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« Letzte Änderung: 24 Januar 2016, 02:51:10 von Andreas Ranovsky »
Nur wenn sie vollkommen schad- und klaglos gehalten werden, stimmen Susanna und Andreas Ranovsky weiteren Veröffentlichungen zu. Gegen beharrliches Ignorieren der objektiven Wahrheit (Realität): Das höherwertige Rechtsgut KINDESWOHL verpflichtet Bürgerinnen und Bürger zum Veröffentlichen.

Offline Andreas Ranovsky

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PAGE 1:

JUSTIZ
REPUBLIC OF AUSTRIA
FEDERAL MINISTRY OF JUSTICE

PAGE 2:

Publisher:
Federal Ministry of Justice, Museumstraße 7, 1070 Vienna

PAGE 3:

Foreword

The Austrian judicial system represents the underlying foundation of the rule of law in our State.

A functioning judicial system is a necessity for any democratic society.

Not only in a conflict situation, but also in everyday life, we have more contacts with the system of justice than we might be aware of.

It is the judicial system, for that matter, that protects our rights and calls upon us to meet our obligations.

It is the more important, therefore, to understand the nature of the judicial system, and the various tasks it has taken over.

The judicial authorities and their staff ensure and safeguard legal certainty and legal peace in Austria.

Due to the high quality work of its staff, the judicial system deserves the great trust the population sets in it.

This trust is an indispensable foundation for freedom, security and justice in our land.

The brochure “The Austrian Judicial System” is aimed at informing you about the manifold and often unknown services the judicial system has to offer.

The brochure is also intended to serve as a signpost to guide you through the judicial system and its institutions, a sometimes quite difficult path for outsiders – and thus to bring you the justice you deserve.

Yours
Dr Beatrix Karl
Federal Minister of Justice

© Jungwirth

PAGE 4:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. The Republic of Austria...6
2. The Austrian Judical System...7
3. Institutions...8
3.1. The Judiciary...8
3.1.1. Tasks...8
3.1.2. Principles...8
3.1.3. Courts and Public Prosecution – Structure and Organisation...9
3.1.4. District Courts...10
3.1.5. Regional Courts (Courts of First Instance)...10
3.1.6. Higher Regional Courts of Appeal (Courts of Second Instance)...10
3.1.7. The Supreme Court...10
3.1.8. Successive Stages in Civil Law Cases...11
3.1.9. Successive Stages in Criminal Law Cases...12
3.1.10. Public Prosecution Offices...13
3.2. Public Law Courts of Justice...14
3.2.1. Special Position...14
3.2.2. The Constitutional Court...14
3.2.3. The Administrative Court...14
3.2.4. The Asylum Court...15
3.3. Arbitral Tribunals...15
3.4. The Penal System...15
3.4.1. General Comments...15
3.4.2. Prisons – Types and Numbers...16
3.4.3. Imprisonment – Types and Purpose...16
3.4.4. Detainees...16
3.4.5. Managing the Penal System...17
3.4.6. Staff Resources of the Penal System...17
3.4.7. Budget Resources for the Penal System...17
3.4.8. A New Start after Serving a Prison Sentence...17
3.5. The Federal Ministry of Justice...18
3.5.1. The Federal Minister of Justice – The Supreme Administrative Body...18
3.5.2. Organisation...18
3.5.3. Tasks...18
3.6. The Federal Cartel Prosecutor...19
3.7. The Supervisory Authority for Collecting Societies...20
4. The Legal Professions...21
4.1. Working for the Judical System...21
4.2. General Remarks...22
4.3. Legal Education...23
5
4.4. Studying Law...23
4.5. Practical Court Work...24
4.6. Judges...24
4.7. Public Prosecutors...26
4.8. Lawyers...27
4.8.1. General Remarks...27
4.8.2. Scope of Activities...27
4.9. Notaries Public...28
4.10. Diplomrechtspfleger...29
4.11. Promoting Women...31
5. Judicary Services...32
5.1. Legal Cases of Courts and Public Prosecution Offices...32
5.2. Criminal Cases Handled by Courts and Public Prosecutors...33
5.2.1. Non-Penal Settlement (Diversion) – An Alternative Punishment...34
5.2.2. Penalties Administered...35
5.3. Duration of Proceedings...38
5.4. Use of Information Technology in the Judical System...39
5.5. The Land Register...40
5.5.1. The Land Register...40
5.5.2. Cadastral Maps...40
5.5.3. Land Register Data Base...40
5.5.4. Enquiries...41
5.5.5. Costs...41
5.6. The Company Register...42
5.6.1. The Company Register...42
5.6.2. Company Register Data Base...42
5.6.3. Enquiries...42
5.6.4. Costs...43
5.6.5. Access to the Data Base...43
6. Budget...44
6.1. Expenses and Cost Coverage...44
6.2. Budget Responsibility (Budget Implementation)...44
7. Services for Austrian Citizens...46
7.1. Access to the Judical System for Socially Disadvantaged Persons...46
7.2. Judical Ombudspersons...46
8. International Cooperations...47
9. Sources...48

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1. THE REPUBLIC oF AUSTRIA

The Republic of Austria is a Federal State consisting of the nine Federal Provinces of Vienna, Lower
Austria, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Tyrol, Vorarlberg, Carinthia, Styria and Burgenland. The form of
government is a parliamentary democracy. Austria covers an area of 83,358.3 km2. About 8.4 million
people live in Austria (2011). The gross domestic product in 2011 amounted to about 309 billion
euros (i.e. about 36,786 euros per inhabitant*)
* Personal expressions equally apply to men and women
Federal Provinces Vienna
Lower Austria
Upper Austria
Salzburg
Tyrol
Vorarlberg
Carinthia
Styria
Burgenland
Government System Parliamentary Democracy
Area 83,358.3 km²
Inhabitants * 8.4 million
Gross Domestic Product * 309 billion euros
per Inhabitant * 36.786 euros
* Status according to Statistics Austria in March 2013
Österreich

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2. THE AUSTRIAN JUDICAL SYSTEM

Apart from the legislative and the administrative branches, the judiciary is considered
to be the third pillar in a country under the rule of law. The Federal
Constitution Act assigns the judiciary exclusively to the competence of the
Federal State. The Federal Provinces are therefore not allowed to set up any
courts. The judicial system is separate on all levels from the administrative
system.
Austria‘s judicial system includes ordinary courts, the public prosecution
offi ces , the prisons (institutions for penal service, as well as court prisons),
the probationary facilities, the Federal Cartel Prosecutor and the Supervisory
Authority for Collecting Societies.
Courts are state institutions which decide in a formal procedure on civil law
claims and criminal law charges. They are set up by law and are managed by
judges, who are independent, cannot be removed or transferred from offi ce,
and are impartial and only bound by the legal system.
The public prosecution offi ces are special bodies that are separate from the courts. They mainly
safeguard the public interests in the administration of criminal justice by heading preliminary proceedings,
bringing in indictments and acting as prosecutors in criminal proceedings.
Prisons are responsible for enforcing penal sentences. The probationary facilities are also part of
the judicial system. They take care of persons with conditional sentences and prisoners released on
probation. These tasks have mostly been transferred to private organisations, which are under the
supervision of the Federal Ministry of Justice, however.
The Federal Cartel Prosecutor was established by the amended Cartel Act 2002 within the Federal
Ministry of Justice, and represents public interests in matters of competition law before the Cartel
Court.
Since 1 October 2010, the Supervisory Authority for Collecting Societies has been established as
an independent agency reporting to the Federal Ministry of Justice. The Supervisory Authority for
Collecting Societies shall mainly ensure that collecting societies properly fulfi l their tasks and meet
their obligations under the 2006 Collecting Society Act.
The judicial administration is headed by the Federal Minister of Justice. The Federal Ministry of
Justice reports to the Federal Minister of Justice. The Federal Minister of Justice belongs to the
su preme administrative bodies of the Federal State and is a member of the Federal Government.
She is responsible for the political management, coordination and supreme supervision of the
judicial system (including the penal system), together with all associated service units.

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3.1. The Judiciary

3.1.1. Tasks

It is the task of courts and public prosecutors to enhance legal certainty and to increase the satisfaction
with the legal system in Austria. They perform these duties with impartiality, fairness and on
a high level of quality.
A reasonable length of court proceedings and the conformity of court decisions with the law are
of central significance for the protection provided by the legal system. This requires an effective
organisation that can handle its tasks efficiently, a balanced distribution of the work load among the
decision-makers and maintenance of a high rate of cost recovery from service revenues.
Austrian courts are primarily responsible for civil law cases (such as legal disputes over contractual
claims, claims for damages, property litigation), labour and social law matters, non-litigious matters
(such as inheritance cases, custody arrangements, maintenance claims of minor children), execution
matters, bankruptcy and debt composition cases, as well as criminal matters.
Maintaining the land and the Company Registers, which are very important for Austria‘s quality as a
business location, are also in the responsibility of the courts.

3.1.2. Principles

3.1.2.1. The Right to a Trial before a Judge of Law

The Austrian Federal Constitution Act (Article 83 (2)) grants every citizen the right to a trial before
a judge of law. In addition to subject matter and local criteria (such as the defendant‘s domicile),
the law determines which of the 154 Austrian courts shall have jurisdiction over a specific matter.
At every competent court, the objective and material criteria of the so-called distribution of court
business determines the assignment of cases to the individual judges. A panel of judges always
establishes the distribution of court business one year in advance. This process prevents any thirdparty
influence on the selection of a judge actually responsible for a specific case.

3.1.2.2. Court Decisions may be contested in Appellate Proceedings

Ordinary courts are organised on several levels. In the exercise of his/her judicial function, a judge is
independent, free from any instructions and only bound in his/her decisions by the legal system. Our
laws make sure that everybody can trust the courts. As a matter of principle, every court decision
may be contested. Such legal remedies are various types of appeal (e.g. ordinary appeal, recourse
or nullity appeal/complaint).
In principle, the higher court decides on legal remedies. Under certain circumstances, a further
appeal in civil law cases against the ruling of an appellate court is possible to the Supreme Court. In
criminal law matters, there is generally only a two-tier procedure. Whenever all legal remedies are
being raised, a case may take up considerably more time, which must be accepted, however, in the
interest of correct court decisions.

