• Dr. Peter Chvosta Federal Administrative Court, Austria
Keywords: decision, administrative act, administrative processing, Central Europe, constitutional review, administrative court, letter as administrative act, subjective public rights of the concerned people, communication, notification, recommendation, consultation, binding power, legal opinion, law rules as the subject matter for the constitutional control


Decision or administrative act are the centerpiece of any administrative processing in Central Europe. Their goal is mostly the same in all countries: They provide for legal peace and legal clarity and are starting points for constitutional review of the state’s actions.

After administrative act was defined and its whereabouts codified in the German Administrative Procedure Act, legal science turned to the problem of challenging it before an administrative court. It is argued that not so much the form, but rather the content of the act with all the supplement features is its distinctive feature.

For example, when a mayor of a municipality in a letter to individual ordered to allow for consume of private water because of a prolonged drought and at the end of the drought withdraw the letter and canceled the emergency consumption resulting can be challenged in court. As the Constitutional Court said: notwithstanding the form it was a decision since it created or revoked rights.

On the other hand, communication or notification are not to be qualified as decisions as well as recommendation or consultation with no binding power. Subjective public rights are essential when assessing the quality of a decision. Even a legal opinion of the Minister of Social Affairs can present a decision if it affects a public right. When a decision even in the form of a letter was taken into consideration by the Constitutional Court and the public authority (Governor) took it back

the Court thereupon formally terminated the proceedings but said the letter and its effect were illigal. The Court said that the existence or non-existence of a decision may not be at the expense of the party as well as any interference in public subjective rights even through law rules is open to the constitutional control.


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How to Cite
Chvosta, D. P. (2020). WHEN IS AN ADMINISTRATIVE ACT AN ADMINISTRATIVE ACT? REQUIREMENTS FOR A DECISION IN AUSTRIA. Administrative Law and Process, (3(26), 77-88. https://doi.org/10.17721/2227-796X.2019.3.05
General administrative law