Austria > Law on Personal Freedom

    { Adopted on: 27 Oct 1862 }
    { Abolished in: 1988 }
    { ICL Document Status: 27 Oct 1862 }

At the motion of both Houses of My Reichs' Congress, I deem proper, in order to protect the liberty of the person against infringements by government officials, to decree:

Section 1  [Lawful Judge]

No one may be deprived of his lawful Judge.

Section 2  [Personal Liberty]

The detention of a person may ensue only on the strength of a judicial warrant stating the reasons.

Section 3  [Detention]

Neither detention in safe custody nor detention on remand can be imposed because of the public scandal caused by an offence.

Section 4  [Arrest]

The government officials of the public authority entitled to make arrests may, in cases determined by law, take a person into custody, but they must within 48 hours either set free or deliver to the competent authority anyone whom they have taken into safe custody.  As competent is to he understood the authority with whom, according to the nature of the case, the further proceedings as regards the person taken into safe custody legally rest.

Section 5  [Move]

No one can, without legally substantiated requirement, be restricted (interned, confined) to a stay in a particular place or area.  In the same way, except in cases specified by law, no one may he expelled from a particular place or area.

Section 6  [Liability]

Every restriction on personal liberty undertaken contrary to the preceding provisions in exercise of office or in line of duty shall in case of malice aforethought be treated as an offence constituting abuse of official authority and in other cases as a misdemeanor punishable with detention up to three months and on repeated conviction with strict confinement for a period of equally long duration.

Section 7  [Bail]

The detention in safe custody or on remand imposed on suspicion of an intent to escape must on demand be dropped or rescinded against bail or entry into recognizance for an amount to be determined by a court having regard for the consequences of the offence, the circumstances of the detainee, and the material condition of the person standing surety.  The accused must nevertheless take a solemn oath that prior to the final verdict he will neither absent himself nor go into hiding nor try to obstruct the investigation.  The amount of the bail or surety shall be either paid into court in cash or in Austrian Government bonds, in bearer form and at the market rate on the day of deposit, or secured by collateral on immovables or by fit guarantors who at the same time assume liability for payment.

Section 8  [Compensation]

The court shall declare the amount of the bail or surety forfeit if the accused absents himself from his place of abode without permission or does not within three days appear before the court in answer to the subpoena issued against him and which, in case he is not found, shall be affixed in his abode.  As soon as it attains legal force, this judgment is, like every civil judgment, susceptible of execution.  The security amounts shall be remitted to the State Treasury, but the party injured by the offence has the right to demand that its claims for compensation shall receive preferential treatment.

Section 9  [Forfeiture]

If the accused after the grant of freedom makes preparations to escape or if new circumstances arise which necessitate his detention, regardless of the security given the detention shall take place.  When in these cases the detention has ensued, the amount of the bail or surety is released.  The same applies as soon as the verdict has attained legal force.

Section 10  [Extent, Responsibility]

While observing the above regulations as regards going bail or furnishing surety, an accused can be allowed to remain free or to be set free even in the event of strong intimations of an offence punishable with no less than five years imprisonment, but only by a court of higher instance.  The Minister of Police and the Head of My Ministry of Justice are charged with execution of this law.

For methodology see: Comparing Constitutions and International Constitutional Law.
© 1994 - 27.6.2020 / For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.