3. Institutions

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In addition to decisions by professional judges, Austria‘s Federal Constitution also provides that the
population should participate in the administration of justice. In criminal proceedings, lay judges
rule on cases with maximum penalties exceeding five years. Lay juries are responsible for offences
carrying a life sentence or a minimum prison term of five years and a maximum prison term of more
than ten years (e.g. murder), as well as for political offences (e.g. offences under the Prohibition
Statute banning National Socialist activities). In civil law cases lay judges can be found in labour
and social law matters, as well as in commercial law disputes. They form panels with professional
judges taking joint decisions.
3.1.3. Courts and Public Prosecution – Structure and Organisation
Regular courts are organised on four levels. At present (01 January 2013), 128 district courts,
20 regional courts, four higher regional courts of appeal and the Supreme Court are responsible for
adjudicating legal cases, 17 public prosecution offices, four senior public prosecution offices and
the Procurator General’s Office take care of public interests. 27 prisons are in charge of executing
penal sentences.
CoURT oRGANISATIoN
SUPREME CoURT
PRoCURAToR GENERAL
4 HIGHER REGIoNAL CoURTS (HRC)
HRC Vienna HRC Graz HRC Linz HRC Innsbruck
SPPO Vienna SPPO Graz SPPO Linz SPPO Innsbruck
4 SENIoR PUBLIC PRoSECUTIoN oFFICES (SPPo)
20 CoURTS oF LAw
Regional Court of Regional Court Commercial Court
Civil Law Vienna Krems Vienna
Public Prosecution
Krems
17 PUBLIC PRoSECUTIoN oFFICES
128 DISTRICT CoURTS (DC)
DC Hietzing DC Döbling DC Gmünd DC Krems District Court of
Commercial Matters
Gerichtsorganisation

10

3.1.4. District Courts

District courts are the first instance to decide civil law cases with a maximum amount in dispute of
15,000 euros, as well as to rule on certain types of cases (irrespective of the amount in dispute,
mainly family and rent law cases). There are plans for a step-by-step increase of the amount in
dispute
to 25,000 euros by 2016. In addition, the district courts rule on criminal law matters in case
of minor offences carrying merely a fine or a maximum prison term of one year (e.g. physical injury
by negligence, theft).
3.1.5. Regional Courts (Courts of First Instance)
Regional courts (courts of first-instance) are responsible for first-instance rulings on all legal matters
not reserved to district courts. In addition, they are responsible as second instance courts to rule on
appeals against district court decisions.
3.1.6. Higher Regional Courts of Appeal (Courts of Second Instance)
Four higher regional courts of appeal have been set up as a third organisational level. They are
located
in Vienna (covering Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland), Graz (covering Styria and
Carinthia), Linz (covering Upper Austria and Salzburg), as well as Innsbruck (covering Tyrol and
Vorarlberg). These courts of second instance are appellate courts for all civil and criminal law cases.
In addition, these courts play a specific role in the administration of the judicial system. The president
of a court of appeal is the director responsible for the administration of all courts in his/her
court district. In this function, his/her only and immediate superior is the Federal Minister of Justice.
3.1.7. The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court in Vienna is the highest instance in civil and criminal law cases. Together with the
Constitutional Court and the Administrative Court it is referred to as the “Highest Court”. This means
that no further (domestic) remedy is possible against its decisions. The jurisdiction of the Supreme
Court is a major contributor towards preserving the uniform application of the law throughoutthe
national territory. Although lower courts are not bound by law to its decisions, as a rule they will be
guided by the case law of the Highest Court.

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3.1.8. Successive Stages in Civil Law Cases

In cases where the district courts are the courts of first instance, appeals are lodged with the higherlevel
regional court. There, an appeals panel will rule as second instance body.
Whenever regional courts act as courts of first instance (either by a single judge or a panel), appeals
against their rulings will be handled by the higher regional court of appeal as a second instance.
In cases requiring a decision on legal issues of fundamental importance, a further appeal is also
possible to the Supreme Court. So there are three successive stages in civil law cases.



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3.1.9. Successive Stages in Criminal Law Cases

Whenever a district court has ruled as a court of first instance, a nullity appeal, an appeal against
scope and terms of the punishment, or against claims under private law may be entered to the
higher-level regional court, where a panel of three judges will take a decision.
Whenever a single judge of a regional court has ruled as a court of first instance (on all offences and
crimes carrying a maximum prison term of five years, such as giving false testimony in court), nullity
appeals, appeals against scope and terms of the punishment, or against claims under private law
are directed to the superior regional court of appeal.
Whenever a panel of lay judges or a lay jury at a regional court is responsible as a court of first
instance, a nullity appeal must be lodged with the Supreme Court. If the appeal only relates to the
terms of the punishment, or against claims under private law the superior court of appeal will issue
a ruling. So there are two successive stages in criminal law matters.
SUCCESSIVE STAGES IN CRIMINAL LAW CASES
DISTRICT COURT
REGIONAL COURT
HIGHER REGIONAL COURT
Appeal against guild and / or
scope of punishment
Appeal against guilt
and / or scope of
punishment
Appeal against
terms of punishment
Nullity Appeal
SUPREME COURT
Panel of 3 Judges Single Judge Court of Lay Judges
Trial Jury
Minor offence carrying
a maximum prison term
of one year or a maximum
fi ne of 360 daily rates
Crimes and offences carrying
a maximum prison term
of 5 years
Serious crimes carrying
a life sentence as a
maximum term
Instanzenzug Strafrecht

13

3.1.10. Public Prosecution Offices

Public prosecution offices are special bodies separate from the courts that safeguard the public
interests in the administration of criminal justice. This primarily involves bringing in charges against
persons and representing the indictment in criminal proceedings. They are therefore also called
indictment agencies. In criminal proceedings, they are also in charge of preliminary proceedings.
Public prosecution offices are judicial authorities, but in contrast to the courts, they are not independent.
They have a hierarchical structure and are bound by instructions of senior public prosecution
offices and ultimately of the Federal Minister of Justice. There are precise statutory rules for the right
to issue instructions. Instructions by a senior public prosecution office or by the Federal Minister
of Justice may only be issued in written form and must contain a statement of reasons. Moreover,
any instruction received has to be recorded in the criminal case file. The Federal Minister of Justice
bears ministerial responsibility and is thus accountable and obliged to provide information to the
Parliament. The staff members of the individual public prosecution office must comply with instructions
given by the office director. However, if they consider an instruction to run contrary to the law,
they may demand a written order concerning the instruction and may even ask to be released from
dealing with the criminal matter in question. The public prosecution offices are therefore organised
with subordinate and superior levels. This is also necessary because – contrary to court rulings –
their decisions cannot be contested by any legal remedy. Basically, the organisational levels of the
prosecution offices correspond to the levels of court organisation.
A public prosecution office is set up with every regional court in charge of criminal cases. The public
prosecutors of these courts are in charge of bringing in and representing indictments, both before
regional courts and district courts of the respective regional court district. As a rule, district prosecutors
will bring in the indictment at the district courts. They are officials with special expertise, but
do not require university training.
The Austrian judiciary has been confronted over more than ten years with an increasing number of
most voluminous economic criminal matters with multiple international ramifications. The increased
complexities of such proceedings require new concepts and structures for achieving efficient and
successful interventions by the investigative bodies. With the Central Office for Prosecuting Economic
Crimes and Corruption (WKStA), a new prosecuting body was established on 1 September
2011, in which the necessary competence and know-how for prosecuting large-scale economic and
corruption crimes in a qualified and efficient manner are concentrated.
Senior public prosecution offices are one level above public prosecution offices and have been
established with the regional courts of appeal in Vienna, Graz, Linz and Innsbruck. In addition to
acting for the prosecution before the higher regional court they are also responsible for supervising
all public prosecution offices in their district and report directly to the Federal Minister of Justice.
The Procurator General‘s Office, set up with the Supreme Court, holds a special position. The
Procurator General‘s Office is directly responsible to the Federal Minister of Justice, but does not
have the right to issue any instructions to public prosecution or senior public prosecution offices.

14

Nor does it bring in any indictments, but is in charge of supporting the Supreme Court. In order to
comply with this task, it is especially authorised to lodge socalled “nullity appeals in observance of
the law” in criminal matters in which the parties have no (further) possibility of appeal. It thus serves
an important function in preserving the uniformity of the law, as well as in providing legal certainty in
criminal law matters.

3.2. Public Law Courts of Justice

3.2.1. Special Position

The “public law courts of justice”, i.e. the Constitutional Court and the Administrative Court, hold a
special position within Austria‘s judicial system. Although they are also independent courts, they are
not part of the Ministry of Justice, but enjoy organisational autonomy. Both are headquartered
in
Vienna and have jurisdiction over the entire national territory. They are also separate from ordinarycourts
with regard to their functions, as they do not rule on civil and criminal law matters (not even
as an appellate court), but have specific responsibilities in the public law field. The decisions of ordinary
courts are therefore not subject to the supervision of the public law courts of justice; rather, the
Supreme
Court, as the highest instance in civil and criminal law cases, must also monitor compliance
of court rulings with the Constitution.
A similar special position is enjoyed by the Asylum Court, which has replaced the previous appeal
instance, the Independent Federal Asylum Board (UBAS).
3.2.2. The Constitutional Court
The primary task of the Constitutional Court is to examine compliance with the Constitution, which
also includes fundamental rights. It is particularly called upon to review constitutionality of Federal
and Provincial laws, as well as to examine the lawfulness of ordinances by administrative bodies
or the constitutionality of highest-instance decrees by administrative bodies, and repeal them, if
necessary.
Moreover, elections may also be contested with the Constitutional Court.
In contrast to the other courts, the judges at the Constitutional Court do not serve on a professional,
but on an honorary basis. Only outstanding personalities who already completed a successful legal
career in another function may be appointed members of the court. Most judges of the Constitutional
Court exercise their office on a part-time basis and may continue to exercise their previous
professions
(e.g. as judges or university professors, however not as civil servants, who must be
released from their official duties). The Constitutional Court only convenes for “sessions”, which are
usually held four times a year.

3.2.3. The Administrative Court
The Administrative Court is called upon to review the lawfulness of public administration as a whole,
with the exception of ordinances, which only the Constitutional Court may examine and repeal. It

15

mainly rules on complaints against last-instance decrees by administrative bodies. It checks these
for their lawfulness and may repeal those that are deemed unlawful.

