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Legal Studies

Fribourg profile

With its centres of scientific excellence and its research activities clearly linked to the entire range of legal subjects, the University of Fribourg's Faculty of Law is committed to the challenges of today and of tomorrow. It attaches particular importance to post-graduate training, which aims to offer young researchers optimal framework conditions in which to obtain their doctorate in legal studies.

Open to students who have a Master of Arts in Legal Studies (MALS), the doctoral training in Legal Studies at the Faculty of Law is multilingual and multidisciplinary in many areas of legal specialisation (private law, public law, commercial law, international law, history of law, philosophy of law, etc.). Courses take place at different specialised research centres and a wide network of nationally and internationally recognised scientific partners is available.

The theses carried out within the Faculty of Law may be done within the framework of research conducted by the following different departments:

  • Private law: this comprises the disciplines of civil law and Swiss and European contract law, including Roman law and comparative law.
  • Public law: this encompasses public law and administrative law, as well as canon law and social insurance law. It includes labour law and the history of law.
  • Criminal law: this covers the disciplines of criminal law and Swiss and international criminal procedure law, as well as mutual legal assistance and criminology.
  • International and commercial law: this includes international and European law, commercial law, international private law and civil procedure. Tax law and philosophy of law are also included.

Within the framework of their doctoral research, the doctoral students can also integrate the many Institutes linked to the Faculty:

  • Institute of Federalism
  • Institute of European Law
  • Institute of Law and Religion
  • Institute of Construction Law
  • Institute of Law and Economics
  • Interfaculty institutes (Interdisciplinary Institute of Ethics and Human Rights and Institute of Family Research and Consulting)

Lastly, doctoral students have the opportunity to take part in different doctoral programmes in connection with other Swiss universities. These include, notably, the doctoral programme in law of the Conférence Universitaire de Suisse Occidentale (CUSO) called Programme doctoral en droit or that in law, philosophy and history of the Universities of Fribourg and Bern, called Law, ideas and politics of Europe.

The CUSO doctoral programme in Law

Doctoral students in law registered at one of the universities of Fribourg, Lausanne, Geneva or Neuchâtel can register to the doctoral programme in law of CUSO. The purpose of this programme is to improve conditions for the doctoral thesis by encouraging contacts between researchers and proposing numerous doctoral training activities. Doctoral students benefit from training which will allow them to develop different generic skills at the same time as writing their doctoral thesis, in order to best prepare them for an academic or professional career.

The doctoral programme in law, philosophy and history, Law, ideas and politics of Europe

The Law, ideas and politics of Europe programme is an interdisciplinary bilingual doctoral programme open to doctoral students at the universities of Fribourg and Bern.

Its purpose is to develop in Switzerland fundamental and inter-disciplinary research on law, and European ideas and politics, thanks to close supervision of doctoral theses and to the organisation of a certain number of activities, such as doctoral conferences, block seminars, annual meetings and support seminars. It brings together doctoral students in law, philosophy and history interested in European matters, and also, more widely, international relations. The programme not only allows doctoral students to cover their research questions from the angle of different disciplines, but also to identify new questions from «reading» other disciplines.

Professors who are eligible to supervise theses

  • Prof. Marc Amstutz

Areas of specialisation:
– Corporate law
– Group law
– Competition law
– Sociology of law
– Theory of law
– Legal methodology

Theses can be supervised in German, French or English.

  • Prof. Eva Maria Belser

Areas of specialisation:
– Swiss constitutional law and comparative law
– Fundamental rights and human rights
– Democracy
– Federalism
– Administrative law

Theses can be supervised in German, English or French.

  • Prof. Samantha Besson

Areas of specialisation:
– International law
– European law
– International and European human rights law
– Theory of human rights
– Philosophy of international and European law
– General international law (subjects, sources, responsibility, relations with national law, settlement of international disputes)
– Constitutional and institutional law of the EU
– ECHR law
– Anti-discrimination law

Theses can be supervised in German or English.

  • Prof. Marc Bors

Areas of specialisation:
– Roman law

Theses can be supervised in German.

  • Prof. Basile Cardinaux

Areas of specialisation:
– Labour law
– Social insurance law

Theses can be supervised in German or French.

  • Prof. Jacques Dubey

Areas of specialisation:
– Constitutional law
– Administrative law

Theses can be supervised in French.

  • Prof. Astrid Epiney

Areas of specialisation:
– European Union law
– International public law
– Legal relations between Switzerland and the EU
– European and international environmental law
– European and Swiss data protection law
– Selected Area of public law

Theses can be supervised in German or French.

  • Prof. Gerhard Fiolka

Areas of specialisation:
– International criminal law
– European criminal law
– International mutual legal assistance in criminal matters
– Accessory criminal law (in particular criminal road traffic law and criminal drug law

Theses can be supervised in German or French.

  • Prof. Christiana Fountoulakis

Areas of specialisation:
– Family law
– Personal rights
– Media law
– Child and adult protection law
– Contract law
– Private international law
– Arbitration law

Theses can be supervised in French, German or English.

