• 1985: Wilfried Haslauer sen.

      The former Governor of the Province of Salzburg was the first government member to be convicted by the Constitutional Court.

      The Feast of Immaculate Conception, a Catholic holiday celebrated on 8 December, led to the escalation of the conflict over shop opening hours in 1984. Wilfried Haslauer sen. (Austrian People’s Party), Governor of the Province of Salzburg, allowed the retail shops in his province to be open on that day. Minister of Social Affairs Alfred Dallinger (Socialist Party of Austria) tried to amend or repeal the governor’s regulation, which was based on sect.13 of the Act on Rest Periods, by way of an instruction issued within the framework of Austria’s system of indirect federal administration. When Governor Haslauer sen. ignored the instruction, the Federal Government initiated proceedings before the Constitutional Court pursuant to Art.142 of the Constitution.  The Court found Governor Haslauer guilty, but decided not to impose any sanctions.

      In the oral announcement of its decision of 28 June 1985 (VfSlg 10.510; see also the ORF news broadcast on the case), the Constitutional Court confirmed that the Federal Minister of Social Affairs had been entitled to issue the instruction, that the Governor had been culpable in not following the instruction, and that there was no legal error which the Governor could invoke to his advantage. However, the Court regarded the Governor’s infringement of the law as a minor offense, given that he had felt encouraged by comments made by Minister of Trade Norbert Steger (Freedom Party) and had acted out of honorable motivations of social and economic policy. The Constitutional Court therefore abstained from removing Governor Haslauer from office, which the Federal Government had originally filed for.

      Wilfried Haslauer sen. served as Governor from 1977 to 1989. In the proceedings before the Constitutional Court he was represented by his son Wilfried jun., who has been in office as Governor of the Province of Salzburg since 2013.  

    • Wilfried Haslauer sen. 

      Wilfried Haslauer sen.
      Wolfgang H. Wögerer, Vienna, Austria, CC BY-SA 3.0 )

      Verkündung des Erkenntnisses des VfGH 

      Announcement of the decision of the Constitutional Court.

      An ORF news broadcast on the public announcement of the decision on this case from 1985 can be found in the ORF-TVthek: Die Geschichte Salzburgs
      Causa Ladenöffnungszeiten vor VfGH .
      (Friday, 28/06/1985, 08:00 am, 04:45 min)

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