The Institute for European Tort Law (ETL) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the University of Graz is an internationally-recognised centre of research excellence in the field of European and comparative private law. It is the leading European research institution in the area of tort law.

ETL aims to contribute to the understanding and development of European and comparative private law through its ground-breaking comparative legal research on fundamental issues of the law of torts and bordering legal categories. Where appropriate, its research also includes inter-disciplinary methodology such as economic analysis.

The Institute also seeks to provide a forum for the publication of internationally-excellent research by other scholars (see the peer-reviewed Journal of European Tort Law), and makes accessible a source of up-to-date information and commentary about tort law in the national systems of Europe and in the law of the EU (see the European Tort Law Yearbook  and the open-access EUROTORT  database). Moreover, the Institute actively supports the European Group on Tort Law in its ongoing work on the Principles of European Tort Law, involving updating, revision and the extension of the Principles’ scope.

The results of the above endeavours are intended to promote and facilitate the enhancement and harmonization of tort law in Europe, and to lay the foundations for political debate about a possible European Civil Code and alternatives such as an optional instrument, at the same time as encouraging “soft harmonization” by the identification of best practices that can be adopted within national systems, and indeed within EU law itself.