  • Prof. Clémence Grisel

Areas of specialisation:
– Swiss public law
– Administrative law
– Administrative procedure

Theses can be supervised in French.

  • Prof. Peter Hänni

Areas of specialisation:
– Constitutional law
– General administrative law
– Law of urban planning, construction and the environment
– Public services law
– Business administration law

Theses can be supervised in German or French.

  • Prof. Michel Heinzmann

Areas of specialisation:
– Civil procedure
– Enforcement law

Theses can be supervised in French or German.

  • Prof. Pascal Hinny

Areas of specialisation:
– National and international tax law

Theses can be supervised in German.

  • Prof. Bettina Hürlimann-Kaup

Areas of specialisation:
– Property law
– Personal rights
– Preliminary title of the Swiss Civil Code

Theses can be supervised in German.

  • Prof. Alexandra Jungo

Areas of specialisation:
– Family law
– Succession law

Theses can be supervised in German.

  • Prof. Ramon Mabillard

Areas of specialisation:
– National and international civil procedure
– Debt collection and bankruptcy law
– International private law

Theses can be supervised in German, French or English.

  • Prof. Yves Mausen

Areas of specialisation:
– History of law

Theses can be supervised in French or German.

  • Prof. Marcel Alexander Niggli

Areas of specialisation:
– Criminal law
– Philosophy of law

Theses can be supervised in German.

  • Prof. René Pahud de Mortanges

Areas of specialisation:
– History of law and constitutional law
– Law of religions and canon law

Theses can be supervised in German.

  • Prof. Bertrand Perrin

Areas of specialisation:
– Special criminal law
– Criminal business law
– Criminal procedure

Theses can be supervised in French.

  • Prof. Pascal Pichonnaz

Areas of specialisation:
– Private law
– Roman law
– Contract law
– European private law and European consumer law
– Comparative law
– Arbitration

Theses can be supervised in German or English.

  • Prof. Adriano Previtali

Areas of specialisation:
– Social and social insurance law
– Constitutional law

Theses can be supervised in French or Italian.

  • Prof. Thomas Probst

Areas of specialisation:
– Contract law, Civil liability law
– European private law
– Comparative law
– International contract law

Theses can be supervised in German or French.

  • Prof. Sarah Progin-Theuerkauf

Areas of specialisation:
– European law
– European migration law

Theses can be supervised in German, French or English.

  • Prof. Nicolas Queloz

Areas of specialisation:
– Criminal law, general section
– Criminal penalty law
– Juvenile criminal law
– Criminology

Theses can be supervised in French.

  • Prof. Christof Riedo

Areas of specialisation:
– Criminal law
– Criminal procedure
– Juvenile criminal law

Theses can be supervised in German.

  • Prof. Isabelle Romy Romerio Giudici

Areas of specialisation:
– Private international law/international procedure
– Environmental law

Theses can be supervised in French or German.

  • Prof. Arnold Rusch

Areas of specialisation:
– Civil and commercial law
– Law of construction and property

Theses can be supervised in German or French.

  • Prof. Paul-Henri Steinauer

Areas of specialisation:
– Succession law
– Real rights
– Matrimonial law
– Preliminary title of the civil code

Theses can be supervised in French.

  • Prof. Hubert Stöckli

Areas of specialisation:
– Contract law (Swiss contract law, general section; Swiss contract law, special section, special laws)
– Civil liability law
– Private construction law

Theses can be supervised in German.

  • Prof. Walter Stoffel

Areas of specialisation:
– Law and economics
– Business law
– Private international law
– Competition law

Theses can be supervised in French, German or English.

  • Prof. Henri Torrione

Areas of specialisation:
– Tax law
– Philosophy of law
– Ethics and law

Theses can be supervised in French or Italian.

  • Prof. Bernhard Waldmann

Areas of specialisation:
– Constitutional law (organisation of the State, federalism, fundamental laws)
– Administrative law, general section
– Administrative procedure and legal protection in public law
– Public organisation law
– Law of urban planning, construction and the environment
– Other areas of administrative law on request

Theses can be supervised in German or French.

  • Prof. Franz Werro

Areas of specialisation:
– Contract law
– European private law

Theses can be supervised in French.

  • Prof. Jean-Baptiste Zufferey

Areas of specialisation:
– Swiss administrative law
– General administrative law
– Social administrative law

Theses can be supervised in French or English.

Studies organisation

Structure of studies

No ECTS credits can be earned.

Doctoral school

https://droit.cuso.ch
http://www.unifr.ch/europrodoc/fr/accueil/Formation/programme-cus-droit-idees-et-politique-de-leurope

Admission

In order to be admitted to a doctorate the candidate must have been awarded an academic Bachelor's and Master's degree or an equivalent qualification by a university recognised by the University of Fribourg.

Before applying for a doctorate the candidate should contact a professor who would be willing to supervise the thesis work.

There is no general right to be admitted to a doctorate.

The respective conditions of admission for each doctoral study programme are reserved.