3.2.4. The Asylum Court

As per 1 July 2008, the Asylum Court has replaced the previous body of appeal in asylum proceedings,
the Independent Federal Asylum Board (UBAS). All proceedings still pending with the
UBAS are now being continued by the Asylum Court. The Asylum Court – in contrast to the Independent
Federal Asylum Board – is not a body of appeal, however, but a court of last instance for all
individual complaints against decision of the Federal Asylum Office. First instance and first contact
point for all asylum seekers in Austria is the Federal Asylum Office (with its processing points). The
Federal Asylum Office is an authority subject to instructions by the Ministry of Home Affairs, and
decides whether an asylum seeker should be granted asylum status. So asylum proceedings decide
whether a person should or should not be recognised as refugee.

3.3. Arbitral Tribunals

Arbitral tribunals must also be distinguished from ordinary courts. They are no state agencies
altogether, but private judicial institutions. They are based on private law agreements, so-called
arbitration
agreements, by means of which the parties involved accept the ruling of an arbitral
tribunal
in a specific litigation. The advantages of private arbitral adjudication are that the parties
may nominate arbiters, that decisions can be taken by special experts, that equity-based decisions
may be taken, as far as applicable and procedural law is concerned, and that such proceedings can
be conducted with expediency. Arbitration plays a major role especially in commercial transactions.
The decisions of arbitral tribunals (“awards”) are binding for the parties involved. However, in case
of grave procedural mistakes, applications to repeal an award may be lodged with ordinary courts.
Furthermore, the jurisdiction of arbitral tribunals is limited to the extent that they have no power of
sanction or enforcement. In other words, arbitral tribunals cannot impose any sanctions and cannot
enforce their rulings by applying coercive measures. This is reserved exclusively to the State, i.e.
the ordinary courts.

