Dispute 22. March 2020

Austria: COVID-19 and its impact on Court Proceedings (3/3)

22. March 2020
Mag. Martin Mutz, LL.M.
act legal Austria

3. Criminal Court Proceedings

Special provisions are also made in criminal matters. The Federal Minister of Justice may order the jurisdiction of another prison for the duration of measures taken to prevent the dissemination of COVID-19.

In addition, the Federal Minister of Justice is authorised to order an uninterrupted interruption of the time limits for the maximum duration of preliminary proceedings (section 108a of the Code of Criminal Procedure), the two-month time limit for the retrial of an interrupted trial (section 276a of the Code of Criminal Procedure) and the time limits for the filing and execution of appeals (section 88(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure). 1, § 106, Sub-Clause 3, § 108a, § 284, Sub-Clause 1 and 2, § 285, Sub-Clause 1, § 294, Sub-Clause 1, § 466, Sub-Clause 1 and 2, and § 467, Sub-Clause 1, Code of Criminal Procedure) for the duration of the ordered prohibitions of entry.

In addition, it can be ordered that detention hearings do not have to take place and that the decision on the continuation of pre-trial detention or provisional detention must be made in accordance with § 175.4, second sentence, of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Furthermore, an authorisation to conduct detention hearings by means of a video conference was determined. The corresponding ordinance was announced in BGBl II No. 99/2020. Under certain circumstances, however, it may be necessary to keep the traffic with the outside world as low as possible in order to avoid the spread of COVID-19. According to the explanations, it should be noted that the detention periods continue to apply, so that a decision on the continuation of detention with a comprehensive examination of the conditions of detention must be made before the expiry of the period. Urgent suspicion, reasons for detention and proportionality of pre-trial detention shall continue to be strictly examined.

Mag. Martin Mutz, LL.M.
act legal - WMWP Rechtsanwälte
About the author

Mag. Martin Mutz, LL.M.


Adviser in banking, company and reorganisation law. He counsels companies and banking establishments at conversions, company reorganisations and in connection with insolvency. His clients are banking establishments, venture-funds and large concerns as well als medium-sized construction companies and developers, which he represents in questions of general drafting of contracts and civil litigation. He is also employed as a liquidator/receiver. He is also heading the litigation and arbitration team. He is also reigistered arbitrator at the VIAC.

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