The “Zeitschrift für öffentliches Recht” (ZöR) was founded in 1914 by Edmund Bernatzik, Max Hussarek, Heinrich Lammasch and Adolf Menzel upon the initiative of Hans Kelsen, who also worked as an editor of the journal for many years. The original title “Österreichische Zeitschrift für öffentliches Recht” (Austrian Journal of Public Law) was changed to “Zeitschrift für öffentliches Recht” (Journal of Public Law) at the beginning of the Austrian Republic in 1920. From 1948 the journal reappeared under the original title, which was expanded to “Österreichische Zeitschrift für öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht” (Austrian Journal of Public Law and International Law) in 1977 on the suggestion of Alfred Verdross.
Expressing the journal’s increasing international profile, the English subtitle “Austrian Journal of Public and International Law” was added. In 1980 Alfred Verdross, who was supported by Karl Zemanek, and who had already published the journal together with Hans Kelsen, stepped down as editor. From 1981 to 1990 the journal was published by Ignaz Seidl-Hohenveldern. From 1991 to 1995 the journal appeared mainly in English and under the former subtitle “Austrian Journal of Public and International Law”, edited by Christoph Schreuer.
Since 1996 the journal has been published under its traditional name “Zeitschrift für öffentliches Recht”, until 2009 by Heinz Schäffer, and from 2009 to 2019 by Stefan Griller and Benjamin Kneihs. In 2014, the ZöR celebrated its 100th anniversary with a special issue (4/2014).
In 2020, the editorship was handed over to András Jakab and Sebastian Schmid.
Aims and Content
At the time of its foundation in 1914, the ZöR was a forum for both theory and practice. The journal has been divided into three sections since its establishment. These sections comprise papers, case law and practice reports, and book reviews. The ZöR focuses on fundamental legal questions. It aims to analyse the foundations of everyday legal work.
In terms of its conceptual orientation, the main focus of the journal was originally on Austrian constitutional and administrative law, church law, international law and the history of Austrian constitutional law. However, this did not mean the applicable law in the area of today’s Austria, but that of the monarchy that still existed at that time. From the very beginning, the ZöR has been a publication that has dared to look beyond borders and that has sought to comprehensively present and document phenomena and developments in the field of public law.
This basic attitude has been consistently maintained and developed. Today, the ZöR sees itself as a forum for academic discussion on important questions of public law at state, intergovernmental and supranational level.