3.4. The Penal System

3.4.1. General Comments

The Federal Minister of Justice is also responsible for the penal system. The Federal Constitution
distinguishes between the Federal responsibilities for legislation and enforcement. The primary legal
basis for the penal system in Austria is the 1969 Penal System Act. Among the general provisions
based on this law, the Enforcement Regulation for prisons must be particularly highlighted.
« Letzte Änderung: 21 Dezember 2013, 16:52:30 von Andreas Ranovsky »
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3.4.2. Prisons – Types and Numbers
There are altogether 27 prisons:
-- seven prisons for men to enforce court sentences of more than 18 months;
-- one prison for juveniles;
-- one prison for women;
-- three institutions for the enforcement of alternate measures;
-- 15 court prisons at the site of regional courts in charge of criminal cases.
In addition, there are 16 prisons annexes which are partly run as agricultural enterprises.
3.4.3. Imprisonment – Types and Purpose
The Austrian legal system distinguishes three types of imprisonment imposed by criminal courts,
namely pre-trial detention, imprisonment as punishment and preventive measures in connection
with detention.
Pre-trial detention must be imposed if a person is urgently suspected of having committed a
punishableact
and if one of the reasons for detention stipulated by law (risk of absconding, risk of
collusion, and risk of committing and/or perpetrating an offence) prevails. The foregoing is governed
by the 1975 Code of Penal Procedure.
The Penal System Act governs any imprisonment imposed as a punishment by a court. According
to Section 20 of that Act, serving a prison sentence is meant to assist the convicted person to regain
a righteous attitude towards life that is adapted to the needs of living in a community, as well as to
prevent him/her from following criminal inclinations. Moreover, the enforcement of a sentence is to
demonstrate the negative value of the conduct underlying the conviction.
The Penal Code distinguishes two types of punishments: imprisonment and fines. Punishment is a
reaction to a preceding culpable conduct of the person convicted. In addition, the Penal Code provides
for preventive measures in connection with detention. These are determined by the particular
danger posed by the offender. They are also used whenever they serve to obtain better results with
regard to improving the offender and protecting society, or when no punishment can be administered
in the absence of guilt (e.g. for lack of criminal responsibility).
The most important of these measures is to accommodate such persons in institutions for mentally
disturbed offenders. This measure is imposed for an unlimited period. The court must examine,
at least on an annual basis, whether accommodation is still necessary. Preventive measures are
administered
in prisons, specialised departments or in certain public psychiatric hospitals.
3.4.4. Detainees
About 8,900 persons are being detained in Austria‘s prisons. Thereof, about 6,000 serve a prison
sentence, 1,800 are pre-trial detainees, and 900 are persons detained to enforce alternative measures.
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About six per cent of prisoners are women, less than two per cent are juvenile delinquents and
about six per cent are young adults (persons between the ages of 18 and 21 years). Almost 4,000
prisoners, i.e. about 46 per cent, hailing from more than 100 nations, are not of Austrian nationality.
Every detainee capable of work is obliged to work. The work environment is an important area
of technical and social learning. Different workshops and enterprises in about 50 branches are
availablein
Austrian prisons. For their work, detainees earn remuneration, which is to help them to
return to an orderly life after serving their prison term.
3.4.5. Managing the Penal System
Managing the penal system lies within the responsibility of the Federal Ministry of Justice. A support
and advisory department to the Minister of Justice serves as highest authority of the penal system
and is responsible for its strategic management as well as staff and functional supervision.
Since 1 January 2007, a newly established Penal Service Department serves as the prison staff
supervision authority reporting directly to the Minister of Justice and as the highest operational
authority for the Austrian penal system.
3.4.6. Staff Resources of the Penal System
3,600 Federal civil servants work in Austria’s prisons, plus staff provided by the Judicial Service
Agency, in particular for the provision of support services. About 3,100 are members of the prison
guards. The job profile of an officer of the prison guard is that of an allrounder. They do not only
work as guards and in different prison departments, but also in workshops and enterprises. Formal
vocation training is required for being hired. In the socalled support services, there are pastoral
workers, prison physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, sociologists and teachers (pedagogues). In
addition, there are social workers, nurses and department assistants, as well as other prison staff
with special qualifications.
Regular training activities, especially in facilities belonging to the prison as well as by third-party
providers are provided for the further education of the prison staff.
3.4.7. Budget Resources for the Penal System
In 2013, the total budget for providing penal service and alternative measures, including probationary
services, was about 440 million euros. Revenues for 2013 were budgeted to amount to about
50 million euros, almost 3/4 thereof being accrued from contributions of prisoners towards penal
service costs, and a contribution of the Federal Provinces towards the costs of health service for the
prisoners.
3.4.8. A New Start after Serving a Prison Sentence
The Republic of Austria has entrusted nation-wide probationary services to a private entity, i.e. the
organisation “Neustart” – (A New Start – Probationary Services, Conflict Solution and Social Work).
“Neustart” operates throughout Austria. In addition to providing probationary services, they also offer
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services in connection with the out-of-court settlement of offences, assistance to persons released
from prison, as well as housing facilities. “Neustart” has facilities in all Federal provinces. The initiatives
also comprise advice and help upon release from prison, as well as communication centres,
training for work, finding community service, clearing, crime prevention, drug counselling, family
support, social work in schools, assistance to juveniles and assistance to crime victims.
3.5. The Federal Ministry of Justice
3.5.1. The Federal Minister of Justice – The Supreme Administrative Body
The judicial administration is headed by the Federal Minister of Justice. The Federal Ministry of
Justice reports to the Federal Minister of Justice. The Federal Minister of Justice belongs to the supreme
administrative bodies of the Federal State and is a member of the Federal Government. She
is responsible for the political management, coordination and supreme supervision of the judicial
system (including the penal system), together with all associated service units.
3.5.2. Organisation
The Federal Minister of Justice heads the Federal Ministry of Justice.
At present, the Ministry has a staff of about 230 which work in four administrative departments
(“Directorates”):
-- Directorate General for Central Administration and Co-ordination (co-ordination, revision, public
relations, judicial information technology, management of the judicial system, and budget),
-- Directorate for Civil Law,
-- Directorate for Personnel and Penal Service, and
-- Directorate for Criminal Law.
3.5.3. Tasks
3.5.3.1. Preparing Legislation
An important task of the Federal Ministry of Justice is to prepare legislative acts. This task primarilyincludes
civil and the criminal law. Civil law includes family and inheritance law, contract law,
company
law, copyright law, as well as the provisions on conducting civil proceedings, executions
and insolvencies. The Federal Ministry of Justice also prepares proposals for legislation regarding
criminal and criminal procedural law, the penal system, as well as – partly – media law.
Judicial legislation affects many personal and private affairs of life. It has been a longstanding
traditionto
keep judicial legislation separate from day-to-day politics as much as possible, and to
reach a consensus among all the parties represented in Parliament, irrespective of its political composition.
The broad consensus on arrangements relating to these personal spheres of life ensures
a high level of acceptance among the population.
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3.5.3.2. Ensuring Independence of the Judiciary
Court rulings in civil and criminal law matters are the exclusive responsibility of independent judges
in Austria. Some court business is handled by “Diplomrechtspfleger”, who are court officials with
special training.
Independence of judges is enshrined in the Constitution. It covers independence from instruction,
as well as the practice that a judge may be removed from office or transferred to another position
only upon a judicial ruling. A judge is only bound by the legal system. No entity inside or outside the
judiciary
can issue any instructions to a judge in connection with a decision on a specific subject
matter,
not even the Federal Minister of Justice or the Federal Ministry of Justice. Judges are
appointed by the Federal Minister of Justice on the basis of an objective selection process. The
appointment of senior judges is reserved to the Federal President.
The Federal Ministry of Justice is responsible for maintaining and developing the activities of the
courts and other judicial institutions. This particularly means that staff and organisational resources
for the operation of ordinary courts, public prosecution offices, prisons and probationary services
will be ensured.
3.5.3.3. International Cooperation
An important aspect of the work of the Federal Ministry of Justice is participation in preparing of legal
instruments within the organs of the European Union. The Federal Ministry of Justice makes active
contributions to the development of the European Union so that it will become an area of freedom,
security and justice, of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law and respect
for human rights, including those of persons belonging to minority groups.
The Union set itself this goal in the Treaty of Lisbon, which entered into force on 1 December
2009. In addition, the Federal Ministry of Justice takes part in international criminal and civil law
cooperationschemes
on other levels such as the Council of Europe and the UN. An important goal
of this work is to ensure international legal assistance.
More detailed information on international cooperation can be found in Chapter 8.
3.6. The Federal Cartel Prosecutor
By an amendment to the Cartel Act adopted in 2002, the Federal Cartel Prosecutor was set up
within the responsibility of the Federal Ministry of Justice. He represents public interests in matters
of competitionlaw
before the Cartel Court. His competencies do not only relate to cartel law cases
in the narrower sense of the word, but also to cases of abuse of a market dominating position, or
to merger procedures. The Federal Cartel Prosecutor has an official function – in addition to the
FederalCompetition
Office, which is part of the Federal Ministry for the Economy, Family and Youth:
as a result, the prosecutor also becomes a party in cartel court proceedings that he did not file
himself, for the purpose of protecting public interests.
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3.7. The Supervisory Authority for Collecting Societies
Effective on 1 October 2010, the supervisory authority for collecting society was established as a
separate agency reporting to the Federal Ministry of Justice. It is comprised of three members: one
supervisor, one deputy and one employee to handle office work.
Among the most important tasks of this authority is the granting and delimitation of licences to
collecting
societies, as well as the monitoring of observance of such licences, adopting supervisory
measures in the case of violations against the Collecting Societies Act, and mediating in the case of
disputes among collecting societies, or between collecting societies and their members. A major part
of the work consists in the participation in organisational meetings of collecting societies.
The desire of the Legislator to create transparency is manifested by the collecting societies having
to submit to the supervisory authority among others all changes of their organisational rules, the
contractual conditions for concluding collection agreements with their members, their reciprocal
agreements with their foreign affiliates, their fee schedules and overall agreements, as well as their
annual financial statements, situation and audit reports, and the annual reports on distribution of
their income from the so-called statutory levy on blank tapes. In terms of transparency vis-à-vis
the public, the collecting societies are also obliged to publish comprehensive information on their
websites;
the supervisory authority also monitors observance of such obligations. Against decisions
of the supervisory authority there is the legal remedy of complaint to the Copyright Board.
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4.1. Working for the Judical System
At present, there are about 1,700 professional judges in Austria. In addition, lay persons are assigned
to cases and work on a voluntary basis. They act as lay judges or jury members in criminal
cases, as well as associate judges with special expertise in commercial, as well as labour and
social law cases, where they act together with professional judges. Moreover, there are about 380
public prosecutors. About 4,800 civil servants and contract employees help to maintain the proper
operation
of the courts and the public prosecution offices. About 3,600 staff members (including
