Teaching exchange with the Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law

The Project

In 2016 the Vienna Law Faculty and the Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law signed a Memorandum of Understanding in order to support Bhutan´s first Law School with teaching resources and to establish joint research projects. Members of our Faculty will design and teach courses at JSW Law, including courses in human rights, environmental law, jurisprudence, legal theory and legal history. Our team is complemented by colleagues from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, and the Universität der Bundeswehr, Munich.
For further information please see the Website of JSW Law.


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News 2019

New Publication

In July 2019 Michaela Windischgraetz and Rinzin Wangdi launched their book “The Black-Slate Edict of Punakha Dzong”, which provides an introduction to and a translation of an inscription from the 18th century engraved on black slates at Punakha Dzong. The inscription contains a legal code of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the founder of the Bhutanese state.

Bhutanese faculty in Vienna

In August 2019 Tshering Dolkar, a junior lecturer from JSW Law, completed a one-month research stay at the Department of Prof. Iris Eisenberger at BOKU University. It was the first visit in a series of planned research stays of young Bhutanese faculty in Austria, with the aim of strengthening legal research in Bhutan. On 6 August 2019, Tshering Dolkar presented her research paper project on legal personhood in Environmental Law. She compared cases from different jurisdictions to discuss how treating natural objects as legal persons with rights and duties would impact Bhutanese Law. In her presentation, Tshering Dolkar showed that both the motives behind the examined cases and the respective legal consequences vary significantly.

Link: https://boku.ac.at/en/wiso/law/newsitem/55605

Conference on Globalisation in Asia, Thimphu 2019

From July 17-19 2019 Michaela Windischgraetz attended a conference on “Public Law, Legal Orders & Governance – Regulating Globalisation in Asia”, organized by the University of Victoria, Canada and our partner university JSW Law. She presented a paper on “The Zhabdrung´s Law - Nation-building on Global Buddhist Ideas”. During the conference, Michaela Windischgraetz and Rinzin Wangdi launched their book “The Black-Slate Edict of Punakha Dzong”.

ISBS Conference, Oxford

From Jan 8-10, Michaela Windischgraetz attended the inaugural conference of the International Society for Bhutan Studies (ISBS) at Magdalen College, University of Oxford. She presented a paper on „Dispute settlement in a changing society“, exploring the reasons why Bhutanese citizens increasingly use court litigation to settle their disputes and what advantages traditional village mediation might still have.

Environmental Law at JSW Law

In February 2019, Iris Eisenberger taught the first part of a joint course on Environmental Law. Iris co-taught with Tshering Dolkar, a young Bhutanese faculty lecturer, who will eventually take over the course. This first part of the course focused on International Environmental Law. Tshering will continue with teaching the Bhutanese legislation on environmental matters and Armin Rosencranz, Professor at OP Jindal Global University in India, will complement the programme with case law studies.

Buddhist Legal History at JSW Law

In February 2019, Michaela Windischgraetz taught the first part of a course on Buddhist Legal History. She started with exploring the foundations of Buddhist Law in the law of ancient India as it appears in the Vinayas. After that, the focus shifted on pre-buddhist law in Tibet and the reception of Buddhist legal ideas in Tibet. Following the further development of law in Tibet, the implementation of law in Bhutan by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the founder of Bhutan, who as a Tibetan was heavily influenced by Tibetan legal thought, completed the course.

Visiting Scholar Lecture Series at the Research Center of JSW Law

On February 27, Michaela Windischgraetz gave a lecture on „Crime and Punishment in Pre-Buddhist Tibet“ at the Research Center of JSW Law. She introduced various important legal documents from the Old Tibetan Empire and discussed the impact Buddhism might have had on the Tibetan Law.

If you would like to know more about past activities, please click here.


Bhutan landscape

Book launch

Class of 2023 with Prof. Windischgraetz

Visiting Scholar Lecture Series at JSW Law