Administrative Court (Austria)

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AustriaAustria Administrative
Court - VwGH -p1
State level Federation
position the highest court responsible for administrative jurisdiction
Headquarters Vienna
president Rudolf Thienel
Employee 68 judges
Budget volume EUR 22 million (2020)
The administrative court in the former Bohemian court chancellery at Judenplatz 11 in Vienna
Trial room of the Administrative Court

The Administrative Court (VwGH) is the highest court responsible for administrative jurisdiction in Austria . It is one of the three highest courts in Austria alongside the Constitutional Court (VfGH) and the Supreme Court (OGH) .

External organization

The external organization of the Administrative Court is regulated by Art. 134 B-VG and the Administrative Court Act 1985 . The administrative court consists of a president, a vice-president and other judges. The judges of the Administrative Court are appointed by the Federal President on the proposal of the Federal Government. As far as the position of the President or the Vice-President of the Administrative Court is not concerned, the Federal Government for its part is bound by the three proposals of the General Assembly of the Administrative Court. The professional requirements for the office of judge at the Administrative Court are the completion of the law studies and at least ten years of practical experience in a legal profession. According to their professional background, the members of the Administrative Court usually come from ordinary jurisdiction (civil and criminal courts), from general federal and state administration, from financial administration and the legal profession. The judges are - like the judges of ordinary jurisdiction - independent, irrevocable and irrevocable. They retire at the end of the year in which they turn 65.

The Administrative Court currently consists of President Rudolf Thienel , Vice President Anna Sporrer , 13 Senate Presidents and 53 Councilors.

The administrative court has its seat in Vienna in the former building of the Bohemian court chancellery , 1. , Judenplatz 11. Up until 2012 the constitutional court was also housed here.


According to Art. 133 B-VG, the Administrative Court decides on:

The most important responsibility of the Administrative Court is its decision on revisions. Revision can raise:

  • any person who claims his rights have been violated by the knowledge or the decision
  • the administrative authority concerned in the proceedings before the administrative court
  • the competent federal minister in certain matters in which the states enforce federal law
  • other persons and institutions in cases in which this is provided for by law (Art. 133 para. 8 B-VG).

The precondition for the admissibility of an appeal is according to Art. 133 Para. 4 and 9 B-VG:

(4) An appeal against a decision of the administrative court is permissible if it depends on the solution of a legal question which is of fundamental importance, in particular because the decision deviates from the case law of the Administrative Court, there is no such case law or the legal question to be solved in the previous one Case law of the Administrative Court is not answered uniformly. If the subject of the finding is only a small fine, federal law can stipulate that the revision is inadmissible.


(9) The provisions of this article applicable to their knowledge shall apply mutatis mutandis to the decisions of the administrative courts. The extent to which an appeal can be made against decisions of the administrative courts is determined by the special federal law regulating the organization and procedure of the administrative court.

According to Section 25a (1) VwGG , the administrative court has to decide whether the appeal is admissible in its decision or decision. If the administrative court affirms the admissibility of the appeal, an ordinary appeal can be filed. If the administrative court denies the admissibility of the appeal, an extraordinary appeal can be raised. In the context of the extraordinary revision, it must be explained in accordance with Section 28 (3) VwGG why the revision is permissible in deviation from the opinion of the administrative court.

Legal remedies to the Administrative Court are subject to lawyers' obligations in accordance with Section 24 (2) VwGG . In other words, appeals must be drawn up by an authorized lawyer and not just - as in the past - signed. In certain cases, representation by a tax advisor or auditor can also be considered. Needy persons under the legal aid are entitled to free representation by a lawyer.

The procedure before the Administrative Court is regulated in more detail in the Administrative Court Act 1985 (VwGG) and in the rules of procedure of the Administrative Court. The General Administrative Procedure Act 1991 (AVG) applies as a subsidiary (alternative).

The administrative court always decides in senates:

  • Senates that consist of 5 members (five-man Senates) are the rule here. They are responsible unless the triple senate or a reinforced senate is expressly responsible.
  • Tripartite Senates are mainly formed to make decisions in administrative criminal matters and for formal decisions.
  • On the other hand, reinforced senates (9 members) are responsible if the previous case law is abandoned or if the legal question to be resolved has not been answered uniformly in the previous case law.


The administrative court was first provided for in the constitution in the December constitution of 1867. In concrete terms, its establishment was only determined by the law of October 22, 1875, promulgated on April 2, 1876 , introduced in the Reichsrat by the cabinet (in office since 1871) under Prince Adolf von Auersperg and the minister without portfolio Joseph Unger . In the same year, another law and two ordinances issued by the entire ministry regulated the procedure in the event of conflicts of competency, the rules of procedure and personnel matters. On July 2, 1876, the Administrative Court began its work. Originally it consisted of 12 members. In the first year he had to deal with 271 complaints.

The principles of administrative jurisdiction have remained essentially the same since 1876. The desire for administrative court sub-instances, expressed since 1876, was only fulfilled by the constitutional legislature in 2012 with the beginning of 2014. At the end of the monarchy in 1918, the Administrative Court consisted of 49 members, to whom around 10,000 complaints were brought up each year.

The Provisional National Assembly for German Austria decided on 6 February 1919, the law on the establishment of a German Austrian Administrative Court . According to the law, the Executive Committee of Parliament, the Council of State (abolished on March 15, 1919) , had to appoint the judges. The last President of the Imperial Court for the kingdoms and states represented in the Imperial Council , Karl Grabmayr , was appointed President of the Republican Administrative Court.

