Criminal Code (Austria)

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Basic data
Title: criminal code
Long title: Federal law of
23 January 1974 on acts threatened
with judicial punishment
Abbreviation: StGB
Type: Federal law
Scope: Republic of Austria
Legal matter: Criminal law
Reference: BGBl. No. 60/1974
Date of law: January 23, 1974
Effective date: January 1, 1975
Last change: Federal Law Gazette I No. 111/2019
Please note the note on the applicable legal version !

The Austrian Criminal Code (abbreviation StGB , if differentiated also ÖStGB ) regulates the fundamental matters of Austrian criminal law .


  • In 1499, the Tyrolean Prince Archduke Maximilian introduced the Maximilian Neck Court Code , also known as the Tyrolean Malefic Code . It was the first codified criminal law in the German-speaking area. As a preliminary form of a state order, the maleficence order was then printed together with other police and civil law regulations and various state parliament farewells in 1500 and again in 1506 as a law and ordinances of the inconsistent Malefitz rights and other necessary acts of the land of gray create Tyroll . Subsequently, the criminal law provisions were incorporated into the regional ordinances of 1526, 1532 and 1573. In addition to the latter, a separate Tyrolean police order was also issued for the first time . Both were reprinted in 1603. Later attempts at reform never came to a conclusion until the Enlightenment. The territorial validity did not, however, extend to the areas of Rattenberg, Kitzbühel and Kufstein ceded by Bavaria in 1505, in which Bavarian land law continued to apply, as well as the regional courts of Nonsberg, Kaltern (introduced in 1681) and the "Welschen Konfinen".
  • The regional court order for Austria under the Enns , passed in 1514, primarily sets out the previously disputed jurisdiction powers of the individual estates and contains above all formal and barely substantive criminal law. It was then changed by small details in the sovereign solo and announced again in 1540.
    • In 1656 a new regional court order for Austria under the Enns was issued, commonly referred to as Ferdinandea . It was based on parts of work on a “state order” by the four doctors who were employed by the state, Johann Baptist Suttinger, Johann Michael von Seiz, Johann Georg Hartmann and Johann Leopold. It was based strongly on the Constitutio Criminalis Carolina and was relatively comprehensive. Since it was the only one that largely encompassed the entire criminal law, it long became the guiding order of the Austrian states and Charles VI. instructed the federal states in 1721 to use them on a subsidiary basis. But even she determined that "For the sake of those vice, so we in this our district court order, not named or raised, it should remain with the ordinance of the common rights". In terms of content, it consisted of two parts, a formal and a material criminal law.
  • In 1535 the district court order for Carniola (now Slovenia) was issued.
  • In 1559 the regional court order for Austria ob der Enns was enacted, which was based on a draft that had been drawn up by the estates for some time. In terms of content, it was based on the one hand on the regional court order for Austria under the Enns of 1540 and the Carolina , on the other hand it also contained a number of police regulations. Apart from minor changes, it was reprinted verbatim in 1627. The sovereign had only added a sovereign right to make changes. In 1675 a new regional court order for Austria ob der Enns was enacted, the Leopoldina .
  • In Styria several drafts failed under Ferdinand I. It was not until Karl II. In 1574 that the first district court order was enacted, which, however, lasted for a long time. Similarities or takeovers exist to the regional court order for Austria ob der Enns from 1559.
  • In 1577 the regional court order for Carinthia was finally enacted. It also has similarities or adoptions to the regional court code for Austria ob der Enns from 1559.

All orders this time in common is that - as in the entire Roman Empire of the German Nation - subsidiary which in 1530 adopted and ratified in 1532 Constitutio Criminalis Carolina (CCC), or the common (criminal) law came (by virtue of interpretation or particular arrangement) are used. This applied to all cases in which the domestic regulations did not contain any regulations. In today's legal historical literature, the local early modern maleficent orders are often overlooked (e.g. Helga Schnabel-Schüle , Germany) or only mentioned in a subordinate clause and the Austrian criminal law is outlined on the basis of the Carolina up to the adoption of the Theresiana and used as a matrix for changes or Analyze continuities in Austrian criminal law.

