Today, Friday, Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen inaugurated Verena Madner as the new Vice-President of the Constitutional Court in a ceremony held in the President’s Office. Verena Madner is Professor of Public Law, Environment Law and Public and Urban Governance at the Vienna University of Economics and Business.
Due to the measures taken to prevent the spread of the cornonavirus, attendence at the ceremony was extremely limited. Having taken the oath of office, Verena Madner did not follow the tradition of shaking hands with the Federal President, but merely raised her right hand. In his brief speech before the inauguration, the Federal President referred to the extraordinary situation prevailing due to the measures taken to cope with the corona crisis, noting that the Constitutional Court would most probably have to deal with these drastic restrictions before long. “I am convinced that the Constitutional Court will prove its worth even in this extremely delicate situation”, noted Federal President Van der Bellen.
“I regard the Constitutional Court as the guardian of a modern, liberal democracy.”
He also reminded those present that it would soon be one hundred years since constitutional justice was enshrined in the Austrian Constitution of 1920. He said constitutional justice was an important pillar of the state under the rule of law and had proved its worth over the decades. “I regard the Constitutional Court as the guardian of a modern, liberal democracy,” said the Federal President.
According to Christoph Grabenwarter, President of the Constitutional Court, Verena Madner is “a Vice-President who has earned highest esteem, both nationally and internationally, as a researcher and teacher at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. I cordially welcome her to the collegium of constitutional court judges.” Through her activities outside the university, both in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as a member of an independent collegial authority and various commissions, Verena Mader has also made a name for herself in legal practice. Regarding her new position, Madner herself said: “This is an enormous challenge and, at the same time, one of the most interesting legal functions in our country. I am looking forward to it very much.”
Verena Madner was proposed for the function of Vice-President of the Constitutional Court by the federal government. With her inauguration, all positions of judges at the Constitutional Court are filled again after more than ten months.