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A decision is administrative law in general at the end of an administrative procedure related specific individual arrangement of an authority or the application of the law to individual cases, often in the form of an administrative act shall be adopted.


In colloquial language, “notification” means any type of message (“informing someone”). In legal language , on the other hand, the decision is a legal term that occurs in many laws without being defined there. Not every notification contains an administrative act such as the notification with a subsequent separate enforceability order ( Section 80 (2) No. 4 VwGO ), the suspension of implementation (Section 80 (4) VwGO) or the refusal to suspend implementation (Section 80 (4) VwGO) . 4, 6 sentence 1 VwGO). Always the arrangement contained in the notification is a permission , a bid or a ban , which by the affected entities must be followed, unless the notice triggers grounds of opposition from.

Form and content

The notification takes the form of an official letter in written or electronic form and contains the minimum content of the decree ("Municipality X issues the following notification"), the tenor ( order , decision or other sovereign measure in accordance with Section 35 (1) VwVfG ), the justification in judgment style ( § 39 VwVfG, § 121 AO , § 35 SGB ​​X ), the instructions on legal remedies as well as signature (mostly " on behalf ") and official seal . The notification concludes the administrative procedure ( Section 9 VwVfG). A decision that has been issued in writing or electronically but does not reveal the issuing authority is void ( Section 44 (2) No. 1 VwVfG). If a decision is not issued despite the application, or if an objection is not granted, an action for failure to act is possible after a certain period of time . In addition, an interim order can be considered in urgent cases .


Many administrative acts are called notices; the compound "Bescheid" usually contains a reference to the subject area (such as tax assessment ) in the basic word . This includes, in particular, notification of contributions ( Section 168 of Book VII of the Social Code , Section 31 of Book X of the Social Code ), notification of approval ( Section 50 of BAföG , Section 24 (3 ) of the WoGG ), notice of fines ( Section 65 of OWiG , content of Section 66 of OWiG), notification of development contribution ( Section 127 (1 of ) BauGB ), Approval notice ( Section 10 (7) BImSchG), performance notice ( Section 3 (2a) VwVG), dunning notice ( Section 688 ZPO , content Section 692 ZPO), pension notice ( Section 36 SGB ​​VI , Section 236 SGB ​​VI), tax assessment ( Section 155 para. 1 AO, Section 177 AO) or notice of objection ( Section 73 VwGO).

Administrative offenses are punished by a fine. On the basis of the order for payment, the court issues an enforcement order upon request ( Section 699 ZPO). The preliminary building permit is a binding, limited-term, written declaration from the lower building supervisory authority that a building project does not conflict with the applicable public building law in certain individual questions . The preliminary decision is not a mere assurance , but an anticipated decision. The term interim notification, which is generalized in the bureaucracy today , originally comes from Section 22 (5) of the BauGB. If, after this, the examination of an application cannot be completed in the time allotted for this, the period before its expiry must be extended in an interim notification to be communicated to the applicant by the period necessary to complete the examination.


Historically, in the Austrian Empire from the 18th century, a decision was a resolution by the monarch or an ordinance from one Viennese agency to another.


A notification is a type of legal norm provided for in Austrian constitutional law . In detail, this is an individual sovereign , normative administrative act issued in external relations (i.e. from the authority to the subject to the norm), which is issued in a special procedure and in a certain form. These characteristics of the decision also distinguish it significantly from the other legal acts:

  • So it is always an act of the state function of administration , but never of legislation or jurisdiction .
  • The notification also differs from official information or documents in its normative content , which thus establishes or designs binding legal relationships.
  • In addition, a decision is always issued within the framework of the sovereignty , never that of the private sector administration within the meaning of Article 17 of the Federal Constitutional Law (B-VG).
  • The notification differs from the instruction in that it is issued externally, i.e. not only acts within the administrative apparatus.
  • It is also to be separated from files of direct administrative authority and coercive power (e.g. arrest ), since the notification is given in a specific procedure (e.g. with the right to be heard ) and in a specific form (usually in writing, in but in some cases also orally).
  • After all, it is an individual (i.e. decisive in an individual case) act, which distinguishes the decision from the (legal) ordinance .
  • Parts of science are required to have legal force as a mandatory element of a decision , but this is more likely to have legal effect.

It should be noted that the constitutional term used in the Federal Constitutional Law (B-VG) may differ from that in the General Administrative Procedure Act (AVG). However, it can generally be assumed that the two terms are very closely related.

