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This is the second episode in the new monthly ACES conversation series 'Racism & Law in Europe' with Mathias Moschel. The series aims to offer a space for academic and practise-oriented reflections on how law is implicated in racializing subjects in today’s Europe.

Event details of Critical Race Theory in the German-speaking context
Date 28 October 2021
Time 16:00 -17:00

Critical Race Theory has been employed by legal scholars and practitioners in the U.S.A. to point to and engage with structural forms of racial discrimination in U.S. law. Although historical structures of racial discrimination continue to persist in different European jurisdictions, Critical Race Theory is largely absent in continental European legal discourse. After very briefly discussing the history and main tenets of Critical Race Theory (CRT), this intervention will discuss and exemplify how CRT could be applied to German-speaking legal realities (Austria, Germany, Switzerland). The main point is that a CRT approach makes an important contribution to and diversification of traditional doctrinal legal analyses and contributes to better protection and increased visibility of racial minorities in legal thought and academia.

About the speaker

Mathias Möschel is Associate Professor and Head of Department as well as Chair of the Human Rights LL.M. and MA degrees at the Legal Studies Department of Central European University (CEU), Vienna (Austria). His research, teaching and publications fall broadly in the field of comparative (constitutional) law, international human rights law and non-discrimination law, mainly from a critical race theory and legal feminist perspective. One of his latest publications is an edited volume on anti-discrimination law in civil law jurisdictions with Barbara Havelková (Oxford University Press, 2019).

Mathias Möschel has obtained his undergraduate law degree from University of Milan (Italy), has a postgraduate diploma in comparative law from the Faculté Internationale de Droit Comparé de Strasbourg (France), an LL.M. from University of California, Berkeley School of Law (United States) and a Ph.D. from the European University Institute of Florence (Italy). He has held research and teaching positions at University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, New York University and at the Institut de Droit Comparé of University of Paris II (Panthéon-Assas).

Besides his academic qualifications, he is also admitted to the New York Bar.

His latest publications include:

  • Anti-Discrimination Law in Civil Law Jurisdictions (Oxford University Press, 2019), ed. with Barbara Havelková

About the series


The Black Lives Matter protests across European cities opened up a wider public discussion on racism and racial discrimination in Europe. One issue prominently raised, was that of the role of law in Europe in justifying, enabling, or even constituting racialized violence. Yet, despite the ubiquity of the concept of racial discrimination in European laws, as a conceptual category of critical inquiry, race is conspicuously absent in much of the European legal discourse. This is surprising, given the long legacies and continued persistence of racist ideologies in e.g., labour, immigration, family, and citizenship law.

The monthly ACES conversation series Racism and Law in Europe aims to offer a space for academic and practise-oriented reflections on how law is implicated in racializing subjects in today’s Europe. The series will also discuss law’s potential in responding to racial discrimination, or even reversing structural racism. 

The conversation series will be held online and invites the audience to think along, and engage with our speakers’ methodological and theoretical approaches. The series will use the zoom seminar format to invite audience participation. Contingent on each speaker’s permission, the initial intervention and the conversation will be recorded and publicized. 

The series is hosted and organised by Lys Kulamadayil & Stefan Salomon