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Austria: Treaties on Exchange of Tax Information

(Jan. 12, 2010) On December 18, 2009, the Federal Council (Bundesrat), the chamber representing the states in the Austrian legislature, approved the resolutions of the National Council (Nationalrat, representative chamber of the Austrian legislature) that ratified agreement-amending protocols or agreements relating to the exchange of information in tax matters (Bundesrat, 780th Session, Parliament of the […]

Austria: Restitution of Nazi-Looted Art

(Dec. 2, 2009) On November 23, 2009, Austria promulgated the Act Amending the Federal Act Concerning Restitution of Works of Art from Austrian Federal Museums and Collections (BUNDESGESETZBLATT I No. 117/2009, at http://www.ris.bka.gv.at/Dokumente/BgblAuth/BGBLA_2009_I_117/BGBLA_2009_I_117.html). This Act amends an Act of 1998, which provides for the restitution of Nazi-looted art (BUNDESGESETZBLATT I No. 181/1998, available at http://www.ris.bka.gv.at/Dokumente/BgblPdf/1998_181_1/1998_181_1.pdf). […]

Austria: Civil Partnerships Permitted for Same-Sex Couples

(Nov. 19, 2009) Following weeks of disagreement between Austrian political groups on the subject, on November 17, 2009, the government agreed to permit the registration of civil partnerships for homosexual couples. The new law will become effective on January 1, 2010, if approved by the parliament. As part of the compromise reached with opponents of […]

Austria: Banking Support Package

(Nov. 20, 2008) On October 26, 2008, the Austrian Parliament enacted a support package for the financial sector (Bundesgesetzblatt (BGBl) I No. 136/2008). It consists of two new laws: the Interbank Market Strengthening Act (Interbankmarktstabilisierungsgesetz) and the Financial Market Stabilization Act (Finanzmarktstabilitätsgesetz). In addition, the new enactment amends laws on banking, stock exchanges, and nationalized […]

Austria: Deportation of Illegal Aliens

(May 2, 2008) On March 15, 2008, the Austrian Constitutional Court held that the deportation of an illegal alien is unconstitutional if it violates the guarantee of the family of article 8 of the European Human Rights Convention (Docket No. B 16/08 – 7, available at the Constitutional Court of Austria official Web site). In […]

Austria: Environmental Automobile Tax

(Apr. 2, 2008) On February 29, 2008, Austria promulgated a law entitled Environmental Act 2007 (BUNDESGESETZBLATT (BGBl) I No. 46/2008). This law makes the tax burden on passenger cars and motorcycles dependent on the amount of carbon dioxide that they emit, and the tax on heating oil dependent on the amount of sulfur that it […]

Austria: Terrorism Trial

(Mar. 2, 2008) On March 3, 2008, the trial of two suspected terrorists began in the Regional Court of Vienna. The accused were spouses who were Austrian citizens of Arab ethnicity, and they were charged with aiding and abetting al Qaeda. The accused woman appeared in court dressed in a "burqa" that hid her face […]

Austria: Consumer Protection

(Feb. 2, 2008) On November 13, 2007, Austria enacted a major reform of its Act Against Unfair Competition (UWG-Novelle 2007, BUNDESGESETZBLATT no. 79/2007), which implements the European Union Directive 2005/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council Concerning Unfair Business-to-Consumer Commercial Practices (2005 OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION (L 149) [May 11, 2005]). […]

Austria: Damages for Pain and Suffering

(Jan. 2, 2008) In a decision of September 27, 2007 (Oberster Gerichtshof [Supreme Court], Sept. 27, 2007, docket no. 2 Ob 135/07b, at Bundeskanzleramt Rechtsinformationssystem [BKA/RIS]), the Austrian Supreme Court affirmed a trial court decision that had awarded ¿35,000 (about US$51,550) for the mental anguish suffered by the 14-year-old survivor of the tortuous death of […]

Austria: Proving Foreign Law

(Nov. 2, 2007) In a recent decision, the Austrian Administrative Courts reiterated that the parties in administrative proceedings may have an obligation to prove foreign law, if finding the foreign law would be burdensome for the deciding Austrian agency. The latest of these decisions was issued by the Austrian Administrative Court on May 23, 2007 […]