Activities 2018

Course on Jurisprudence and Statutory Interpretation

In August 2018, Stefan Hammer taught a course on jurisprudence and statutory Interpretation together with a Buthanese colleague, Tenzin Leewan. As contrasted with Buthanese legal history and its Buddhist background, the discussion of Western influences on legal thought, marked by a sharp distinction between morality and justice on the one side and positive law on the other, proved to be particularly interesting. Likewise, central elements of political philosophy could be contextualized by addressing central features of the Bhutan’s Constitutional and political system under a comparative perspective. As Bhutan understands itself as a country whose modernized legal system combines common law and civil law traditions, the idea and role of codification was another main topic. This offered opportunities also to discuss different theories of legal reasoning reflecting both legal traditions. Tenzin Leewan further deepened methodological aspects with a focus on judicial practice.

Conference on Gross National Happiness and Law 2018

On the 17th and the 18th of July 2018 the JSW School of Law hosted an inaugural conference on Gross National Happiness and Law in Thimphu. Bhutan's Constitution lists as a ´Principle of State Policy´ that its Government shall strive to promote those conditions that will enable the pursuit of Gross National Happiness. From our side three colleagues took part and gave their presentations: Wolfram Schaffar gave an overview on ´Alternative development strategies worldwide´, Stefan Hammer talked about ´Principles & Policies in a Written Constitution: Justiciability and Impact on the Legal Standing of the Citizens´ and Michaela Windischgrätz moderated a panel on Buddhism and Law, which explored the impact of Bhutan's Buddhist traditions on the practice of law in Bhutan.

Course on Human Dignity

In March/April 2018, Christina Binder taught a course on Human Dignity. Christina Binder co-taught with Stephan Sonnenberg and Dema Lham. Dema Lham, a senior Bhutanese faculty lecturer, will eventually take over the course.  The interdisciplinary course focused on human rights as centrally anchored in the concept of human dignity. It dealt with the functioning of the international system of human rights protection, the interplay of NGOs with other actors in human rights protection, domestic litigation, philosophical anthropological foundations of human rights as well as human responsibilities. The course included case studies and group work which should prepare students for Legal Clinics and the practical application of human rights which will be the focus of the fourth and fifth year of studies.


Panel with Professor Windisch-Graetz at the conference

Conference on Gross National Hapiness and Law