The third joint course on transnational organised crime of The University of Queensland and the University of Vienna opened on 26 September 2016 with a reception at the Australian Embassy in Vienna.
The course brings together 15 law students from both universities who undertake research on international law, national policies, and the criminology of organised crime. The focus of this year’s course in on smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons with students exploring topics ranging from trafficking for the purpose of organ removal, to extraterritorial application of migrant smuggling offences, to the secrecy surrounding Australia’s Operation Sovereign borders.
UQ’s professor of criminal law and co-coordinator of this course, Dr Andreas Schloenhardt, says that the course offers students a unique opportunity to learn from different national approaches and compare problems and solutions in common law and civil law jurisdictions. Professor Susanne Reindl-Krauskopf, who co-convenes the course and who was recently made an Honorary Professor at UQ, adds that “the course enables students to conduct independent research, liaise with international organisations and national authorities, and offers a pathway to learn about employment in this area or to undertake postgraduate research in this field."
The course was formally opened by Ms Gaia Puleston, First Secretary of the Australian Embassy in Vienna and Professor Heinz Fassmann, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Vienna. In his address, he also stressed the importance of international research and student exchange and praised this initiative as a model for international learning and undergraduate research. The course was also recently profiled in the 2016 UQ Student Strategy White paper as a “flagship course for creating change” in student research and learning.
Speaking on behalf of the Faculty of Law, Professor Paul Oberhammer, Dean of Law, also noted the very close cooperation between the two law schools: “The cooperation extends from undergraduate exchange to joint faculty research projects and also encompasses UQ students participating in the University of Vienna Summer School and to PhD students spending extended research visits at the partner university.” He also took this opportunity to welcome UQ law graduate and PhD candidate Mr Joseph Lelliott to Vienna where he will spend three months conducting research on the smuggling of unaccompanied migrants to Austria and Italy.