In 1934, the Administrative Court of which was the corporate state dictatorship with the Constitutional Court to Federal Court unites. Since constitutional jurisdiction - in contrast to administrative jurisdiction - was abolished during the National Socialist period, it was renamed the Administrative Court in 1940, and in 1941 it merged with the Prussian Higher Administrative Court to form the Reich Administrative Court (RVG). After the end of the Nazi regime, the Administrative Court resumed its work in December 1945.

With the 2012 amendment to administrative jurisdiction , which came into force on January 1, 2014, the competences of the Administrative Court were comprehensively changed. While before January 1, 2014 the Administrative Court was responsible for deciding on complaints against notices from the administrative authorities responsible in the last instance, the administrative courts ( regional administrative courts , Federal Administrative Court , Federal Finance Court ) now decide on such complaints ( notification complaints ). From now on, the Administrative Court can concentrate on its jurisdiction as a review body. In this context it should be noted that although the Administrative Court was traditionally the only administrative court in Austria, there were other institutions with the independent administrative senates and the collegial authorities with judicial influence that exercised administrative jurisdiction in the broader sense. These institutions were usually tribunals (i.e. courts ) within the meaning of the European Convention on Human Rights , but not courts in the sense of constitutional law (i.e. within the meaning of the Federal Constitutional Law ). In 2008 a second administrative court was created for the first time with the Asylum Court ; this came up in the context of the 2012 amendment to the administrative jurisdiction in the Federal Administrative Court .

President of the Administrative Court

Since its establishment, the Administrative Court has had a president who is currently appointed by the Federal President on the proposal of the Federal Government in accordance with Art. 134 Para. 4 B-VG . Unlike the other judges of the VwGH, the Federal Government is not bound by a three-way proposal by the Court of Justice for the appointment of the President and Vice-President. Since the Administrative Court of the Republic of Austria did not exist between 1934 and 1945 (first replaced by the state federal court and then converted into a Reich German administrative court), the presidents of its successor courts were not included in the list of presidents of the administrative court during this period.

Surname Appointment as president Resign from office Remarks
Carl von Stachlin   1876   1881  
Richard Belcredi   1881   1895  
Friedrich Schönborn   1895   1907  
Olivier Bacquehem   1908   1917  
Erwin von Schwartzenau   1917   1919  
Karl Grabmayr   1919   1921  
Max Schuster   1921   1929  
Hans Hiller-Schönaich   1930   1931  
Wenzel Kamitz   1931   1934  
Emmerich Coreth   1945   1947  
Josef Schluesselberger   1947   1950  
Paul Heiterer-Schaller   1951   1955  
Friedrich Eichler   1956   1956  
Anton Pilat   1957   1961  
Josef Guggenbichler   1962   1967  
Franz Dietmann   1968   1969  
Oskar Donner   1970   1971  
Sergius Borotha   1972   1972  
Edwin Loebenstein   1973   1979  
Walter Rath   1980   1983  
Hubert Raschauer   1984   1984  
Viktor Heller   1984   1987  
Ingrid Petrik   1988   1991  
Alfred Kobzina   1991   1993  
Clemens Jabloner   1993   2013  
Rudolf Thienel   2014    


  • Dieter Altenburger, Benjamin Kneihs, with the assistance of Christoph Urtz: Briefs to VwG, VfGH and VwGH (as of 2018). 6th, revised edition. LexisNexis ARD Orac Vienna 2015, ISBN 978-3-7007-6825-8 .
  • Friedrich Dolp (Ed.): The administrative courts. Applicable legal bases on the establishment, scope of duties and procedures of the Administrative Court as of December 1, 1986 (= hand edition of Austrian laws and ordinances. Group 3: Administrative law excluding financial law. NF Vol. 15, ZDB -ID 574379-5 ). Verlag der Österreichischen Staatsdruckerei, Vienna 1987.
  • Rudolf Machacek (Ed.): Proceedings before the Constitutional Court and before the Administrative Court. Practical guide with explanations also on UVS and ECHR complaints and on the Asylum Court. 6th, completely revised edition. Manz, Vienna 2008, ISBN 978-3-214-06194-4 .
  • Heinz Mayer / Gerhard Muzak: B-VG- Federal Constitutional Law. Short comment. = B-VG. 5th edition. Manz, Vienna 2015, ISBN 978-3-214-15033-4 .
  • Peter Oberndorfer : The Austrian administrative jurisdiction. A floor plan for study and practice. With the legal provisions relating to administrative jurisdiction and sample briefs in the appendix. Trauner, Linz 1985, ISBN 3-85320-297-7 .
  • Thomas Olechowski : The Austrian administrative court. History of administrative jurisdiction in Austria - the palace of the former Bohemian-Austrian court chancellery. (125 years VwGH (1876-2001)). Verlag Österreich, Vienna 2001, ISBN 3-7046-1689-3 , pp. 79–113.

Web links

Commons : Administrative Court  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Administrative Court : Die Richter , accessed on March 16, 2014
  2. Federal Finance Act 2020. (PDF) Federal Ministry of Finance, accessed on June 21, 2020 (page 550).
  3. RGBl. No. 36/1876 (= p. 85)
  4. RGBl. No. 37, 94 and 95/1876
  5. ^ History of the VwGH from 1876 to 1918 ( Memento from January 3, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  6. StGBl. No. 88/1919 (= p. 152)