiring co-chair will automatically become a member of the advisory council for a term of three years.

6. The number of members of the advisory council shall not exceed 20.

7. The advisory council will meet at least once every year at the time decided by the co-chairs. The advisory council will approve the proposals made by the co-chairs, approve the electoral procedures, and define the Chapter’s general policies. The advisory council will also review the new membership applications. The advisory council will make its decisions by majority rule; in case of a parity of votes the co-chairs will decide.

8. All members of the advisory council have the following rights and duties:

  • Join ICON.S and pay the ICON.S annual membership fee.
  • Promote the mission and values of ICON.S.
  • Participate in activities of the Chapter.

VI. Permanent Working Group on the Advisory Council

In its constituting meeting the advisory council establishes a permanent working group of the advisory council, which is dedicated to junior / early careers scholars.

VII. International Board of Advisors

1. The Austrian Chapter establishes an international board of advisors. The international board of advisors shall link the Austrian Chapter with other national or regional chapters of ICON.S and with the ICON.S itself.

2. Based on their consent, the co-chairs appoint members to the international board of advisors. Only members of the governance structure of ICON.S or of the governance structure from other national or regional chapters can be appointed.

3. The number of members of the international board of advisors shall not exceed 10; members shall represent different regions as well as be based on the need for diversity, plurality and gender equality.

4. The international board of advisors meets at least once a year online. The co-chair will present the activities of the Austrian Chapter and the board shall discuss joint activities of different chapters of ICON.S.

5. Membership in the international board is limited to the activity in the governance structure of ICON.S or in national chapters.

VIII. Membership

1. Membership is not limited by nationality. All members should have an interest in Public Law academia, including all the related fields.

2. The Chapter will start with the founding members. The founding member will appoint unanimously the first co-chairs, the secretary general and the council members. Others can join the Chapter regarding the following procedure: A candidate with the endorsement of both co-chairs and five members of the advisory council will be added as members of the Chapter. The endorsement will be given by email, and it needs to incorporate a letter from the applicant (including an academic CV and list of publications). The co-chairs will need to inform the advisory council members. Alternatively, an applicant can be approved by a majority of the advisory council members at a council meeting.

3. Chapter membership is free.

Activities of the Austrian Chapter

IX. Activities

1. The Austrian Chapter will organize a conference every two years. For this purpose, it can work with existing national and regional organizations.

2. The Chapter will also support other workshops, symposia and colloquia as considered appropriate by the co-chairs.

3. The Chapter may also organize webinars, workshops, mooting, essay competitions, or similar activities as deemed appropriate by the co-chairs.


X. Amendments

The Chapter rules can be amended by a majority vote among the two co-chairs and the advisory council. Voting can be conducted via email, online survey, or similar electronic means.

Founding Members:

Maria Bertel (Graz, co-chair), Konrad Lachmayer (Vienna, co-chair), Matthias C Kettemann (Innsbruck, secretary general), Iris Eisenberger (Graz), András Jakab (Salzburg)