The qualification of a legal act as a notification is of such eminent importance in Austrian law because the entire legal protection system of public law is linked to this term. An appeal is only permissible against a decision, and a complaint according to Art. 131 B-VG because of alleged illegality or a complaint in default according to Art. 132 B-VG because of a lack of a decision by the administrative authority of last instance can only be submitted to the Administrative Court (VwGH). or a complaint due to alleged unconstitutionality can be submitted to the Constitutional Court (VfGH) in accordance with Art. 144 B-VG. This close connection to the system of legal protection under public law, in combination with the rule of law, also means that sovereign interference in the subjective rights of those subject to the law (= citizens) may in principle only be made in the form of a notification.

Essential notification features

A decision is absolutely void (i.e. never issued in the legal sense) if one of the so-called essential characteristics of the decision is missing:

  1. The notification must have a specific addressee (e.g. a specific person).
  2. The notification must have been issued by an authority .
  3. The person who approves or refuses the act must have been sufficiently empowered to do so .
  4. The notification must be duly signed .
  5. The notification must have a normative content, i.e. a specific verdict (because only this can become legally binding).
  6. Occasionally, the case law also requires the use of the permitted state language .
  7. The authority issuing the decision must be recognizable.

Kinds of modest

Notices can be classified according to the following criteria:

  • according to the content:
    • substantive notices
    • procedural notices
  • according to the specific legal consequence:
    • Performance notices
    • Legal formation notices
    • Notices of assessment .

Austrian administrative law also recognizes mandate notices as well as partial and interim notifications .

Notices that have real effect develop their legal effects not only against the current property owner, but also against all subsequent owners. The real effect of a notice is therefore a legal effect of a notice that is ordered by the (material) law and goes beyond the addressees of the notice. This special legal instrument must also be expressly standardized in the respective (subject) law for notices issued. Since the (material) laws do not differentiate whether the future owner received his property originally or derivative, this has the consequence that the real effect according to these provisions continues to exist even if a property is acquired through an award in a foreclosure auction.

Content and form

A notification must be expressly designated as such. In the case of written notices, the issuing authority must be expressly named and a date must be included. (However, from a legal point of view, this date is of no particular relevance because, for example, when it comes to the deadline, only the time of delivery is important.) The notification must also contain a ruling that is binding on the will of the authority (including any conditions, time limits, requirements or reservations of revocation) expresses and contains all (essential) legal provisions applied and possibly a decision on the procedural costs.

A justification must not be missing in a notification, if the point of view of the addressee (e.g. the application) is not fully complied with. Appeal decisions must be justified in any case, but not summons or (administrative) penal orders . The reasoning must contain the results of the investigation (= the established facts) and acknowledge the evidence. Also, judgments are to be justified to the principle of legality of Art. 18 to correspond to B-VG. However, the reason is not binding (in contrast to the verdict, which becomes legally binding).

Each notification must also contain instructions on legal remedies , i.e. information about the permissible legal remedies.

Type of issuance / notification

Notices may be issued:

  • in writing (this is the rule - some substantive laws even require written form if otherwise null and void),
  • Oral (in this case, however, the content and the announcement must be documented in writing, for example in the negotiation or in a special record; in addition, the instructions on legal remedies must also contain the information that a written copy can be requested within three days of notification - If this is requested, the appeal period only begins with the delivery of the written copy of the notification; if no written copy is requested, the appeal period starts from the date of the announcement),
  • by requirement for general inspection (this only applies to agricultural proceedings ).



  • Harald Hofmann, Jürgen Gerke: General administrative law with notification technology, administrative enforcement and legal protection . 10th edition, Kohlhammer, ISBN 978-3-555-01510-1 .
  • Linhart: 'Der Bescheid' Form, structure and content - A working aid for public administration , 5th edition 2017, Verlagsgruppe Huethig Jehle Rehm GmbH, Munich, ISBN 978-3-7825-0537-6
  • Christian Steinweg: Temporal regulation content of the administrative act , 1st edition, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-428-12143-0


Web links

Wiktionary: Bescheid  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Helmut Linhart, Der Bescheid: Form, Structure and Content , 2017, p. 1
  2. BVerwG, judgment of February 3, 1984 = BVerwGE 69, 1 ; BGH, judgment of June 21, 2001, Az .: III ZR 313/99 = BGH NJW 2001, 3054