Research Team

PD Dr. Borbala Zsuzsanna Török
Principal Investigator
(University of Vienna), Module 1

Prof. Dr. Walter Fuchs
International Cooperation Partner Leader Module 2
(Berlin School of Economy and Law)

Dr. Mátyás Erdélyi
(University of Vienna) – Postdoctoral Researcher, Module 2

International Cooperation Partners

Prof. Peter Becker
(University of Vienna)

PD Dr. Peter Collin
(Max-Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt a. M.)

Prof. Stefan Machura
(Bangore University, GB)

Wider research context

The project analyzes the making and social effect of the Austrian code of civil procedure (ZPO, 1895/98) and its adaptation in Hungary (1911/15), regarded in historical literature as the foundation of social civil proceeding. Yet the empirical evidence of persistently high litigation rates in some crownlands after adopting the ZPO raised the hypothesis of regionally specific legal behavior. The research is relevant for the understanding of social integration in the late Habsburg Monarchy, of the relations between capitalist economy and civil justice, for enriching knowledge on societal determinants of litigation and for exploring regions with distinct legal traditions.

Research questions

The project asks about the ways and the extent to which the Trans- and Cisleithanian legal administrations created a socially protective civil jurisdiction. Did access to civil justice become a social right? How was the new civil procedural law used in various parts of the Monarchy?


The project has a double focus and combines sociological analysis with methods of comparative intellectual, social and political history.