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Fundamental Rights
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Fundamental Rights

A constitutionally guaranteed right (fundamental right) is a subjective public right granted to the individual on the basis of a provision of a constitutional law. According to the most recent jurisprudence (CC 14/03/2012, U 466/11 et al.), within a certain framework rights guaranteed by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union may also be referred to “as constitutionally guaranteed rights serving as a standard of review in proceedings before the Constitutional Court”.  Constitutionally guaranteed rights can be enforced before the Constitutional Court through complaints filed pursuant to Article 144 or 144a of the Constitution (B-VG) or through applications for a judicial review of laws or regulations (Art. 139 and 140 B-VG).

The following list is not intended as an exhaustive enumeration of all fundamental rights, but provides an overview of the core elements of the protection of fundamental rights (fundamental rights marked * are only due to EU citizens, except for certain voting rights):

  • Right to equality of all citizens before the law (Art. 7 B-VG; Art. 2 Basic Law – Staatsgrundgesetz StGG)
  • Right to equal treatment of non-nationals relative to one another (Art. I Federal Constitutional Law Implementing the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination)
  • Right to life (Art. 85 B-VG, Art. 2 ECHR, Protocol 6 to ECHR)
  • Right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (torture) (Art. 3 ECHR)
  • Right to liberty (Federal Constitutional Law on Personal Liberty; Art. 5 ECHR)
  • Prohibition of slavery and forced labour (Art. 4 ECHR; Art. 7 StGG)
  • Freedom of movement of persons and property (Art. 4 para. 1 StGG; Art. 2 para.1 Protocol 4 to ECHR)
  • Freedom to choose a place of residence (Art. 6 para. 1 StGG; Art. 2 para. 1 Protocol 4 to ECHR)
  • Prohibition of expulsion of nationals (Art. 3 para. 1 Protocol 4 to ECHR)* and the right to enter the territory of the state of which the person is a national (Art. 3 para. 2 Protocol 4 ECHR)*
  • Inviolability of domiciliary rights (Art. 9 StGG; Act on the Protection of Domiciliary Rights; Art. 8 ECHR)
  • Protection of the secrecy of correspondence (Art. 10 StGG; Art. 8 ECHR) and telecommunication (Art. 10a StGG; Art. 8 ECHR)
  • Right to the inviolability of property (Art. 5 StGG; Art. 1 Protocol 1 ECHR)
  • Right to engage in a gainful occupation (Art. 6 StGG)*
  • Right to the freedom of real property transfer (Art. 6 StGG)*
  • Right to the freedom of choice of occupation and vocational training (Art. 18 StGG)
  • Right to the freedom of expression of opinion (Art. 13 StGG; Art. 10 ECHR)
  • Right to data protection (Sect. 1 Data Protection Act)
  • Right to respect for private and family life (Art. 8 ECHR)
  • Right to marry and to found a family (Art. 12 ECHR)
  • Right to freedom of association and assembly (Art. 12 StGG)
  • Right to freedom of conscience and religion, including the freedom to practice one’s religion (Art. 14 and 16 StGG; Art. 9 ECHR)
  • Right to civilian service (Sect. 2 Civilian Service Act)*
  • Right to a fair trial before a lawful judge (Art. 83 para. 2 B-VG)
  • Right to a judgement pronounced by a court in civil and criminal matters and to a fair trial as well as the minimum standard of the rule of law in criminal proceedings (Art. 6 ECHR)
  • Right to vote and to stand as a candidate for election (Art. 26, 60, 95 and 117 Constitution)*
  • The constitutionally guaranteed rights of minorities include, on the one hand, the right to equal treatment of members of minorities and the prohibition of discrimination (Art. 62 ff Treaty of Saint-German-en-Laye); on the other hand, they also include specific rights relating to the use of minority languages in contacts with public authorities and in the fields of education and cultural life (Art. 7 Austrian State Treaty)* 
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