The Catholic University of America



 Dr. Wolfgang Brandstetter, Federal Minister of Justice of the Republic of Austria, (center).
His visit to the Columbus School of Law was co-sponsored by its  Interdisciplinary
Program on Law and Religion and
the Center for Islam and the Middle East.


Austrian Justice Official Discusses Human Trafficking at CUA Law


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Even Austria, land of the breathtaking Alps, highly developed Western culture, and longtime home to such musical geniuses as Beethoven and Mozart, is not immune from the scourge of child sexual abuse.
Dr. Wolfgang Brandstetter, Federal Minister of Justice of the Republic of Austria, discussed the problem and what steps his government has taken to combat it during a breakfast roundtable held at the Columbus School of Law on Sept. 29.
Invited to speak by law school faculty Professors Marshall Breger and Robert Destro, along with Dr. Ahmad Iravani, President of the Center for the Study of Islam and the Middle East, and Dr. Stephen Schneck, Director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America, Brandstetter traded notes, ideas, and best practices information with his American colleagues during the hour-long conversation.
The group covered such topics as the best ways the justice system can minimize further trauma to the child who reports sexual abuse, the unequal allocation of law enforcement resources among localities to battle the problem, and the need for defense attorneys, as well as prosecutors, to be attuned to the legal nuances that come with litigating sexual abuse and human trafficking cases.
Both Austria and the United States are listed as Tier 1 nations in the 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report, meaning their governments fully comply with minimum international standards for the elimination of trafficking.
Brandstetter’s position is analogous to that of Attorney General in the United States and puts him at the forefront of Austria’s effort to curtail human trafficking and arrest its perpetrators. Brandstetter earned both his Masters and Doctoral degrees in Law at the University of Vienna, where he later served as a professor. He has also worked in private practice.
From Catholic University, other attendees of the roundtable included:
  • Dr. Maryann Cusimano Love, a tenured associate professor of International Relations in the Politics Department
  • Professor Mary Leary, a member of the law school faculty, a former prosecutor and a nationally recognized expert on child sexual abuse and human trafficking
  • Dr. Ahmad Iravani, president of the Center for the Study of Islam and the Middle East at CUA