IN SEARCH OF THE SUBJECTIVE PUBLIC LAW: CONDITIONS FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE

  • Peter Chvosta Federal Administrative Court, Austria

Abstract

Purpose. The article is devoted to the legal figure of subjective public right in the context of legal protection in administrative matters.

Methods. Based on the historical development of administrative jurisdiction in Austria and Germany in the 19th century, the function of the subjective public right is discussed in more detail: When the legislator grants citizens subjective public rights (and thus enforceable claims against the administration), the citizen can assert his or her individual interests before the courts by means of a right of defence against the state. At the same time, this results in an external legal control of the administration (compared to a mere internal administrative control by way of disciplinary measures) and thus promotes the rule of law of administrative action, which is in the public interest.

Results. By pursuing his subjective public right, the citizen acting in his own interest indirectly contributes to the correct enforcement of the law. In a sense, he acts as an assistant to the public interest. The granting of a subjective public right also limits the group of persons who can take action against an administrative act, since otherwise anyone could challenge an administrative act. If the legislator has not expressly stipulated in the law which persons are entitled to a subjective public right in which respect, the determination of subjective public rights can be difficult in individual cases: When the law provides for a permit subject to certain conditions, the addressee of an administrative act is necessarily entitled to obtain a permit if the conditions required by law are met. The question is more complex in the case of persons who are not the addressee of an administrative act but who are affected by its effects. In this case, it must be determined by way of interpretation whether the legal provisions whose violation the citizen claims to have violated were passed not only to protect public interests but also, at least, in the interests of individual persons. Only then is there also a subjective public right of the individual to compliance with this provision.

Conclusions. The legislator can avoid difficulties of interpretation by means of clear rules on the granting of subjective public rights. In particularly important administrative matters (e.g. approval of infrastructure projects), where the granting of subjective public rights is not sufficient to ensure judicial control of administrative acts, a larger group of persons can be granted party status.

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Published
2020-06-25
How to Cite
ChvostaP. (2020). IN SEARCH OF THE SUBJECTIVE PUBLIC LAW: CONDITIONS FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE. Administrative Law and Process, (4(27), 5-14. https://doi.org/10.17721/2227-796X.2019.4.01
Section
General administrative law