Tasks

In pursuing its various tasks, the Legal and Constitutional Service is essentially engaged in the preparation of legal texts and acts as legal expert and counsel:

Preparation of legal texts

The Legal and Constitutional Service prepares Austrian laws in numerous important areas, in particular federal constitutional law and administrative procedural law. Moreover, the Legal and Constitutional Service is in charge of preparing the Federal Ministries Act as well as legislative texts in the fields of data protection, media, public procurement, funding of political parties and ethnic groups.

In all these areas, the Legal and Constitutional Service drafts bills for the Austrian Chancellor, which – in general after having been subject to a public consultation – are subsequently adopted by the Federal Government as government act and submitted to Parliament. In these areas, the Legal and Constitutional Service also represents the Republic of Austria in bodies of European and international organisations.

Legal expert at the federal level

The Legal and Constitutional Service acts as legal expert and advisor in various fields. All bills and drafts for regulations from other ministries are reviewed with regard to their compatibility with Austrian constitutional law, including fundamental rights.

In addition, the Legal and Constitutional Service supervises general legislative questions. In this regard it scrutinizes the legal language, legal technique and formal set-up of laws to ensure a uniform legislation. It also reviews legal acts of the regions (Laender) and resolutions by the regional parliaments.

Moreover, all public authorities may request expert opinions of the Legal and Constitutional Service on constitutional issues and other legal questions concerning the activities of the Legal and Constitutional Service.

Counsel for the Republic

The Legal and Constitutional Service represents the Federal Government before the Austrian Constitutional Court. It represents the Republic of Austria in proceedings before the European Commission, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and together with the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Other activities

The tasks of the Legal and Constitutional Service also include the publication and administration of the Federal Law Gazette and the electronic Legal Information System (Rechtsinformationssystem;RIS) which provides free access to the federal, regional and local law as well as selected judgments and decisions.

The Legal and Constitutional Service is also responsible for coordinating federal and regional relations. Some divisions of the Legal and Constitutional Service also have executive functions, including activities such as the administration of the funding of political parties, their academies and of ethnic groups.