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Meetings Calendar 2006
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Courts of Public Law

 

The Administrative Court

The Constitutional Court and the Administrative Court together are called the courts of public law. The Administrative Court examines its cases solely on the basis of the law simply as it is written. This makes its area of responsibility essentially different from that of the Constitutional Court, which reviews cases based on their constitutionality.

The Administrative Court consists of a president, a vice-president and the required number of other officers (senate presidents and councillors). All appointments to the court are made by the federal president on the recommendation of the federal government, which in turn is bound by a triple recommendation by the plenary session of the Administrative Court (with the exception of the president and vice-president). This is the main occupation of the members.

The Administrative Court has the following organs:

  • The president is the organisational head of the Administrative Court
  • The plenary session operates as a disciplinary court, makes proposals for appointments and determines, among other things, the schedule of cases
  • Panels of judges. The administrative court makes decisions through panels of judges.

The three-judge panel decides among other things on the rejection of complaints.

The regular five-judge panel is increased by four additional members when the decision to be made would deviate from the case law of the Administrative Court, or if the case law in the matter to be resolved is not uniform.

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The Constitutional Court

The Constitutional Court reviews legal acts for constitutionality. The Constitutional Court consists of a president, a vice-president, twelve officers and six alternative officers. All members are appointed by the Federal President, who is bound by the proposal of the federal government in the appointment of the president, the vice-president and six additional officers, as well as three alternates. The appointment of the six additional judges and three alternates is based on the recommendations of the National Council and the Federal Council.

The Constitutional Court makes all decisions in plenary sessions. The findings are issued “in the name of the Republic”.

Competences of the Constitutional Court:

The Constitutional Court makes decisions in conflicts of competences between:

  • Courts and administrative authorities
  • The Constitutional Court and other courts
  • The Administrative Court and the Constitutional Court
  • Ordinary courts and other courts
  • Federal and provincial administrative authorities
  • Administrative authorities of different provinces.

At the request of the federal government or a provincial government, the Constitutional Court determines whether a specific instance of legislation or executive powers falls within the federal or provincial area of responsibility.

Legislative and regulatory review and review of decisions

The Constitutional Court reviews both federal and provincial laws for constitutionality. The competence of the Constitutional Court to review regulations is restricted to the review of regulations issued by an Austrian authority. The review of EU regulations is not within the competence of the Constitutional Court.

If the Constitutional Court decides that the law (regulation) under review is unconstitutional (illegal), then it must abrogate that law (regulation).

Anyone may appeal a decision by an administrative authority to the Constitutional Court, provided that the appellant claims:

  • to have had a constitutionally guaranteed right violated by the decision
  • or to have had rights violated because of an illegal regulation or an unconstitutional law when the decision was issued.

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Date: 01.01.2006