Austria - Basic Law on the General Rights of Nationals Index Page Document Table of Contents

    { Adopted on: 21 Dec 1867 }
    { ICL Document Status: 21 Dec 1867 }

With the approval of both Houses of the Reichs' Congress, I deem proper to issue the following Basic Law about the general rights of nationals and to order:
Article 1  [Nationality]
Article 2  [Equality of Nationals]
All nationals are equal before the law.
Article 3  [Public Functions]
(1) Public functions are equally accessible to all nationals.
(2) The admissibility to them of foreigners is made dependent on their acquisition of Austrian nationality.
Article 4  [Movement, Emigration, Exodus Tolls]
(1) There is no restriction on freedom of movement by the individual and his possessions inside the boundaries of the state.
(2) {...}
(3) Freedom of emigration is restricted by the state only in the way of military service.
(4) Exodus tolls may be exacted only as a matter of reciprocity.
Article 5  [Property]
Property is inviolable.  Expropriation against the will of the owner can only occur in cases and in the manner determined by law.
Article 6  [Residence, Real Property, Work]
(1) Every national can take up residence and domicile at any place inside the boundaries of the state, acquire every kind of real property and freely dispose of the same, as well as practice every kind of gainful activity subject to the conditions of the law.
(2) Restrictions on the right of mortmain to acquire and dispose of real property are for reasons of public weal admissible by way of law.
Article 7  [No Liege Bond, No Restrictions on Conveyance]
Every liege bond and thraldom is abolished in perpetuity.  Every obligation or performance which encumbers property held in fee is commutable and for the future no real property may be burdened with a performance of that kind which cannot be commuted.
Article 8  [Personal Liberty]
(1) Liberty of the person is guaranteed.
(2) The existent law of 27 Oct 1862 for the protection of personal freedom is hereby declared a component of this Basic Law.
(3) Every detention ordered or prolonged contrary to law commits the state to compensation for the injured party.
Article 9  [Home]
(1) The rights of the home are inviolable.
(2) The existent law of 27 Oct 1862 on the protection of the rights of the home is hereby declared a component of this Basic Law.
Article 10  [Secrecy of Letters]
The privacy of letters may not be infringed and the seizure of letters may, except in case of a legal detention or domiciliary visit, take place only in times of war or by reason of a judicial warrant in conformity with existent laws.
Article 10a  [Secrecy of Telecommunication]
Telecommunication secrecy may not be infringed.  Exceptions to the provisions of the foregoing paragraph are admissible only by reason of a judicial warrant in conformity with existent laws.
Article 11  [Petition]
(1) Everyone has the right of petition.
(2) Petitions may emanate under a joint name only from legally recognized bodies or associations.
Article 12  [Assembly, Association]
Austrian nationals have the right of assembly and to constitute associations. The exercise of these rights will be prescribed in special laws.
Article 13  [Expression, Censorship]
(1) Everyone has the right, within the limits of the law, to freely express his opinion by word of mouth and in writing, print, or pictorial representation.
(2) The Press may be neither subjected to censorship nor restricted by the licensing system.  Administrative postal distribution vetoes do not apply to inland publication.
Article 14  [Freedom of Belief]
(1) Everyone is guaranteed complete freedom of conscience and creed.
(2) The enjoyment of civic and political rights is independent of religious belief.  Nevertheless duties incumbent on nationals may not be prejudiced by religious beliefs.
(3) No one can be forced to observe a ritual act or to participate in an ecclesiastical ceremony in so far as he is not subordinate to another who is by law invested with such authority.
Article 15  [Rights of Churches]
Every Church and religious society recognized by the law has the right to joint public religious practice, arranges and administers its internal affairs autonomously, and retains possession and enjoyment of its institutions, endowments, and funds devoted to worship, instruction, and welfare, but is like every society subject to the general laws of the land.
Article 16  {...}
Article 17  [Science, Teaching]
(1) Knowledge and its teaching are free.
(2) Every national who has furnished in legally acceptable manner proof of his qualification has the right to found establishments for instruction and education.
(3) Instruction at home is subject to no such restriction.
(4) The Church or religious society concerned shall see to religious instruction in schools.
(5) The right to supreme direction and supervision over the whole instructional and educational system lies with the state.
Article 17a  [Artistry]
Artistic creativity as well as the dissemination of art and its teaching shall be free.
Article 18  [Vocation, Training]
Everyone has the right to choose his vocation and to train for it how and where he wishes.
Article 19  {...}
Article 20  {...}

For methodology see: Comparing Constitutions and International Constitutional Law.
© 1994 - May 29th, 2010 / For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.