Austrian Rechtsinformationssystem

Austrian Rechtsinformationssystem

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The Rechtsinformationssystem (RIS) - http://www.ris.bka.gv.at/ - is a free public database of all legislation published in the Austrian federal law gazette (Bundesgesetzblatt), as well as general information on Austrian law. It is managed by the Austrian Federal Chancellery.

RIS covers the following subjects [though in N-Lex you can only view the material under “Bundesrecht konsolidiert" (Consolidated federal law) and "Bundesgesetzblatt authentisch ab 2004“ (Federal law gazette - official version, since 2004)]:

Bundesgesetzblatt authentisch ab 2004 (Federal law gazette - official version, since 2004) – available from N-Lex

Contains constitutional laws (Bundesverfassungsgesetze), federal laws (Bundesgesetze), Regulations (Verordnungen), Notices (Kundmachungen) and State Treaties (Staatsverträge). These legal acts are passed either by the Austrian Parliament [comprising the upper (Bundesrat) and lower house (Nationalrat)] or by means of a Regulation/Notice from the federal government or a federal government minister.

Since 2004, the legally binding version of the federal law gazette is published only in the RIS. Only signed versions are legally binding – to view one, click

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RIS also contains non-legally binding versions of documents from 1945 to 2003, and links to the Austrian national library database of gazettes (1780 - 1940).

Bundesrecht konsolidiert (Consolidated federal law) – available from N-Lex

Database of all federal Austrian law, in consolidated form (= the original act, with all subsequent amendments, as a single, non-legally binding text). These documents are for information purposes only and have no legal force.

Begutachtungsentwürfe (Ministerial bills) and Regierungsvorlagen (Government bills – since 2004)

Begutachtungsentwürfe are draft legislative acts drawn up by a ministry, which can be commented on, within a certain time period, by other ministries, experts or interest groups.

Regierungsvorlagen are draft government acts that have been unanimously adopted by the Austrian Council of Ministers (Ministerrat) and sent to Parliament for adoption.

Landesrecht in konsolidierter Fassung (Provincial law, consolidated)

The RIS website includes a database of consolidated legal acts from the 9 Austrian Länder or provinces (Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Upper Austria, Vienna and Vorarlberg). The database was developed in cooperation with the provincial government offices.

Provincial law is passed by the provincial assembly (Landtag) - or by a Regulation (Verordnung) from the provincial governor (Landeshauptmann) or provincial government (Landesregierung) - and is legally binding only in that province.

Landesgesetzblätter (Provincial law gazettes)

Burgenland (since 2000), Carinthia (since 2000), Upper Austria (since 1947), Salzburg (since 2001), Styria (since 1989), Tyrol (since 1995) and Vorarlberg (since 2001).

Provincial law gazettes contain provincial constitutional laws (Landesverfassungsgesetze), provincial laws (Landesgesetze), Regulations (Verordnungen), Notices (Kundmachungen) and State Treaties (Staatsverträge).

For the Vienna gazette (since 1955), click the link for the Vienna city council (Magistrat der Stadt Wien).

For archived provincial law gazettes, click the link to the Austrian National Library.

Gemeinderecht (municipal law)

Selected laws from the provinces of Carinthia, Lower Austria, Salzburg, Styria and Vienna.

Municipal law is passed under responsibilities delegated to the municipalities (Gemeinden) by the Austrian constitution.

Judikaturdokumentation (case law)

Decisions by the following courts or boards:

  • Constitutional court (Verfassungsgerichtshof - VfGH) - From 1980 on. New decisions are usually available within a week of being handed down.
  • Administrative Court (Verwaltungsgerichtshof - VwGH) - From 1990 on.
  • Justice - Mainly decisions by the final court of appeal in civilian and criminal matters, by the supreme court (Oberster Gerichtshof). Also – selected decisions by lower courts (district, provincial and higher provincial courts – Bezirksgerichte, Landesgerichte and Oberlandesgerichte). And selected decisions by foreign courts.
  • Decisions by independent tribunals and boards - The 9 independent administrative tribunals (Unabhängige Verwaltungssenate), the Independent Federal Asylum Review Board (Unabhängiger Bundesasylsenat), the Environmental Tribunal (Umweltsenat), the Federal Communications Board (Bundeskommunikationssenat), the public procurement authorities (Federal Public Procurement Office (Bundesvergabeamt), Federal Control Commission (Bundes-Vergabekontrollkommission) and the Salzburg and Vienna Procurement Agencies (Vergabekontrollsenate)), the Appeals Board (Berufungskommission), the Supreme Disciplinary Commission (Disziplinaroberkommission), the Data Protection Commission (Datenschutzkommission), and the Supervisory Tribunal for Employee Representation (Personalvertretungs-Aufsichtskommission). There is also a link to decisions by the independent tax board (Unabhängiger Finanzsenat, UFS).

Erlässe  (Decrees by Federal Ministries and the Ministry of Justice - BMJ)

Selected decrees. Decrees are administrative legal provisions through which ministries give instructions on how laws are to be implemented.

Austrian Laws

Selected Austrian laws – in English.