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Constitutional Service

General information on the Constitutional Service and its wide array of duties

Organisation

The Constitutional Service is a Directorate General in the Federal Chancellery. Its inner organisation reflects the duties of the Federal Ministries, the Federal State’s relation to the Länder, as well as the relations between Austria and the European Union.

Duties

Legislator

The Constitutional Service is in charge of drafting legislative acts in many important areas, especially in Federal constitutional law and administrative procedural law. Furthermore, the Constitutional Service is responsible for preparing the Federal Ministries Act (Bundesministeriengesetz).

By order of the Federal Minister of Constitutional Affairs, Reforms, Deregulation and Justice the Constitutional Service drafts legislative drafts in all of the aforementioned areas, which then are subject to a public review procedure. Subsequently, they are resolved as a government bill and communicated to the parliament. As far as these legal areas are concerned, the Constitutional Service also represents the Republic of Austria in bodies of European and international organisations.

Legal Expert for the Federal State

The Constitutional Service exercises extensive review activities, such as the verification whether all legislative and regulative drafts from all ministries are in compliance with constitutional law and fundamental rights.

Concurrently, the Constitutional Service evaluates legislative issues such as legal terminology, legal technique, and formal structure in order to maintain a uniform legislation. Legislative drafts and government bills of the Länder are examined in the same manner.

Furthermore, all public offices may request expert opinions from the Constitutional Service as far as constitutional questions and other issues within its competence are concerned.

Counsel of the Republic

The Constitutional Service represents the Federal Government in proceedings before the Austrian Constitutional Court. It also represents Austria in proceedings before the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and together with the Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Furthermore, the Constitutional Service is responsible for the coordination of the relationship between the Federal State and the Länder.

More information in German

Verfassungsdienst

Advice

Parts of the constitutional service, previously belonging to the  Federal Ministry of Constitutional Affairs, Reforms, Deregulation and Justice, is taken over by the Federal Chancellery on 29 January 2020.

Legal basis for the change of responsibilities is the “Amended Ministerial Law (in German: Bundesministeriengesetz) 1986”, amended Act “Bundesministeriengesetz-Novelle 2020”, BGBl. I Nr. 8/2020.