About the Chair

The University of Fribourg’s German-language Chair of Civil Law has a long and distinguished tradition. Earlier holders of the Chair were Professors Franz Rensing (1891-1894), Hugo Oser (1894-1912), Alfred Siegwart (1912-1944), Hans Jenny (1944-1945), and Peter Jäggi (1945-1975) and Peter Gauch (1975-2006). Under Prof. Jäggi, the Chair taught all aspects of Swiss private law, of which commercial law was one branch. Professor Peter Gauch joined the Faculty of Law at the University of Fribourg in 1973, lecturing first in criminal and civil procedure. Upon Prof. Jäggi’s passing in 1975, Prof. Gauch took over his Chair. For many years he taught both the law of obligations and commercial law, before cutting back on his teaching schedule to concentrate on the law of obligations. In the winter semester of 2006, Prof. Gauch moved to the newly created Chair of Legal Principles and Private Law. It was at this time that Prof. Stöckli, who had served since 2001 as Associate Professor in the Department of Private Law, was appointed to the Chair of Civil and Commercial Law, which he has held since then. Professor Stöckli teaches contract and tort law and is the Director of the Institute of Swiss and International Construction Law. Prof. Stöckli’s interests also include the specialized training of legal professionals. In this context he directs the biennial Swiss conference on construction law, held in Fribourg under the auspices of the Institute for Construction Law and is also the Director of a post-graduate degree program in Construction and Real Estate Law sponsored by the Swiss Bar Association.

  • Professor Hubert Stöckli

    Hubert Stöckli was born in 1966 in Zug. 1988/92 Law studies at the University of Fribourg. 1994 Bar and Notary Examination of the Canton of Zug. 1994/5 Master of Comparative Law (MCL) at the University of Alabama Law School. 1995/6 Foreign Associate, Bradley Arant, Birmingham/AL. 1999 Doctorate with a dissertation on civil antitrust law ("Zivilrechtliche Ansprüche aus Wettbewerbsbehinderung", Zurich 1999). 1999/01 Attorney-at-law and research work on debt law and public procurement law. From 2001-2006 associate professor at the University of Fribourg. 2006 Habilitation on "The Synallagma in Contract Law" (Zurich 2008), venia legendi for civil and commercial law. Since October 1, 2006, holder of the Chair of Civil and Commercial Law and Director of the University Institute for Swiss and International Construction Law. 2007 Research stay at the Humboldt University of Berlin. 2011 Visiting Professor at the ECUPL East China University of Political Science and Law (Shanghai). From August 2020 to July 2023, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Fribourg.

    Other activities (not exhaustive): Editor of the journal Baurecht/Droit de la construction (Fribourg/Zurich). Co-Editor of the publication series of the Institute of Construction Law. Co-Editor of AISUF, the faculty's official series of outstanding dissertations. President of the European Society of Construction Law ESCL (2003/04 and again 2016/17). Director of the Swiss Construction Law Conferences (since 2003) and of the certificate courses CAS Construction and Real Estate Law, CAS Construction Contract and Procurement Law, and CAS Construction Insurance Law. Correspondent and referee for the International Construction Law Review (London). Member of the Board of the Swiss Society for Tort and Insurance Law (SGVHR). Active as a mediator in various construction-related disputes.

    Hubert Stöckli lives with his family in Fribourg.

  • The Institute of Construction Law

    Professor Peter Gauch had a long-standing interest in questions of private construction law.  In 1979, at his initiative, and with the support of a number of colleagues, also from the domain of public law, the “Seminar for Swiss Construction Law” was founded. It was directed by Prof. Gauch until 1996. In 1997, the “Seminar” underwent a transformation and was renamed the Institute for Swiss and International Construction Law. Today the Institute is led by Professors Jean-Baptiste Zufferey (President of the Institute Board) and Hubert Stöckli (Director). The multi-lingual and interdisciplinary cooperation between them, together with the close involvement of their respective Chairs in the work of the Institute, allows students and researchers to take optimal advantage of the wide range of resources available at the University of Fribourg for the study of construction law.

  • Incoming Students

    The Chair of Private Law IV offers students from abroad two possibilities for participating in its programs:

    • Visiting Students:  Students from abroad may enroll as short-term visitors, giving them the opportunity to compare Swiss construction law with the corresponding legal regimes in their home countries.
    • Doctoral Studies: Students from abroad may be eligible for acceptance as doctoral candidates by the Chair of Private Law IV. Please contact Prof. Hubert Stöckli if you are interested in writing a doctoral dissertation under his advisorship.