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WU Vienna Tax law


Bernhard Schima

Born in Vienna in 1968, where he also obtained his law degrees (master’s degree in 1991, doctorate in 1994). After completing postgraduate studies at Harvard Law School (LL.M. in 1994), he joined the Constitutional Law Section of the Austrian Federal Chancellery. From 1995 to 2003, he was a member of the chambers of Judge Dr. Peter Jann at the Court of Justice of the European Union. In 2003, he joined the European Commission’s Legal Service. In 2004, he obtained the postdoctoral qualification to lecture in European law from the University of Graz. In 2010, he was appointed honorary professor by WU. In 2013-2014, he was an EU Fellow at Yale University. In 2015, he became assistant to the Director General of the European Commission Legal Service. In 2019, he was appointed Director and Principal Legal Adviser in charge of the Civil Service Law Team of the European Commission Legal Service. He has taught and published extensively on various matters involving European Union law.

Both European Union legislation and the case law of the European Court of Justice have an ever-increasing impact on tax law. To understand the mechanisms underlying this impact, knowledge of EU institutions and the sources of EU law is indispensable. These topics are therefore explored in detail in this course. The course places major emphasis on working with decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union. On this basis, concepts of importance to tax law such as the direct effect and supremacy of EU law, Member State liability, fundamental rights, and issues of judicial protection are discussed.

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