A Federalist Understanding of the B-VG (FINAL COPY)

A Federalist Understanding of the B-VG (FINAL COPY) - 1...

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MC 271 Professor Emmett March 14 th , 2008 A Federalist Critique Of The Bundes-Verfassungsgesetz What could be more to a document such as the Bundes-Verfassungsgesetz (B-VG), than efficient German-esque trade policies on Tobolerone chocolates, Federally regulated ski instructions, and strategic guidelines on how to infiltrate the American political system through steroids, bad acting in sci-fi films, and a liberal earthquake prone state. By constitutional definition, Austria considers itself a Federal Republic with a parliamentary representative democracy with near-complete separation of powers. For being a nation of a little over eight million homogenous citizens, it carries a similar structure to that of large federal republics such as Unites States or Germany with very diverse populations and cultural groups. However, Austria offers very unique separations from the common identity of similar republics worldwide. The Federalist Papers were written to sell an audience on a new form of government that is now copied at almost every corner of the Earth. The Austrian constitution and government practice is similar yet unusual through minor changes created for its cultural and resident circumstance. Taking the text that our nations system was sold upon, we intend to critique and evaluate the Austrian B-VG constitution through the writings of the federalist perspective. Summary of the Judicial System Austria’s judicial system is unique in its composition. First of all, the entire judiciary is set up at the federal level; there are no state courts. (Austria, Article 82). This is allowable because of the nation’s relatively small size. Also, unlike the United States, Austria has two high 1
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courts. Each is separate and distinct in its duty and none is greater in power than another. (Austria, Articles 129, 137-138,). The two high courts are the Constitutional and the Administrative; the powers of each will be discussed in more detail later. It is interesting to note that it is not specifically mentioned in the constitution how criminal and civil proceedings at the lower levels of the judiciary are set up. Instead, the only provisions that are made are that “The Federation is the source of all jurisdictions.” (Austria, Article 82). This implies that the structuring of the lower courts is left up to the administrative powers, the executive and legislative body. There is also mention of independent tribunals however these tribunals do not hold the authority of judicial review; they are instead used to mediate involving those who feel they were wronged by administrative action in special circumstances (Austria, Article 129a). This allows for fluidity in the number of low-level justices. The United States allows for some
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A Federalist Understanding of the B-VG (FINAL COPY) - 1...

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