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Legal Basis

Legal Basis

The establishment, organisation and most of the powers of the Constitutional Court are laid down in the Austrian Constitution (Bundes-Verfassungsgesetz, B-VG). Moreover, some additional powers have been conferred upon the Constitutional Court through provisions in other constitutional laws.

The main legal basis for proceedings before the Constitutional Court is the 1953 Constitutional Court Act (Verfassungsgerichtshofgesetz, VfGG) which implements Article 148 of the Constitution. In matters which are not explicitly regulated by the provisions of the Constitutional Court Act (or, in exceptional cases, another federal act), the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure (Zivilprozessordnung, ZPO) and of the introductory law to it apply mutatis mutandis as subsidiary law. For example, the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure apply in matters relating to legal aid (sections 63–73 ZPO) and reinstatement in the status quo ante due to non-observance of a time limit (sections 146–154 ZPO). The Constitutional Court cannot issue provisional court orders or injunctions, as there is no reference to sections 378 ff. of the Act on the Enforcement of Judgements (Exekutionsordnung) in the Constitutional Court Act. In proceedings against the supreme entities of the state (Art. 142 and 143 B-VG), the Code of Criminal Procedure (Strafprozessordnung, StPO) is the relevant subsidiary procedural law, and the Constitutional Court has to apply its provisions mutatis mutandis.

The following is a list of links to the laws and regulations that govern the powers, the organisation and the procedure of the Constitutional Court (including selected provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure to be applied mutatis mutandis):


Legal basis


Bundes-Verfassungsgesetz (Austrian Constitution)

primarily Art. 10 para. 1 point 1, Art. 89, Art. 119a paras. 9–10, Art. 126a, Art. 127c, Art. 137–147, Art. 148 f., Art. 148i


Verfassungsgerichtshofgesetz 1953 (Constitutional Court Act)


Finanz-Verfassungsgesetz 1948 (Constitutional Law on Public Finance)

primarily section 10


Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfungsgesetz 2000 (Environmental Impact Assessment Act)
primarily section 19 paras. 1 and 6, section 24 para. 11


Bundesverfassungsgesetz über die Ermächtigungen des Österreichischen Gemeindebundes und des Österreichischen Städtebundes (Federal Constitutional Law on the Empowerment of the Association of Austrian Municipalities and of the Association of Austrian Cities and Towns)
primarily Art. 1 para. 1, Art. 2 paras. 1 and 2, Art. 3. As of 1 November 2011


Bundespräsidentenwahlgesetz 1971 (Law on the Election of the Federal President)
primarily section 21


Unvereinbarkeits- und Transparenz-Gesetz 1983 (Federal Act on Conflicts of Interest (Incompatibility) of the Supreme Entities of the State and Other Public Officials (Incompatibility Act 1983))
primarily sections 9 and 10


Europawahlordnung (Act on Elections to the European Parliament)

primarily section 80


Volksbefragungsgesetz 1989 (Plebiscites Act)
primarily sections 15 and 16

Geo VfGH

Geschäftsordnung des Verfassungsgerichtshofes 1946 (Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Court)


Volksabstimmungsgesetz 1972 (Referendum Act)
primarily section 14


Europäische-Bürgerinitiative-Gesetz (Act on European Citizens’ Initiatives)
primarily section 4


Verordnung des Präsidenten des Verfassungsgerichtshofes über die elektronische Einbringung bzw. Übermittlung von Schriftsätzen, von Beilagen zu Schriftsätzen, von Ausfertigungen von Erledigungen des Verfassungsgerichtshofes und von Kopien von Schriftsätzen und Beilagen (Ordinance issued by the President of the Constitutional Court on the electronic filing and/or transmission of submissions, enclosures to submissions, documents executed by the Constitutional Court, and copies of submission and enclosures)


Zivilprozessordnung (Code of Civil Procedure)
primarily sections 40–43, 63–73a, 144–154, 530–547


Volksbegehrengesetz 1973 (Popular Initiatives Act)
primarily section 18


Geschäftsordnung des Verfassungsgerichtshofs über die elektronische Durchführung von Verfahren (Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Court for electronic procedures)

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