some 3,100 prison guards) are on duty in the penal system.
Federal Ministry of Justice (Central Authority):
A-level civil servants, plus judges and public prosecutors (including secondments) 113.00
Other employees (including secondments) 103.15
Supreme Court and Procurator General:
Judges (including judges in the registry of the Supreme Court) 66.00
Public prosecutors 16.00
Other employees 37.00
Judicial authorities in the Federal Provinces:
4 Higher Regional Courts, 4 Senior Public Prosecutors,
20 Regional Courts, 16 Public Prosecutors, wkSta, 134 District Courts
Judges 1,624.00
Public Prosecutors 361.00
Candidate Judges 248.00
Other employees 4,790.58
thereof Rechtspfl eger (1.4.2013) 660.65
Legal Trainees (no service, only training relationship) 733.00
Prisons: Penal Service Directorate, 27 Prisons
Total employees 3,586.53
Probationary service (outsourced)
Civil servants expiring 50.30
Number of personnel (full-time equivalents) as per 1 April 2013; Basis: PM-SAP MIS, numbers statistics,
effective date.
Personalstand
4. The Legal Professions
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4.2. General Remarks
As the term judiciary is primarily understood as meaning implementation of the law by courts, judges
are seen as playing the leading role when legal professions are being considered. Judges perform
the task of determining the law and adjudicating civil and criminal law cases on behalf of the State.
However, the judiciary not only includes (independent) jurisdiction, but also the function of public
prosecutors who are under instruction, the penal service and all other elements that ensure full
operation
of the judicial system, as well as administration. Such judicial services also cover providing
legal certainty and securing legal peace in terms of the rule of law, including extra-judicial
proceedings and services, such as care and custody cases, and offices open to the public.
In order to ensure proper jurisdiction, which on the one hand is fully functional, and on the other hand
adequately safeguards citizens‘ rights, the participation of additional judicial organs is necessary.
Therefore, public prosecutors have the main task to introduce criminal proceedings on behalf of
the State. Following a comprehensive reform of criminal procedure, as from 1 January 2008 public
prosecutors have become responsible also for conducting preliminary criminal proceedings. As a
matter of principle, no criminal proceedings may be initiated in Austria without a public prosecutor
proposing such proceedings (principle of public indictment, principle of public prosecution). Exceptions
are the so-called offences subject to private charges, which are only prosecuted upon request
by the injured party.
“Diplomrechtspfleger” are another group of employees equally important, although not considered
as belonging to the legal professions in the narrower sense of the word. Rather, they are court
employees with special training who have been assigned certain tasks, clearly defined by law,
in first-instance civil law jurisdiction (e.g. default actions, certain execution cases, Land Register,
inheritance
matters, Company Register).
Apart from judicial professions, the activities of lawyers count among the classic legal professions.
It is one of the essential tasks of a lawyer to fully safeguard the interests of the accused in criminalproceedings,
or of parties in civil law cases. Lawyers also represent their clients before other
authorities,
and they also act as general legal advisors. For the benefit of persons not familiar with
the law, as well as for accelerating proceedings, representation by a lawyer before all higher courts
and, generally, also before district courts are statutory requirements, whenever higher amounts in
dispute are involved. Any party involved has the right to be represented by a legal or a defence
counsel, for that matter.
Notaries Public also have limited authority to represent their clients in court. In the framework of
the judiciary system, though, notaries serve a special mission when acting as court commissioners.
In this function they assist in the performance of inheritance proceedings or in public auctions. As
certification
and authentication functions have been delegated to notaries public, the courts are
relieved of actions that actually are not part of jurisdiction in the proper sense. Nevertheless, certifications
may also be carried out before a court.
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The activities of the different legal professions have been developed in such a way that the
professions
complement each other. In each case, the respective competences and duties have
been clearly defined. It is only through such interaction that the judiciary system has become the
instrument envisaged by the law. It follows from this approach that theoretical training is identical for
all legal professions, with the exception of Diplomrechtspfleger and penal service officers. Although
practical training differs for the various legal professions, traineeships make it possible to gain some
insight into the respective other legal professions. Candidate judges, for example, must work for a
lawyer or a notary public or at the Financial Procurator’s Office during their training, and candidate
lawyers or candidate notaries must spend some practical work at court. Candidate lawyers are also
given credit for working for notaries, and vice versa. Judges, public prosecutors and Diplomrechtspfleger
are in a public law employment relationship to the Federal State; lawyers work as members
of a liberal profession. Notaries also belong to the liberal professions, in the sense that they – like
lawyers – bear the economic risk for running their offices. However, there is one major difference,
due to the public law character of a notary’s official work. When acting as a court commissioner, a
notary public is an agent of the court.
In the European Union, the self-employed liberal professions are free to establish themselves
wherever
they wish, and to provide their services in all Member States. However, activities related
to the exercise of public power do not come under the freedom of establishment and service provision.
Judges, public prosecutors, notaries public, as well as Diplomrechtspfleger exercise public
duties, these activities therefore continue to be reserved to Austrian nationals, even after Austria’s
accession to the EEA and the EU. However, under certain circumstances lawyers and notaries, who
are nationals of another Member State of the EEA and are admitted to the bar in their home state,
may exercise their profession in Austria.
4.3. Legal Educati on
It is a common feature of all legal professions (with the exception of Diplomrechtspfleger and penal
service officers) that one must first study law at one of the universities in Austria (law departments
can be found in Vienna, Graz, Linz, Salzburg and Innsbruck). This is followed by a five-month
traineeship at court and then by specific professional training, which differs for the individual legal
professions.
4.4. Studying Law
The school-leaving examination (“Matura”) from a higher secondary school and proof of knowledge
of Latin are requirements for studying law. The curriculum consists of a diploma course and a doctorate
course. For the exercise of any of the legal professions, the diploma course is sufficient. Apart
from a career at university, the doctorate is not a requirement for working in a legal profession.
However, the training periods for future lawyers and notaries are shorter if they have obtained a law
doctorate.
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The academic degree of a “Master of Law” is awarded at the end of the diploma course. Having
completed the diploma course is the requirement for commencing the doctorate course in law. It is
meant to further develop the skills for independent scholarly work in the law field. The academic
degree of a “Doctor of Law”) is awarded at the end of the doctorate course.
4.5. Practical Court Work
Every graduate of a university diploma course is legally entitled to continue his/her preparation for
a career by working as a trainee at court, provided such training is legally required to be appointedor
registered for such profession. In practice, almost all law students perform a traineeship at court
after completing their studies. Admission to a traineeship at court for a period of five months is
obtained
by means of a decree by the president of the higher regional court of appeal. Trainees
are in a training relationship to the State and receive so-called traineeship remuneration as pay for
their work. University graduates can begin practical work at court on every first day of a month, and
they can interrupt their traineeship at any time by written notice. Trainees are expected to familiarise
themselves with court activities as comprehensively as possible. To this end, they are assigned to
various courts. Trainees are assigned to perform conceptual work, but are also employed to draw
up the minutes of court proceedings.
Austrian citizenship is not a requirement for performing a traineeship at court. Persons who have
successfully completed a law course at a foreign university may also be admitted to a traineeship at
court, if their German language skills allow them to follow the progress of such proceedings.
4.6. Judges
At present, there are about 1,800 professional judges in Austria (of which 63 are assigned to the
Administrative Court and 79 to the Asylum Court).
Lay judges on the bench must be distinguished from professional judges. They do not need any
legal training and work on a voluntary basis. They may either be lay judges or jury members in
criminalproceedings,
or associate judges with special expertise in labour and social law cases.
Professional judges have a public law employment relationship with the Federal State. In addition
to the Federal Constitution Act, the Service Act for Judges and Public Prosecutors is the main legal
source for the training and professional status of judges. Professional judges are appointed for an
unlimited period of time, and retire at the end of the year in which they reach the age of 65.
Judges are responsible for adjudicating civil and criminal law cases, and in administrative and constitutional
law matters they act as a check on the administration and as guardians of the Constitution.
According to Articles 87 and 88 of the Federal Constitution Act, judges act as independent agents of
the State in determining the law and in adjudicating cases.
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Such independence finds expression in the freedom of judges from complying with any instructions
(independence regarding subject matter), as well as in the freedom from dismissal or transfer to
another position (personal independence).
Judges are only bound by the law and decide on the basis of their own legal convictions. Nor are
they bound by earlier decisions in similar legal issues by other courts (precedents).
One exemption is administrative matters within the judicial system (measures to maintain the
operation
of the judicial system). In this connection, judges are only independent if they deal with
these matters on panels or in commissions (such as the distribution of court business, proposals for
appointments to court positions). Otherwise, judges are bound to the instructions by their superiors
in such matters. An established distribution of court business ensures the right to a judge under the
legal system guaranteed by the Constitution.
Judges who are found guilty of violating their professional and ethical duties have to face disciplinary
and possibly also criminal law sanctions. Under civil law, judges are only liable to the State. Parties
suffering damages on account of any unlawful and culpable conduct of a judge may only assert their
claims against the State pursuant to the law on official liability.
Persons wishing to become judges must apply for one of the established posts for candidate judges.
Such vacancies are advertised by the president of a higher regional court of appeal. The
Federal Minister of Justice appoints the candidate judge upon proposal by the president of the
respective higher regional court. Having completed one’s university studies, Austrian citizenship,
aptitude regarding subject matter and character, as well as physical fitness, and the required social
skills for the profession of a judge, as well as a five month traineeship at court are prerequisites for
being admitted to the preparatory service for becoming a judge. When deciding on an admission,
the training
judges during the traineeship and the director of the courses for trainees are also heard.
Since 1986, written and oral examinations, and a psychological aptitude test, conducted by an independent
psychologist, are also required.
With appointment as a candidate judge, the future judges are admitted to the preparatory service
for becoming a judge. It generally lasts four years. The traineeship at court is to be included in this
training period. The training period is spent at a district court and a court of first instance, with a
public prosecution office, in a prison, as well as with a lawyer or notary public, or with the Financial
Procurator’s Office, and with a victim protection or public welfare institution. The judge’s examination
comes at the end of the training period. It is a written and an oral examination. After having passed
the examination and completed four years of legal practice, candidates may apply for a vacant established
post for judges. Upon proposal by the competent staff panels, applicants are appointed as
judges for an indefinite period of time. The appointment is reserved to the Federal President, who
has delegated this privilege to the Federal Minister of Justice for most of the judges’ positions.
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4.7. Public Prosecutors
Public prosecution offices are independent judicial authorities separate from the courts safeguarding
the interests of the State in the administration of justice. The judicial function of public prosecutors
