Federal Constitutional Law

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Basic data
Title: Federal Constitutional Law
Abbreviation: B-VG
Type: Federal law
Scope: Republic of Austria
Legal matter: Constitution
Reference: Law that establishes the Republic of Austria as a federal state. StGBl. No. 450, Federal Law Gazette No. 1
Date of law: October 1, 1920 (decision)
Effective date: November 10, 1920
Last change: BGBl. I No. 16/2020
New announcement: January 2, 1930 original version. BGBl. No. 1/1930 (re-announcement) ; December 19, 1945 (According to Art. III Para. 2 BVG (2nd V-ÜG), StGBl. No. 232/1945)
New version: Federal Constitutional Amendment 1994. Federal Law Gazette No. 1013/1994
Please note the note on the applicable legal version !

The Federal Constitution , short of the Federal Constitution , is an in constitutional standing Austrian federal law . Although it represents the core of the federal constitution, it is not the only constitutional document. There are also other federal constitutional laws and constitutional provisions in various simple laws.

The hyphenated spelling distinguishes the Federal Constitutional Law from other federal constitutional laws.


First republic

Federal Constitutional Law 1920

Federal Law Gazette of 10 November 1920, p. 1.
Facsimile of the originally announced B-VG from 1920 with enlarged signatures, shown in the exhibition “90 Years of the Federal Constitution”.

The B-VG was passed on October 1, 1920 by the Constituent National Assembly as a law of October 1, 1920, which establishes the Republic of Austria as a federal state (Federal Constitutional Law) . After almost two years it replaced a constitutional provisional arrangement that had been set up by the Provisional National Assembly after the end of the First World War . However, no agreement could be reached on important parts of the formal constitutional law. This original version did not contain any regulations on the distribution of competencies between the federal and state governments, on the financial constitution or on fundamental rights. The content of the first version was strongly influenced by its author Hans Kelsen , while important contributions came from Karl Renner , Michael Mayr and other politicians.

While the financial constitution and the related distribution of competences between the federal government and the federal states were regulated in the Financial Constitutional Act in 1922, agreement on the general distribution of competencies was not reached until 1925. This was re-regulated as part of the first major amendment to the B-VG.

Federal Constitutional Law 1929

In 1929 the second major amendment was carried out, which in particular expanded the power of the Federal President and introduced the election of this office by the people. The B-VG was then re-announced under the title Federal Constitutional Law in the version of 1929 .

Constitutional breach by the 1934 constitution

During the period of Austrofascism , a separate constitution was enacted on April 24, 1934. The May constitution of 1934 was issued twice. On April 24, 1934, the May Constitution was passed in the form of an ordinance in accordance with the War Economic Enabling Act , which was undoubtedly a breach of the constitution. To conceal this breach of legal continuity, Parliament was convened on April 30, 1934 to “sanction” the May constitution . However, neither the attendance quorum was met, nor was the mandatory referendum held due to the general amendment to the federal constitution, so that the breach of the constitution could not be cured.

The B-VG formally ceased to be in force with Art. III § 56 Constitutional Transitional Act 1934 , the date generally set as July 1, 1934, " to accept the derogation of the B-VG as early as May 1, 1934 does not appear to be excluded".

Second republic

Constitutional Transitional Acts 1945

Before the end of the Second World War in Austria, a declaration of independence was published on April 27, 1945 by three parties ( SPÖ , ÖVP and KPÖ ). According to this, the Republic of Austria is to be restored in accordance with the constitution of 1920. A few days later, on May 1, 1945, the Constitutional Transition Act was passed, which put the B-VG and other laws in the version from before the corporate state, including the changes from 1929 into force again. The provisional constitution itself was published on the same day with the StGBl. No. 5/1945 published. With the decision of the National Council of December 19, 1945 (2nd V-ÜG), the B-VG is deemed to have come into full force again.

Federal constitutional amendment 1994

On June 12, 1994, the federal people approved the amendment to the B-VG in a referendum. According to the prevailing view, this was an overall amendment to the Federal Constitution , which is why the referendum was mandatory. As part of the necessary amendment, which enabled Austria to join the European Union , the title of the B-VG was set to the Federal Constitutional Act (B-VG), which is still in force today, and the wording "in the version from 1929" was shortened.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Law by which the Republic of Austria is established as a federal state (Federal Constitutional Law). StGBl. No. 450/1920 , ris ( Webrepro , ONB , Wikipedia Commons )
  2. a b Ordinance of the Federal Chancellor of January 1, 1930, regarding the republication of the Federal Constitutional Law. Master version of Federal Law Gazette No. 1/1930 , ris (link to Webrepro, ONB)
  3. a b According to Art. III Para. 2 u. 3 Constitutional Law of December 13, 1945, whereby constitutional orders are made on the occasion of the meeting of the National Council and the Landtag (2nd Constitutional Transition Law 1945). StGBl. No. 232/1945
  4. a b Federal Constitutional Amendment 1994 - B-VGN 1994, Federal Law Gazette No. 1013/1994
  5. ^ Announcement of the Federal Government of May 1, 1934, with which the 1934 Constitution is promulgated. BGBl. II No. 1/1934 , ris
  6. Helmut Wohnout: Political-legal controversies about the 1934 constitution in authoritarian Austria. In: Erika Weinzierl (ed.): Justice and contemporary history. Contributions to the symposium 1976–1993. Volume 2, Jugend & Volk, Vienna 1995, ISBN 3-224-12999-9 , p. 833ff.
  7. Federal Constitutional Act of June 19, 1934, regarding the transition to the Estates constitution (Constitutional Transition Act 1934). BGBl. II No. 75/1934 , ris
  8. a b Comments from the Federal Chancellery ( Note on Section 0 B-VG)
  9. StGBl. No. 4/1945 : Constitutional Act of May 1, 1945 on the renewed entry into force of the Federal Constitutional Act in the version of 1929 (Constitutional Transition Act - V-ÜG).
  10. ^ Constitutional Act of May 1, 1945 on the provisional establishment of the Republic of Austria (provisional constitution).