The reform of the administrative jurisdiction in Austria - theoretical background and main features of the system
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The Austrian Administrative Jurisdiction has undergone a decisive change by the “Verwaltungsgerichtsbarkeits-Novelle 2012”, BGBl. I 2012/51 (Amendment to the Federal Constitutional Law concerning the Administrative Jurisdiction). There was established a system of two instances of Administrative Courts. At the same time the possibility to lodge an appeal with the higher administrative authority has been abolished. The reform provides for 9 Administrative Courts of First Instance in the Länder (the Austrian Provinces; deciding upon appeals against decisions of authorities of the Länder) and two Administrative Courts of the Federation (deciding upon appeals against decisions of Federal authorities). The article aims at describing the contents of the reform and its main characteristics. For the sake of a better understanding of the background of the reform and the principle legal foundations of the new system a short description of the development of the Austrian Administrative Jurisdiction is given in the beginning. In the main part of the contribution the competences and tasks of the new Administrative Courts are described in detail. The focus of the description lies on the unique character of the system because of the competence of the Administrative Courts to decide on the substance of the (administrative) matter that makes it different from the ones in other European countries.
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