Individuals who feel that their rights have been infringed upon through a ruling of an administrative tribunal may file a complaint with the Constitutional Court or appeal to the Administrative Court, or even seize both courts with the matter at the same time. The Constitutional Court is not empowered to review cases dealt with by the civil and criminal courts (judgments, decisions).
As a precondition for the Constitutional Court to exercise its power to review a ruling by an administrative tribunal, the individual concerned has to claim either the violation of a constitutionally guaranteed right (Fundamental Rights) through the contested ruling and/or the violation of his/her personal rights through the application of an unconstitutional law or an unlawful regulation. It remains for the Administrative Court to establish whether the rights of the complainant (enshrined in simple-majority laws) have been violated through the ruling for other reasons.
The complaint has to be filed with the Constitutional Court by electronic means by a lawyer within six weeks of service of the ruling. As a rule, the complainant has to petition for the ruling to be rescinded (or, in the case of a complaint exclusively claiming infringement of Art. 6 ECHR due to the excessive duration of proceedings, for a declaration that the infringement occurred).
The complaint filed with the Constitutional Court has no suspensive effect, i.e. the contested ruling remains in effect regardless of the complaint. However, under certain circumstances, the Constitutional Court may decide in favour of a suspensive effect of the complaint, if so requested in the application (Section 85 VfGG).
The Constitutional Court will decide either to rescind the contested ruling or to dismiss or reject the complaint. If a complaint does not have a reasonable chance of success or cannot be expected to result in the clarification of a constitutional issue, the Constitutional Court may decide to dismiss the case (especially by way of a simplified decision, usually with standard wording). If a case is dismissed or rejected, it is to be transferred – upon application by the complainant – to the Administrative Court, which will then decide, on the basis of its own powers, whether the ruling is in compliance with the simple-majority law in question.
Legal bases: Art. 144 B-VG; sections 82 to 88a VfGG