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The Constitutional Court: An Overview

The Constitutional Court: Overview

The Constitutional Court is responsible for verifying compliance with the provisions of the Constitution. In its capacity as a “court of fundamental rights” and based on its powers to review laws and regulations for their constitutionality, it is called upon to enforce and secure the democratic order of the state under the rule of law.

All government bodies and other institutions fulfilling government functions are obliged to comply with the Constitution. In the event of an (alleged) infringement of the Constitution by any such body or institution, the Constitutional Court, established on the basis of the Austrian Constitution, renders a final decision on the matter and, if necessary, provides for an appropriate remedy. Therefore, it is often referred to as the “guardian of the Constitution”.

As a matter of principle, the Constitutional Court only acts upon submission of an application. The Constitution specifies when and by whom applications can be submitted. The details of the procedure are laid down, above all, in the Constitution (Bundesverfassungsgesetz B-VG) and the Constitutional Court Act (Verfassungsgerichtshofgesetz VfGG).

For further details, please refer to the individual sections of this website. A brochure on the Constitutional Court is available in several languages and can be downloaded as a PDF file (Information Material). Moreover, the annual Activity Reports provide information on the work of the Constitutional Court.

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