The subsidiarity of the Carolina and the Leopoldina ended with the standardization of criminal procedural law and substantive criminal law in the Austrian states by the Constitutio Criminalis Theresiana (CCT) from 1768, which, however, was already considered out of date when it came into force therefore in 1787 it was replaced by the new Josefin Penal Code ( Josephina ), which among other things was characterized by the almost complete abolition of the death penalty . As early as 1795, however, the death penalty was reintroduced - as a result of the political developments of that time - and was also included in the Criminal Law 1803 (StG 1803), which was by the way a highly modern code of law at the time. This was followed by a legislative standstill: the Criminal Law 1852 (StG 1852) was not a new codification, but merely a renewed promulgation of the law of 1803, incorporating all additions and amendments that have since been made and omitting the procedural part. Numerous efforts to recodify failed. In 1945, the criminal law of 1852 was announced again (StG 1945). In 1971, the “Small Penal Law Reform ” ( Federal Law Gazette No. 273/1971 , Penal Law Amendment Act 1971) brought about significant changes to individual laws. For example, the criminal liability of marital disorder, insulting official honor and acts of the same sex between adults (with the simultaneous introduction of four new offenses) has been abolished.

In the 1970s, the long-time Minister of Justice Christian Broda succeeded in the “major criminal law reform” with complete new codification. This was done for years by a criminal law commission (members included Franz Bulla , Franz Douda, Otto Estl, Roland Graßberger , Hans Gürtler, Franz Handler, Max Horrow, Hans Kapfer , Paul Hausner, Ferdinand Kadecka, Wilhelm Malaniuk , Friedrich Nowakowski , Franz Pallin, Theodor Rittler , Eugen Serini, Rudolf Skrein and Franz Zamponi ), which was extensively discussed, met with general approval for the most part; only because of the time limit contained in the StGB, the National Council only approved it with the votes of the SPÖ (which at that time had an absolute majority ) on November 29, 1973 and, after the Federal Council had raised an objection, again on January 23, 1974 ( persistent resolution ) decided. It came into force on January 1, 1975. It has been amended several times since then.

In February 2013, a reform group consisting of 18 experts met for the first time to jointly develop a modernized StGB 2015 . In particular, the often criticized ratio of penalties between property crimes and crimes against life and limb should be improved. The commercialism standardized in Section 70 of the Criminal Code was also up for debate. Various reform proposals were worked out in 15 meetings: It was recommended, among other things, to increase the value limits, to define commercial activity more closely, not to limit dangerous threats to individual legal interests and to change the penalties for crimes of bodily harm. The changes recommended by the expert group were then largely incorporated into the 2015 criminal law reform, the largest change to the penal code since the major criminal law reform of 1975. In addition to the above-mentioned adjustments to the value limits, this provided general changes to the penalties in order to adjust the weighting of the same: Violent crimes should be punished much more severely than (mere) property crimes. The 2015 criminal law reform was passed by the National Council on July 7, 2015 as part of the 2015 Criminal Law Amendment Act and came into force on January 1, 2016.


The Criminal Code is divided into two main parts. A distinction is made between the general part (§§ 1–74) and the special part (§§ 75–321k). The general part is further subdivided into AT I (§§ 1–16) and AT II (§§ 17–74). In the special part one speaks of BT I (§§ 75–169) and BT II (§§ 169–321k). In some cases, the special part is also divided into three parts, with the property offenses then forming the BT II .

General part I.

The General Part I (AT I) deals with the theory of the crime. It contains the legal consequence requirements such as

General part II

The General Part II ( AT II ) deals with the study of the consequences of the offense:

  • Penalties - Sections 18–19a,
  • Skimming off enrichment - Sections 20–20c,
  • Preventive measures - §§ 21-25,
  • Assessment of penalty - Sections 32–41a,
  • Conditional forbearance and discharge - Sections 43–47,
  • Trial period - §§ 48 ff.,
  • Limitation - §§ 57-60,
  • the scope of the StGB - §§ 61–67
  • and definitions - §§ 68–74.

special part

The individual offenses are standardized in the special section ( BT ). The offenses are classified according to the legal interest that is protected by the respective offense. They are summarized in the following sections:

  1. Offenses against life and limb
  2. Termination of pregnancy
  3. Offenses against freedom
  4. Offenses against honor
  5. Violations of privacy and certain professional secrets
  6. Offenses against the assets of others
  7. Offenses that are dangerous to the public and offenses against the environment
  8. Offenses against religious peace and the rest of the dead
  9. Offenses against marriage and family
  10. Offenses against sexual integrity and self-determination
  11. animal cruelty
  12. Offenses against the reliability of documents and evidence
  13. Offenses against the security of the flow of money, securities, stamps and non-cash means of payment
  14. Treason and other attacks against the state
  15. Attacks on the highest state organs
  16. Treason
  17. Offenses against the armed forces
  18. Offenses against elections and referendums
  19. Offenses against state authority
  20. Offenses against public peace
  21. Offenses against the administration of justice
  22. Criminal violations of official duties, corruption and related criminal acts
  23. Presumption of office and fraudulent activity
  24. Disturbance of relations with foreign countries
  25. Genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes

Ancillary criminal law

As in many other states, numerous offenses are not recorded directly in the StGB, but in various subsidiary laws. In Austria, these provisions are collectively referred to as ancillary criminal law . Important ancillary criminal laws are:

In addition, there are also criminal provisions in some other laws, such as the Copyright Act (UrhRG).