is enshrined in the Constitution (Article 90a). The public prosecutor’s most important tasks include
the initiation of criminal proceedings, investigating and acting for the prosecution, and conducting
preliminary proceedings. These tasks are governed by the Public Prosecution Act. In contrast to
judges, public prosecution offices, as judicial bodies, are obliged to follow the instructions given by
their superiors. At first-instance courts their responsibilities are vested in the public prosecutor, at the
court of appeal in the senior public prosecutor and at the Supreme Court in the Procurator General.
The senior public prosecution offices and the Procurator General’s Office each report directly to the
Federal Ministry of Justice. A Procurator General does not have any authority to issue instructions to
senior public prosecutors or public prosecutors. At present, there are about 340 public prosecutors
in Austria.
Only judges or former judges, who continue to meet the requirements for being appointed as professional
judges, and have performed a minimum one-year traineeship as judge at a court or as
prosecutor, may become public prosecutors. Just as the established posts for judges, the established
posts for public prosecutors are also advertised publicly to applicants. The Federal President
appoints public prosecutors upon proposal by a staff panel. However, for most established public
prosecutor posts, he has delegated the right of appointment to the Federal Minister of Justice.
Public prosecutors are in a public law employment relationship to the Federal State and represent
the public interests on behalf of the State in court, as an independent entity in the administration
of justice. In criminal proceedings, public prosecutors present the indictment and are thus formally
a party in the proceedings. However, they are obliged to observe full impartiality against all parties.
Public prosecutors must follow up both aggravating and mitigating circumstances with equal
diligenceand
care. The public prosecutor heads preliminary proceedings and in doing so may ask
the criminal police to collect evidence. Public prosecutors grant and issue orders. Any party to the
proceedings that regards a prosecutor’s order as onerous may turn to the court.
If a public prosecutor is found guilty of violating professional or ethical obligations, he/she is responsible
to a disciplinary commission set up with the Federal Ministry of Justice. The sanctions such a
commission may impose even include termination of employment. In addition, public prosecutors
are also liable in criminal law. In terms of civil law, public prosecutors may only be held responsible
by the State, similarly to judges, and not by the parties involved in a case, who may only bring in an
action against the State for official liability.
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4.8. Lawyers
4.8.1. General Remarks
As distinct from judges or public prosecutors, lawyers work on a self-employed basis. They exercise
their profession under their own economic responsibility and in their own offices or joint offices,
together with one or several colleagues. There is no need for any appointment by an authority;
the only requirement is admission to the register of lawyers. The Regulation for the Lawyers’ Profession
is the most important statutory basis for the exercise of their profession. In addition, there
are numerous guidelines which lawyers must observe.
There is one bar association in every Federal province of Austria. On Federal level, they belong
to the Austrian Federal Bar Association. These associations are public law corporations and autonomous
self-governing bodies which safeguard the interests of the profession against the State. In
Austria there are currently more than 5,800 lawyers.
4.8.2. Scope of Activities
Lawyers are authorised to represent parties on a professional basis in all court and out-of-court
cases, in all public and personal matters before all courts and authorities in Austria. In addition, they
provide services as legal advisors in various legal matters, and draw up contracts or act as asset
managers. With the implementation of electronic communications with the courts, official documents
can be submitted in automated form (for example default actions). Moreover, both Land Register
and Company Register enquiries may be performed from a lawyer’s office (as with notaries).
Lawyers are obliged to safeguard the interests of their clients. They are therefore subject to an
obligation of secrecy, protected by law, and to strict disciplinary rules. When found guilty of violating
their duties, lawyers are liable with all their personal assets. This liability is complemented by
professional
liability insurance, which they must prove to have taken out before being admitted to
the bar. Wheneverlawyers
operate within a limitedliability company, the absence of the partners’
personalliability
is offset by a much higher minimum insurance sum.
Lawyers receive a fee for their services, which is subject to free agreement. However, the Lawyers’
Fees Act stipulates rates for representation at court, which are primarily of importance for cost reimbursement
in civil and criminal cases under private prosecution. Moreover, the Autonomous Fee
Schedule is used as guideline and serves as a basis for such agreement. The fees’ committees of
the bar associations will examine whether invoiced fees are appropriate.
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When working under the legal-aid scheme, lawyers will not receive a fee but are only entitled to be
reimbursed by the State for any necessary cash expense. The State pays an appropriate annual
lump sum for the work done by lawyers on a pro-bono basis to the Bar Association, which is used to
finance retirement pensions for lawyers.
Five years of legal practice are required for the exercise of the lawyer’s profession, of which a minimum
of five months must be spent as a trainee at court, and a minimum of three years must be
spent with an Austrian lawyer as a candidate lawyer. The bar examination may be taken after three
years of practical work experience, if the candidate can prove that he/she participated in the training
activities required by the bar associations.
4.9. Notaries Public
Notaries hold a public office. Appointment as a notary is a sovereign act and is restricted to a specific
office location. However, notaries are not civil servants, as they are not in an employment relationship
to the Federal State. As they bear the economic risk of their office operations, they work on a
self-employed basis. It is only when acting as court commissioners that they are employed as court
agents.
The Federal Minister of Justice sets up notarial offices in specific locations. At present, there are
495 notarial offices in Austria. The notaries of a Federal province (sometimes also of several Federal
provinces), together with the candidate notaries, form a board of notaries public. As with the
bar associations, these are public law corporations. In addition, there is the Austrian Chamber of
Notaries, which includes all Austrian chambers of notaries elected by the boards of notaries public.
They are set up to safeguard the rights and interests of notaries in Austria, as well as to represent
the profession.
The most important statutory basis for the exercise of the profession of notary public is the Notaries
Regulation and the Court Commissioner Act. In addition, there are numerous guidelines which
notariesmust
observe, with disciplinary actions threatening otherwise.
The scope of activity, as defined by law, comprises three types of activities:
-- Executing public deeds, safekeeping of third-party objects and authenticating processes (e.g.
lotteries and raffles, shareholders’ meetings of stock corporations),
-- Drawing up private deeds and representing parties, as well as
-- Performing official acts reserved to notaries public upon instruction by a court in non-litigious
proceedings.
In their function as court commissioners notaries are especially called upon to manage inheritance
cases.
The main task of notaries as independent and impartial agents in the precautionary administration
of justice is to assist individuals in legal transactions. Their involvement in legal transactions helps to
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secure legal certainty and to prevent litigation. Their official nature as authenticators is to ensure that
the principle of public execution of deeds is maintained. At the same time, by assigning the authenticating
responsibility to notaries public, judges are relieved of responsibilities that do not form part
of jurisdiction in the proper sense of the word.
On account of their responsibility to draw up public deeds and as court commissioners notaries are
subject to special supervision. Any notary public is subject to supervision by the Federal Minister of
Justice, the judicial administration and, directly, by the Chambers of Notaries.
In case of disciplinary offences, disciplinary powers are vested in the higher regional courts of appeal
and the Supreme Court as disciplinary tribunals for notaries. In administrative offences, this function
is exercised by the Chambers of Notaries and the Permanent Committee of the Austrian Chamber
of Notaries. Moreover, notaries public may be held liable both under civil and criminal law. Before
taking up their professional activities, notaries must prove to have taken out professional liability
insurance.
Persons wishing to become a notary public must have completed their law studies, have worked as
trainee at court for five months, and subsequently have been employed with a notary public. Their
name must also have been entered into the register of candidate notaries, which is maintained by
the Chambers of Notaries. Candidates may only be entered into such register if they were under the
age of 35, when first registered.
A requirement for admission to the notaries’ examination is attendance at training events, compulsory
for candidate notaries. The notaries’ examination consists of two parts, which are both in writing
and oral. The first part of the examination may be taken after practical work as a candidate notary
for one and a half years, the second part of the examination after another period of practical work
for a minimum of one year. In addition to passing the notaries’ examination, candidates must have
worked in a legal profession for seven years, a minimum of three years thereof as a candidate notary
after having passed the notaries’ examination, before they are entitled to being assigned a notarial
office.
However, meeting all requirements does not provide any automatic entitlement to be appointed a
notary public. It is in the discretion of the Federal Minister of Justice to decide on the basis of appointment
proposals. Vacant or newly established notarial offices must be advertised publicly prior to any
appointment. Notaries may serve in their profession until they have reached the age of 70.
4.10. Diplomrechtspfleger
There are about 670 “Diplomrechtspfleger” (full-time equivalents) in Austria. These higherlevel court
clerks are indispensable pillars of the judiciary. More than three fourth of all decisions taken at
districtcourts
in Austria are already being taken by them.
“Diplomrechtspfleger” are judicial officers with special training and special qualifications, assigned
to handle certain first-instance transactions under civil law, on the basis of the Federal Constitution
30
Act and the Rechtspfleger Act, in order to ease the work load of judges. They are bound to the
instructions of the judge responsible for the case according to the distribution of court business,
and who may also reserve the handling of, or take over the legal case himself at any time and at
any stage. “Diplomrechtspfleger” may only issue court orders. The judges themselves may grant
appeals against such orders, but there is also the legal remedy of submitting the case to a judge.
The scope of competences of “Diplomrechtspfleger” covers, inter alia, default actions, confirming
the legal effect and enforceability of rulings by judges in their field of work, decisions on applications
for legal aid in legal maintenance proceedings and performing official acts on the basis of a request
for judicial assistance by a domestic court or a domestic authority.
“Diplomrechtspfleger” have a particularly comprehensive workload in forced-collection proceedings
and in personal bankruptcy cases. In addition, they maintain the land and Company Registers.
Other areas of responsibility are inheritance and custody proceedings (non-litigious matters).
“Diplomrechtspfleger” may be appointed for one or several of such working areas. Each field of work
requires special training and a separate appointment as a “Diplomrechtspfleger” for such specific
field.
Only court officers having passed secondary-school leaving examination (Matura), or the career
examination for civil servants, are admitted to be trained as “Diplomrechtspfleger” They must also
have worked in a court office for two years and passed the court-office and the special service
examination. The training lasts for three years and includes working at court, especially preparing
dispositions in the targeted field of work, participating in a basic and special course in the specific
field of work and passing an examination in such fields. After passing the “Diplomrechtspfleger”
examination, the candidate “Diplomrechtspfleger” is awarded a diploma by the Federal Minister of
Justice.
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4.11. Promoting Women
For the purpose of expanding the participation of women, especially of university graduates, in the
judiciary system, the Federal Equal Treatment Act, adopted in 1993, created a statutory basis for
setting up equal treatment officers and liaison officers throughout the Austrian civil service. This law
is also the legal basis for further structural measures for the purpose of eliminating underrepresentation
of women. The plans for promoting women describe the specific measures to implement equal
treatment and promotion of women.

