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SCIENTISTS OF THE STATE, SCIENCE OF THE STATE, AND THE STATE: AUSTRIAN AND GERMAN PUBLIC LAWYERS IN THE SHORT 20TH CENTURY PART 1: THE AGE OF CATASTROPHE, 1914-1945

Roman Puff
Keywords: Germany, Austria, 1914-1945, Public Law, Law and Political Systems ,

Abstract

Between the First World War and the end of the Cold War, Germany and Austria, whose legal cultures were highly interdependent in terms of persons, conceptions, and institutions, saw eleven or twelve fundamentally different regimes, depending on the interpretation of Austria’s status from 1938-45. Lawyers often ensured the legal functioning of these regimes and legitimized their existence. This again affected their notions of law, legality, and justice, and of the principles underlying these concepts, as well as their personal preferences and societal roles. Based on the analysis of about two hundred biographical sketches of Austrian and German lawyers, mostly from the field of public (international) law, of about 2,500 contributions to the leading “(Österreichische) Zeitschrift für öffentliches Recht” from 1914 to 1945, and of the respective legal history-literature, this contribution analyzes the relation of Austrian and German lawyers to their respective states and regimes, and outlines the typical patterns of how they were affected by regime changes and how they reacted to them. Proceeding from this analysis, in the second part of this study, the relation between lawyers and the state until the end of the cold war will be illustrated and it will be shown that some typical patterns in the lawyers’ reaction to regime changes can be identified. Also the impact the state-lawyers-relation had on the development of Austria and Germany to stable, functioning democracies will be outlined.