This section of the Portal provides an overview of the courts in Austria.
Alongside the legislative and executive branches, the judiciary is considered to be the third pillar of government in a country under the rule of law. Under the Austrian federal constitution the ordinary courts belong to the federal level. The judicial system is separate from the executive at all levels. There are also areas of justice administered by independent tribunals subject to special rules.
Austria’s judicial system comprises — in addition to the Ministry of Justice — the ordinary courts, the public prosecutor’s offices, the prisons (prisons holding prisoners for trial and prisons enforcing sentences), and the probation services, which for the most part are privately operated.
The Federal Minister for Justice heads the judicial administration; the Federal Ministry of Justice is one of the supreme administrative bodies of the federal state. The Minister is a member of the federal government, and is in charge of political management and coordination and overall supervision of all the associated bodies and departments.
As well as the ordinary courts there is also the Constitutional Court (Verfassungsgerichtshof), the High Court of Administration (Verwaltungsgerichtshof), and since 1 January 2014 the administrative courts. At federal level there is a Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) and a Federal Revenue Court (Bundesfinanzgericht), both of which are based in Vienna, though they also sit in other towns. In every province there is a regional administrative court (Landesverwaltungsgericht). The administrative courts are outside the sphere of responsibility of the Ministry of Justice.
The Austrian Justice portal provides general information on the Austrian judicial system.
Is access to the legal database free of charge?
Yes, access to the Austrian Justice portal is free.
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