GRAPHIC

The percentage of female judges and public prosecutors already exceeds 50 per cent.
The percentage of women in leading positions at courts, public prosecution offices and within the
Federal Ministry of Justice has risen continuously over the last few years to more than 35 per cent.
Among future judges such percentage amounts to almost 70 per cent.

« Letzte Änderung: 21 Dezember 2013, 16:33:19 von Andreas Ranovsky »
Nur wenn sie vollkommen schad- und klaglos gehalten werden, stimmen Susanna und Andreas Ranovsky weiteren Veröffentlichungen zu. Gegen beharrliches Ignorieren der objektiven Wahrheit (Realität): Das höherwertige Rechtsgut KINDESWOHL verpflichtet Bürgerinnen und Bürger zum Veröffentlichen.

Offline Andreas Ranovsky

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5.1. Legal Cases of Courts and Public Prosecution Offices
Courts handle 3.5 million proceedings every year, 3 million thereof are seised by district courts,
350,000 by regional courts, 80,000 by higher regional courts of appeal and 10,000 cases are
handled by the Supreme Court.
Public prosecutors have to deal with more than 500,000 charges filed, more than one third thereof
having been committed by known perpetrators.
Legal cases of the Courts 2012
Civil Matters 499,956 85,372
Non-Litigious Matters 338,189 20,394
Land and Company Registers 689,005 15,632
Execution Matters 1.018,450
Insolvency Matters 12,199 13,954
Remedies in civil matters 20,847 9,098 2,441
Criminal Matters 34,345 51,008 556,981
Remedies in criminal matters 4,246 7,764 786 11,706
Excerpts from
the Land Register 177,291
Total (without JAdm.) 2.769,435 211,453 16,862 3,227 568,687
Matters of Judicial
Administration 165,699 129,229 59,168 5,437 57,231
Total (with JAdm.) 2.935,134 340,682 76,030 8,664 625,918
District
Courts
Regional
Courts
Higher
Regional
Courts
Supreme
Court
PPs, SPPs
Procurator
General
Geschäftsfälle Gerichte
Legal cases handled by public prosecutors 2012
Charges newly fi led total 533,610 354,436
Known perpetrators 212,117 144,488
Unknown perpetrators 321,493 209,948
Thereof proceedings before DPPs
Geschäftsfälle StA
5. Judicary Services
33
5.2. Criminal Cases Handled by Courts and Public Prosecutors
Public prosecutors handle about 258,000 cases in number of persons every year. Of 100 proceedings,
60 are terminated, 13 are concluded by diversion and 27 are brought before a court of law. The
courts make about 62,000 final decisions in criminal matters. 9% of the proceedings are dismissed,
16% are settled by diversion, and 76% are concluded by passing a judgement, with penalties being
administered in 58% of the cases, and the person accused being acquitted in all charges in 18% of
the proceedings.
Settlement of Proceedings by the Courts 2012
FINAL SETTLEMENT ToTAL 62,439 100.0%
Total Acquittals 5,486 8.8%
Section 108 CCP (during investigations) 27 0.0%
Section 215 (2) CCP 31 0.0%
Section 227 CCP 3,505 5.6%
Section 451 (2) CCP 264 0.4%
Section 485 (1), clause 3 CCP 146 0.2%
Section 6 JGG 5 0.0%
Section 191 CCP 1,508 2.4%
Diversion (fi nal withdrawal) total 9,654 15.5%
Section 37 Narcotics Act total 1,481 2.4%
Section 198 (1), clause 1 CCP fi ne 3,541 5.7%
Section 198 (1), clause 2 CCP community service 796 1.3%
Section 198 (1), clause 3 CCP unconditional probation 1,834 2.9%
Section 198 (1), clause 3 CCP probation with duties 709 1.1%
Section 198 (1), clause 4 CCP offence resolution 1,293 2.1%
Judgement (no previous conviction) 47,299 75.8%
Conviction (no previous conviction) 36,275 58.1%
Acquittal (no previous conviction) 11,024 17.7%
Erledigungen Gerichte
34
Proceedings handled by Public Prosecutors 2012
FINAL SETTLEMENTS ToTAL 258,038 100.0%
Terminations total 153,872 59.6%
Section 190 clause (1) CCP no offence 57,366 22.2%
Section 190 clause (2) CCP no grounds for prosecution 72,557 28.1%
Section 4 (1) JGG 4,987 1.9%
Section 4 (2) JGG 2,405 0.9%
Section 6 JGG 4,365 1.7%
Section 191 (1) CCP minor offence 12,192 4.7%
Diversion (fi nal withdrawal) total 34,108 13.2%
Section 35 Narcotics Act total 9,698 3.8%
Section 198 (1) clause 1 CCP fi ne 7,936 3.1%
Section 198 (1) clause 2 CCP community service 1,533 0.6%
Section 198 (1) clause 3 CCP unconditional probation 10,053 3.9%
Section 198 (1) clause 4 CCP probation with duties 663 0.3%
Section 198 (1) clause 5 CCP offence resolution 4,225 1.6%
Charges, Indictments,
Applications for Accommodation 70,058 27.2%
Charges 64,069 24.8%
Indictments 5,808 2.3%
Applications for Accommodation 181 0.1%
Erledigungen StA
5.2.1. Non-Penal Settlement (Diversion) – An Alternative Punishment
In past years increasing efforts were made – especially with first-time offenders – to react to
punishable
acts by imposing alternative measures of benefit to society. One form of non-penal
settlement (diversion) is to provide community services, as an alternative to punishment, and an
out-of-court settlement of the punishable deed may be achieved. The high level of acceptance of
diversion measures is demonstrated by the fact that every year 45,000 persons are offered the
possibility
of a non-penal settlement and that over 43,000 accept this option.
35
5.2.2. Penalties Administered
In total, courts administer about 36,000 penalties and alternative measures every year. In about one
third of the cases a fine is payable, in almost two thirds of the cases a prison term must be served.
Other settlements apply to judgements under the Juvenile Court Act (JGG), in which penalties were
waived altogether, or in which the accused was put on probation. The residual category is formed
by “other measures”, meaning accommodation in institutions for mentally disturbed offenders and
offenders receiving drug withdrawal treatment.
Penalties and Measures 2011
ToTAL 36,461 100%
Section 12 Juvenile Court Act (JGG) 28 0.1%
Section 13 JGG 285 1%
Fines total 12,449 34%
Wholly on probation 1,224 3%
Partial probation (Section 43a (1) Penal Code) 1,363 4%
Unconditional 8,887 24%
Unconditional fi ne, prison sentence on probation
(§ 43a (2) Penal Code) 975 3%
Prison terms total 23,085 63%
Wholly on probation 13,541 37%
Partial probation (Section 43a (3)/(4) Penal Code) 3,120 9%
Unconditional 6,424 18%
other measures 614 2%
Verhängte Strafen
In relation to the total population of convicted persons, juvenile delinquents are less frequently subjected
to the classic sanction of serving a prison sentence, are paying a fine. This is a reflection
of the objective of the Austrian Juvenile Criminal Law to achieve reintegration by specific State
measures tailored to the individual offence and to the personality of the juvenile delinquent. Any
disproportionate criminalisation of young persons should be avoided as much as possible, for that
matter.
36
Penalties and alternative measures administered to juveniles in 2011
Verdict
without penalty (1.0%)
Prison sentence on partial probation,
unconditional fine (1.1%)
Other measures (2.0%)
Fines partial on
probation (6.5%)
Prison terms on
partial probation (6.7%)
Unconditional
prison terms (7%)
Verdict with penalty
on probation (10.2%)
Conditional
fines (3.9%)
Unconditional
fines (18%)
Conditional
prison terms (43.5%)
37
In the course of recent years, the total number of penalties and alternative measures has been
slightly on the decrease. At the same time, the chart below reveals that above all fewer fines have
been administered, whereas prison sentences have remained rather constant.
Penalties and Alternative Measures over the last ten Years
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
0
5.000
10.000
15.000
20.000
25.000
30.000
35.000
40.000
45.000
50.000
Other Measures
Prison sentences unconditional
Prison sentences partial probation
Prison sentences on probation
Prison sentences on probation (fine unconditional)
Fine unconditional
Fine on partial probation
Fine on probation
Sections 12 and 13 Juvenile Court Act
608 488 459 499 473 503 429 403 331 313
3,758 3,683 4,028 3,893 3,883 4,012 3,349 3,159 2,861 1,224
1,197 1,087 1,105 1,096 987 1,009 764 663 720 1,363
12,045 12,349 12,818 12,767 11,906 11,389
10,005 9,472 9,348
8,887
642 657 721 746
711 777
784
826 878
975
13,584 13,706
14,739 15,306
15,013 14,974
13,656 13,643 13,693
13,541
2,449 3,116
4,036 3,745
3,284 3,137
2,603 2,953 3,205
3,120
6,412 6,253
6,850 7,136
6,691 6,887
6,115 6,234 6,788
6,424
383 410
429 503
466 470
521 515 570
614
38
A comprehensive description of the activities of public prosecutors and courts in criminal proceedings
can be found in the Report on Internal Security in Austria, published every year by the Federal
Ministries of Justice and of Home Affairs. This report is also freely accessible at the homepage of the
Parliament (www.parlament.gv.at).
5.3. Durati on of Proceedings
Long proceedings not only constitute financial and mental burdens for the parties; one consequence
may also be that the outcome of a legal action becomes unattainable or uninteresting, for example
if the defendant goes bankrupt in the course of the proceedings.
Austrian courts work expeditiously – most cases are settled after only a few months.
In criminal cases, the time required for adjudication has become longer in statistical terms since
the provisions for non-penal settlements (diversion) entered into force in 2000, because only more
serious offences and crimes now require adjudication through a judgment.
The Austrian judiciary use their best efforts to achieve as prompt a conclusion of legal cases as possible,
since long proceedings are apt to place financial and mental burdens on the parties involved.
More than three-fourths of all civil law cases are being concluded within only a few weeks, in a
legally binding manner and by a written payment order being issued. Those about 10 per cent of civil
cases, in which the parties have assumed controversial legal positions and “litigate” those positions
in oral proceedings are generally called “litigious civil cases”.
The “litigated” civil law cases in 2011 with district courts lasted a median value * of 6.0 months,
with regional courts 12.4 months. About half of the total of 53,929 litigious civil law cases with district
courts took less than six months. Only 1.9 per cent of litigious proceedings took longer than
three years. Although any proceedings pending for any prolonged time period are an annoyance,
Austrian
courts generally score better in an international comparison with respect to the duration of
proceedings.
But also the duration of criminal proceedings are below the threshold of perception: e.g. the total
duration of proceedings, meaning the sum of investigation proceedings by public prosecutors and
main trial before a court in the year 2011 lasted a median value of 1.4 months both in district and
regional jurisdiction.
In terms of continuous efforts of the judiciary to provide optimum conditions for a functioning jurisdiction
measures have been and will be taken to increase efficiency, in particular in the area of
information and communication technology.
* The duration of proceedings is counted in months, indicating not the average, but the median value. Such median value
is the exact middle figure of an ordered series of numbers. It is the advantage of a median value in comparison to an
average value, that it is more resistant to extreme values (so-called outliers). Due to individual cases of long duration
the average duration of proceedings is generally lower than the median duration.
39
5.4. Use of Informati on Technology in the Judical System
Since the early eighties of the last century, a comprehensive IT network has been built up for Austria’s
judiciary system. This network supports the nation-wide use of IT applications: All courts, public
prosecution offices, prisons and the Federal Ministry of Justice are able to cooperate electronically
via interface at the Federal Computing Centre, where all judicial applications are supported. The
Federal Computing Centre is also responsible for communications with other Federal ministries and
service units, as well as, in due course, with all citizens.
The judicial IT network currently includes 180 routers, 340 servers and 12,500 computer work stations,
160 video conferencing systems, 2,000 VoIP telephone connections und 1,100 notebooks.
In the course of many years, judicial process automation has proven to be most beneficial as
electronic
register. On account of its many additional functions, the successfully completed re-design
facilitates even faster and easier handling of about 50 different types of court processes. The systemof
Electronic Legal Transactions has contributed largely towards increasing work efficiency; it facilitates
almost all types of electronic submissions to courts, and serving documents by the courts
by electronic means. The data base on decrees (www.edikte.justiz.gv.at) can be accessed free
of charge and publishes insolvency proceedings, court auctions, decrees derived from penal and
civil cases, notifications, publications and documents served, forced court administration, voluntary
sales offers, company publications, a list of mediators, administrators and courts. Moreover, further
legally mandatory publications are made available through the data base on decrees: recently,
such decrees particularly concerned the Safekeeping and Seizure Act, as well as the publication of
mergeragreements
and spin-off plans.
Documentation on judicial case law is also available free of charge on the Internet, as part of the Federal
Legal Information System (www.ris.bka.gv.at). By setting up the web site www.sdgliste.justiz.gv.at it has
become much easier to find court-certified experts, as well as court-certified interpreters/translators.
A central data base for storing documents has been set up, which can be used for all kinds of
applicationsand
proceedings, especially for the Land and Company Registers.
The “Integrated Administration of the Penal System” serves the goal of providing comprehensive IT
support for the administration of prisoners. It includes a list of current prisoners and helps to manage
detention space, plan and manage the transfer of prisoners, as well as automatically calculate the
end of any prison term and any deadline associated therewith.
Other IT activities include, inter alia, the functional and organisational expansion of the Land Register,
the European Business Register, the European Land Information System, the Electronic Case
File, the Master Plan eGovernment
and the portal platform.
40
5.5. The Land Register
5.5.1. The Land Register
The Land Register is a public schedule maintained by district courts for recording real-estate and
associated object rights in rem. The following rights may be recorded in the Land Register: ownership,
home ownership, pledges, construction rights, easements and land charges; in addition, notes and
references may point to certain legally relevant facts and circumstances.
The primary importance of the Land Register lies in the fact that all object rights in rem may only be
acquired when recorded in the Land Register (principle of recording rights), and that everybody may
rely upon the correctness and completeness of the Land Register (principle of reliance).
The Land Register consists of a main ledger, which contains the current entries in the Land Register,
a list of cancelled entries and a document depository (this is a collection of the documents that are at
the basis of the Land Register entries, for example, purchase contracts when acquiring real-estate by
way of purchase).
In addition, there are auxiliary schedules, such as a schedule of real-estate parcels of land, a list of
addresses, and a list of persons or names. All these schedules indicate the entry number which was
used to record the real-estate in question or the respective owner in the Land Register.
5.5.2. Cadastral Maps
The cadastral maps are a public instrument, maintained by the surveyors’ offices, which indicates
certain actual real-estate conditions and – to the extent recorded – the binding evidence of realestate
boundaries. The new cadastral border maps have not yet been completed.
The cadastral maps comprise the schedule of coordinates, maps and aerial views, the cadastral
