Vienna Training Session November 2007
From 22 November to 24 November 2007 the Section for International Law and International Relations of the University of Vienna hosted the first International Law in Domestic Courts (ILDC) Training Session. Supported by the Brussels-based COST (European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technological Research), approximately 25 participants have met to discuss the latest developments of this ambitious project which presents domestic court cases dealing with international law in a comprehensive database covering presently more than 250 judgments.
In order to improve the reporting of cases for the ILDC database, editors, trainers and the publisher closely interacted with national reporters and team leaders from mostly European universities.
A welcome session led by Prof. August Reinisch (University of Vienna) on Thursday afternoon opened the event. It was followed by organisational remarks by Jakob Wurm (University of Vienna) and a speech by the representative of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research, Mag. Sonya Balti, who stressed the importance of COST for the support of research cooperation and expressed her appreciation for the ILDC project.
Edda Kristjansdottir (University of Amsterdam) presented both the organisational set-up leading to the reporting of cases as well as its technical implications. A lively discussion, focussing notably on the selection criteria for the inclusion of cases in the database ended the Training Session at the old University Medical School auditorium on the first day.
After a short tour at the old University campus by Prof. August Reinisch, a dinner at the ´Universitätsbräu` restaurant in close vicinity to the conference location offered a great opportunity to personally discuss issues raised during the preceding hours.
Friday started with a presentation by Rajika Shah (Development Editor for Legal Online Products of Oxford University Press), who covered the publisher's tasks for the online service. She particularly referred to the newly developed Style Guide for the reporting of cases and the inclusion of ILDC in the new ORIL (Oxford Reports on International Law). Subsequently, Prof. Erika de Wet (University of Amsterdam) addressed the audience with a speech on her experience as the Editor in Chief of ILDC and specifically emphasized her gratitude for the personal commitment of all participants. She underlined the further personal interaction as a key element for the success of ILDC. In this context, she pointed to the first ILDC Colloquium on 27/28 March 2008 in The Hague (see http://www.jur.uva.nl/aciluk/events.cfm).
At the University computer lab, the subsequent group discussion focussed on the improvement of the submitted draft headnotes in small groups, led by the team leaders Magnus Killander (University of Pretoria), Edda Kristjansdottir, Tally Kritzman (Tel Aviv University), Kate Todryk (George Washington School of Law) and Jakob Wurm. The results were presented by the team leaders to a plenary meeting with the active participation of Rajika Shah, Prof. Erika de Wet and Edda Kristjansdottir. The issues raised included specific technical aspects, such as the uniform quotation of case and legal materials contained in the headnote (including previous case history), implications of the necessity to focus on the coherence of the presentation of the case in question as well as general citation rules. The evening offered the possibility to take advantage of the cultural entertainment as well as the opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere of the typical Viennese Christmas markets.
The final day of the Training Session started with Edda Kristjansdottir`s summary on the most frequently raised questions concerning case reporting which induced the audience to participate actively in the following discussion. The concluding remarks by Prof. August Reinisch specifically referred to the positive aspects of the interaction between the trainers and reporters as well as members of the editorial team for enhancing the quality of future headnotes.
Pictures: Scarlett Ortner