Special Courts

Austria Table of Contents

Cases outside the jurisdiction of these courts are heard in special courts. For example, labor courts decide civil cases concerning employment. Employers and employees are represented in labor court hearings. Cases involving the Stock and Commodity Exchange and the Exchange for Agricultural Products are decided by the Court of Arbitration, which is composed of members of the exchanges. Social insurance cases are heard by the provincial commissions for social insurance. The Patent Court decides appeals of patent cases.

The People's Attorney

The Office of the People's Attorney, which was created in 1977 and granted constitutional recognition in 1981, functions in a manner similar to an ombudsman's office. It is designed to assist citizens who believe that they have been improperly treated by government administration. The office can also initiate its own investigations if it suspects that particular government offices are engaged in corruption or fraud. After concluding its investigations, the office has the authority to issue binding recommendations to government offices to rectify abuses.

Legal Training

Attaining the title of attorney-at-law requires eleven years of training. Four years of this period consist of prescribed studies in law and political science at a university. On completion of a doctoral program, the candidate undergoes a seven-year apprenticeship, during which one year must be spent in a civil or criminal court and three years in an attorney's office. Finally, it is necessary to pass the bar examination.

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Source: U.S. Library of Congress