file with drawings describing the real-estate plots, and the schedule of real-estate plots. The latter
indicates a real-estate plot number, the type of use or the sections of use (such as construction site,
garden area, etc.) and the size of the area.
5.5.3. Land Register Data Base
The Land Register data base covers the Land Register and the cadastral maps, linking both data
sources.
The main ledger, the schedule of cancelled entries and the auxiliary schedules are maintained by
storing entries in the Land Register data base. Since 2006, the document depository is also part of
the Land Register data base and is being maintained electronically.
41
This IT supported management of the Land Register has proven to be absolutely reliable. A particularly
strict liability of the Federal State has been stipulated for any damage from the use of IT support
of the Land Register (the damaged party does not have to prove the fault of the Federal agency,
which is different from the approach under the official liability law). So far, though, not a single case
has occurred in which such liability was claimed.
The Land Register data bank contains all border posts, triangulation and other surveying points,
as well as information on the map sheets, a digitalised form of the cadastral maps and references
to changes (file number of the surveying office regarding changes in the cadastral maps). The
schedule
of real-estate parcels of land is also kept in the Land Register data base.
5.5.4. Enquiries
As a matter of principle, everybody is entitled to enquire about entries in the Land Register and
its auxiliary schedules in the Land Register data base. The same applies to the cadastral maps,
includingthe
Digital Cadastral Maps.
When entering the name of the cadastral community and the number of the real-estate parcel of land
(so-called entry number or “EZ”) or of the real-estate property, information may be obtained from the
data base (excerpts from the Land Register, excerpts from the cadastral maps, and copies of maps).
This information contains all currently recorded data. Upon request, data that have been previously
cancelled may also be obtained (back to when the system was converted to IT).
It is not possible to obtain electronic information on persons. For this type of information, interested
persons must turn to (any) Land Register Court and demonstrate a legal interest in such information.
Since mid-1999 enquiries to the Land Register data base (i.e. Land Register and cadastral maps)
are possible via the Internet by accessing accounting centres. Access to the real-estate data base
is possible via the Internet addresses given at www.justiz.gv.at for the accounting centres (chapter
“Grundbuch”). This is how Land Register and cadastral map enquiries can be made and copies from
these schedules may be obtained, which are completely identical with officially producedcopies.
However, public documents on the status of the Land Register or the cadastral maps, for the purpose
of submission to authorities, etc., may only be obtained by contacting (any) district court (Land
Register department) or a notary public, or in surveying matters by contacting any surveying office
or civil engineer.
5.5.5. Costs
Enquiries to the land-register data base are subject to a fee. The fees are invoiced in keeping with
the Fee Ordinance of the Federal Ministry of Finance via the abovementioned accounting centres,
where every customer must obtain an account.
42
5.6. The Company Register
5.6.1. The Company Register
The Company Register is a public schedule maintained by regional courts (in Vienna by the Commercial
Court Vienna, in Graz by the Higher Regional Court for Civil Matters Graz). It serves to
record and disclose facts that must be registered according to commercial law.
The Company Register consists of a main ledger, which contains the registry entries, and the
documentdepository
(i.e. the collection of documents that are the basis for registry entries, e.g. the
articles of incorporation or the balance sheet).
The Company Register contains entries for all legal entities, i.e. Sole Proprietors, Open Partnerships,
Limited Partnerships, Joint-Stock Companies, Limited Liability Companies, Commercial and
Industrial Cooperatives, Mutual Insurance Companies, Savings- and Loan Banks, Private Foundations,
European Economic Interest Groupings, European Societies (SE), European Cooperative
Societies (SCE) and other legal entities, whose registration is required by law.
Every legal entity is assigned a so-called Company Register Number in the Company Register.
5.6.2. Company Register Data Base
The main ledger is maintained by storing entries in a central data base (Company Register data
base) in the Federal Computer Centre in Vienna.
Since mid-2005, the document depositories of all Company Register Courts are maintained electronically.
Previous documents may be accessed at the court responsible for maintaining the local
Company Register as before. Since 2001, electronically submitted balance sheets can be viewed
on the Internet.
The IT-supported management of the Company Register has also proven to be very reliable; So far,
not a single case has occurred in which liability was claimed.
5.6.3. Enquiries
As a matter of principle, everybody is entitled to access the Company Register data base to obtain
information on entries in the Company Register. When entering the Company Register file number,
an excerpt from the register may be retrieved from the data base. This excerpt contains the currently
recorded data. Upon request, data that have been previously cancelled may also be obtained (only
going back to the conversion to IT management).
Enquiries may also ask which legal entities were newly recorded recently, or amended, or deleted.
Since mid-1999, the Company Register may be accessed via the Internet by way of accounting
centres.
Access to the Company Register data base is provided via the Internet addresses of the accounting
centres.
43
By using this facility, Company Register enquiries may be drawn up, and copies from the register
may be generated, which are completely identical with officially produced excerpts from the Company
Register. However, only the regional court (Company Register department) or a notary public
may produce public documents on the status of the Company Register for the purpose of submission
to an authority.
5.6.4. Costs
Company Register enquiries are subject to costs. The fees are calculated in keeping with the Fees
Ordinance of the Federal Ministry of Justice and are handled by the accounting centres, where every
customer must obtain an account.
5.6.5. Access to the Data Base
The Federal Ministry of Justice has made arrangements that this data base can be publicly
accessed via the entities (accounting centres) listed at www.justiz.gv.at under “Firmenbuch” (Company
Register).
44
6. Budget
6.1. Expenses and Cost Coverage
Expenses amount to 1,276 million euros (of which 621 million euros are personnel expenses and
655 million euros are material expenses), while revenues amount to 973 million euros (2012). The
judiciary can therefore claim a high rate of cost recovery of about 76 per cent.
Efficiency improvements of recent years have resulted in expenses incurred by courts being covered
by revenues from court fees.
It is only for the prisons that tax money is needed, as costs of about 107 euros per prisoner and day
can only partly be recovered from the sale of products and services generated at the prisons.
The costs of proceedings are mainly determined by two factors, namely by personnel costs and
the volume of work. In penal service, costs are largely determined by the number of prisoners, the
quality of their accommodation and the level of care they receive.
A system of cost and performance accounting, guided by business management considerations, is
currently being developed. In the future, such system will facilitate optimising the use of resources
within legal requirements.
6.2. Budget Responsibility (Budget Implementati on)
The Federal Constitution Act 2013 governs the preparation and implementation of the budget in
great detail.
The Federal Budget Act, which is adopted by a simple majority, determines the organisation and
management of the budget, the planning of the budget, the preparation of the budget, as well as
budget implementation (revenue and expenditure management, asset and debt management, payment
transactions, clearing), as well as invoicing and internal revision procedures. The Federal
Minister of Justice is responsible for managing the budget of the entire judiciary system.
A Federal Finance Act is required for every budget year (calendar year), to provide the legal basis for
all administrative acts associated with revenues and expenditures. Annexes to the annual Federal
Finance Act are the Federal Budget (for financial resources) and the schedule of established posts
(for personnel resources).
Within column 1 Justice and Security, the sub-chapter 13: Judiciary is broken down into:
45
Detailed budget 13.01.01 Strategy, Legal Affairs (=BMJ Central Authority) (2.7 %)
Detailed budget 13.01.03 Aid to Victims (subsidies) (0.4 %)
Detailed budget 13.03.01 Prisons (31.0 %)
Detailed budget 13.03.02 Probationary Service (2.9 %)
Detailed budget 13.02.01
Supreme Court & Procurator General (1.2 %)
Detailed budget 13.02.02
Higher Regional Court Wien (26.0 %)
Detailed budget 13.02.03
Higher Regional Court Linz (10.6 %)
Detailed budget 13.02.04
Higher Regional Court Graz(10.3 %)
Detailed budget 13.02.05
Higher Regional Court Innsbruck (6.7 %)
Detailed budget 13.02.06
Central Management of Resources (in BMJ) (5.5 %)
Global budget 13.02 Jurisdiction (60.4 %)
Global budget 13.03 Penal Service (34.0 %)
Detailed budget 13.01.02 Guardians and Patients'
Ombudsperson (subsidies) (2.5 %)
Global budget 13.01 Steering & Services (5.6 %)
SHARE IN THE ToTAL ExPENSE oF THE JUDICIARY
Global budget 13.01 Steering & Services 5.6 %
Detailed budget 13.01.01 Strategy, Legal Affairs (=BMJ Central Authority) 2.7 %
Detailed budget 13.01.02 Guardians and Patients‘ Ombudsperson (subsidies) 2.5 %
Detailed budget 13.01.03 Aid to Victims (subsidies) 0.4 %
Global budget 13.02 Jurisdiction 60.4 %
Detailed budget 13.02.01 Supreme Court & Procurator General 1.2 %
Detailed budget 13.02.02 Higher Regional Court Vienna 26.0 %
Detailed budget 13.02.03 Higher Regional Court Linz 10.6 %
Detailed budget 13.02.04 Higher Regional Court Graz 10.3 %
Detailed budget 13.02.05 Higher Regional Court Innsbruck 6.7 %
Detailed budget 13.02.06 Central Management of Resources (in BMJ) 5.5 %
Global budget 13.03 Penal Service 34.0 %
Detailed budget 13.03.01 Prisons 31.0 %
Detailed budget 13.03.02 Probationary Service 2.9 %
Budget
46
New forms of work organisation and communication make the often seemingly abstract judiciary
institutions more comprehensible, bringing them closer to the citizens. By setting up service centres
at various courts, central contact points for requests raised by persons in pursuit of justice have
been established. Such service centres, e.g. at the regional courts Vienna (for criminal matters), and
(for civil law matters), Graz, Linz, Innsbruck and Leoben have considerably facilitated contacts with
courts for those persons. In addition, the drop-down menu “Recht zum Bürger” (bringing the law to
citizens) at www.justiz.gv.at provides interactive information on legal subjects of general interest in
a visual and acoustical format.
7.1. Access to the Judical System for Socially Disadvantaged Persons
Anyone who cannot pay the cost of proceedings, without risking to his/her daily subsistence, will
receive legal-aid support — upon application. This means that he/she is fully or partly (temporarily)
exempt from paying fees and (temporarily) assigned a lawyer free of charge. As a result, socially
disadvantaged persons also have access to the law. He/she must pay these costs only to the extent
and as soon as his/her financial situation has improved.
Every year, the Federal Ministry of Justice transfers a lump sum to the Bar Association in order to
cover the services provided by lawyers as legal-aid counsels. This money is used for pension payments
to retirees and surviving dependants.
7.2. Judical Ombudspersons
On 1 November 2007, the Austrian judiciary introduced ombudspersons to offer Austrian citizens an
improved information and complaint service. Anyone involved in court proceedings may turn to the
Ombudspersons if they have questions or complaints concerning the work of the courts. Ombudspersons
are experienced judges located at the higher regional courts. The Judicial Ombudspersons
explain court decisions, clarify misunderstandings and follow-up complaints in a competent, independent
and expeditious manner, and subsequently directly inform the citizens. Ombudspersons,
however, must not interfere with pending proceedings, nor do they constitute another type of appellate
instance.
Effective on 1 January 2012 the function of the Judicial Ombudsperson has been consolidated on
a legal basis.
7. Services for Austrian Citizens
47
The goal of international cooperation is the general exchange of ideas and opinions with representatives
of foreign judiciary systems, as well as the support of other countries when building up their
legal systems, based on the rule of law and democratic principles. Austria’s judicial system, which is
held in high esteem abroad, makes valuable contributions in this direction. Austrian expertise is also
often applied to projects that receive international support.
Also on an EU level, Austria stands for interest matters of the judiciary, but also of its citizens.
One of the major priorities of the EU today is providing security and the rule of law in a Europe
without internal borders. An essential element to achieve such objectives and to create a clear and
easily comprehensible legal framework in the interest and on behalf of the citizens of Europe is the
strengthening of mutual trust. Austria‘s judicial policy is committed to the Stockholm Programme
adopted by the European Council on 12 December 2009 for strengthening freedom, security and
justice in the European Union. In particular, the principle of mutual recognition of court decisions and
documents has proven an efficient instrument for protecting and enforcing private rights of citizens
across borders, and to facilitate and accelerate cooperation in criminal matters among Member
States.
Austria has actively participated in the design of the e-Justice portal (https://ejustice.
europa.eu)
established in 2010 by the European Commission to support EU citizens and legal operators with
legal issues. At present, this portal offers numerous informative details on important legal issues
in the EU and its Member States, but will be expanded in the future with a plethora of additional
functions. As a case in point, the project eCODEX
under development will provide an opportunity
to exchange information between Member States online in a secure manner, aimed at facilitating
cross-border access of citizens and corporations to legal tools, and at improving the interoperability
of judicial authorities with the EU. Austria plays a leading role in such development, and is also
committed to the interconnection of insolvency and criminal records, which are included in the portal
together with Company Registers, Land Registers and national registers of wills. Moreover, Austria
encourages European propagation of video conferencing technologies and an IT-solution for the
European Order for Payment procedure, jointly developed with Germany.
8. Internati onal Cooperati ons

48

9. Sources

www.justiz.gv.at
Marcus Hrncir, Sigrid Urbanek: JustizRechtStaat, Forum Political Education
« Letzte Änderung: 21 Dezember 2013, 16:26:54 von Andreas Ranovsky »
Nur wenn sie vollkommen schad- und klaglos gehalten werden, stimmen Susanna und Andreas Ranovsky weiteren Veröffentlichungen zu. Gegen beharrliches Ignorieren der objektiven Wahrheit (Realität): Das höherwertige Rechtsgut KINDESWOHL verpflichtet Bürgerinnen und Bürger zum Veröffentlichen.