A peculiarity of the Austrian criminal law is the relatively large discretion in the assessment of sentences. For example, the range of punishment for murder ( Section 75 ) ranges from ten years to life imprisonment, but can be reduced to up to one year imprisonment if the mitigating reasons predominate ( Section 41, Paragraph 1, Item 1). This leeway exists because in the Austrian Criminal Code the principle of the unified offender applies ( Section 12 ) and - as in Germany, for example - there are no detailed regulations on perpetration and participation in a crime.

See also


  • Helmut Fuchs: Austrian criminal law. General part I. 7th edition. Springer, Vienna / New York 2008, ISBN 978-3-211-74422-2 .
  • Stefan Seiler: Criminal Law General Part I, Fundamentals and teaching of the criminal offense. 2nd Edition. facultas.wuv, Vienna 2011, ISBN 978-3-7089-0758-1 .
  • Stefan Seiler: Criminal Law General Part II, Penalties and Measures. 5th edition. Verlag Österreich, Vienna 2012, ISBN 978-3-7046-5761-9 .
  • Neumair / Wilke: Criminal Law General Part II. 8th edition. Lexis Nexis ARD ORAC Verlag, Vienna 2013, ISBN 978-3-7007-5584-5 .
  • Christian Bertel, Klaus Schwaighofer : Austrian criminal law. Special Part I (§ 75 to 168b StGB). 10th edition. Springer, Vienna / New York 2008, ISBN 978-3-211-74135-1 .
  • Christian Bertel, Klaus Schwaighofer: Austrian criminal law. Special Part II (§§ 169 to 321 StGB). 8th edition. Springer, Vienna / New York 2008, ISBN 978-3-211-09466-2 .
  • Diethelm Kienapfel , Frank Höpfel : Outline of the Austrian criminal law. 13th edition. Manz, Vienna 2009, ISBN 978-3-214-12190-7 .
  • Diethelm Kienapfel, Hans Valentin Schroll: Study book criminal law. Special part. Volume I: Offenses against personal values. 5th edition. Manz, Vienna 2003, ISBN 3-214-10565-5 .
  • Diethelm Kienapfel, Kurt Schmoller : Study book criminal law. Special part. Volume II. Offenses Against Assets. 1st edition. Manz, Vienna 2003, ISBN 3-214-10570-1 .
  • Diethelm Kienapfel, Kurt Schmoller: Study book criminal law. Special part. Volume III. Offenses against other individual and community values. 1st edition. Manz, Vienna 2005, ISBN 3-214-14962-8 .
  • Michael Beyrer, et al .: Criminal Code - Police Edition. ProLibris-Verl., Linz 2015, ISBN 978-3-99008-465-6 .

Web links

Wikisource: Historical Criminal Codes  - Sources and Full Texts

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h Josef Pauser: Princely Legislation (Policey, Maleficent and State Regulations) . In: Josef Pauser, Martin Scheutz, Thomas Winkelbauer (eds.): Source studies of the Habsburg Monarchy (16th – 18th centuries) . An exemplary manual (=  communications from the Institute for Austrian Historical Research ). tape 44 . Oldenburg, Vienna 2004, ISBN 3-7029-0477-8 , p. 216–229 ( special print by Josef Pauser [PDF; 413 kB ; accessed on September 10, 2013]).
  2. a b Andrea Griesebner: Competing truths . Maleficent trials before the district court Perchtoldsdorf in the 18th century (= early modern  studies . Volume 3 ). Böhlau Verlag, Vienna 2000, ISBN 3-205-99296-2 , III. The criminal law, p. 47–48, 53 ( limited preview in Google Book Search [accessed September 10, 2013]).
  3. RGBl. No. 117/1852
  4. ^ Announcement of the State Office for Justice of November 3, 1945 on the republication of the Austrian Criminal Law (Austrian Criminal Law 1945, A. Coll. No. 2)
  5. StGB started in 2015! 2013, accessed July 4, 2013 .
  6. Working group “StGB 2015”: StGB 2015 report of the working group. (PDF) 2014, accessed on November 13, 2014 .
  7. Press service of the Parliamentary Directorate: National Council adopts criminal law reform. APA-OTS , July 7, 2015, accessed February 24, 2017 .