Main debate: Activity report of the Vienna Administrative Court for 2019
Vienna (OTS / RK) – LAbg. Mag. Dietbert Kowarik (FPÖ) emphasized “the necessity and importance of the administrative court” for the administrative activities of the City of Vienna. Corona meant that the report was later acknowledged and dealt with in the state parliament. Kowarik described the fact that the budget for the court was “pointing up” as “pleasing”. The court’s number of employees is “not yet where we want to be”. But there is – according to the MP’s understanding – a commitment for more staff, which has also “reached its limits” due to the Covid crisis. Kowarik was also pleased with the improvement of the spatial organization in the court, the separation between offices and court rooms was taking on more and more concrete shape. The fact that legal transactions between lawyers and courts can be processed electronically in the future “must be implemented by us,” said Kowarik. The MP was “a little proud” of the fact that the present report shows the court’s financial management in a separate appendix, and wished the President present in the state parliament “every success in this important work”.
LAbg. David Ellensohn (Greens) was pleased that “what red-green decided in 2018 is taking effect – namely more staff” for the court. For the first time, at the end of 2019 there were more processed than new procedures; nevertheless, the backlog of open cases is still around 8,000. “Half of these concern the betting law,” said Ellensohn, who said: “The stricter laws against betting have probably also led to more cases in court.” It is important to observe whether the “positive trend” of more finished than open ones Continue cases beyond the “Corona year 2020”; In any case, Ellensohn’s thanks go to the administrative court team, which treats more than 17,000 cases per year.
StRin Mag.a Isabelle Jungnickel (ÖVP) referred to the personnel situation in the administrative court: “There are too few employees here; I’m worried that the quality will be guaranteed. ”Despite an increase in staff or replacements for judges, the employee situation is“ precarious ”, said Jungnickel, and especially in the law firms there is an understaffing. It is not understandable why open office positions are only filled after 6 months.
LAbg. Georg Niedermühlbichler (SPÖ) recalled that the “personnel and financial resources of the court” had noticeably improved in recent years, which the report also proves. “Of course everyone wants more and more,” said Niedermühlbichler, who recalled the principles of “economy and expediency” in administrative expenses. “But I think a lot has already happened.” The independence of the administrative court was “more than just given”, which was also confirmed by independent reviews.
Univ.-Doz. Mag. Dr. Dieter Kolonovits came to the lectern in his role as President of the Administrative Court. At the beginning he explained why the usual annual report for 2019 due to the pandemic could only be debated today in the Vienna State Parliament. (“We decided on a lot of it in circular. Thanks to the State of Vienna for changing the necessary laws.”) Kolonovits also underlined the demand of FPÖ mandate Kowarik to introduce more “electronic paper files” for the court. That would not only help with video interpreting, but also relieve the “precarious personnel situation”. The latest personnel package of +12 employees in 2019 helped to close open cases. “It is also about protecting the legal security of the citizens and thus safeguarding Vienna as a business location,” argued Kolonovits. He also reminded that “the state legislature has to provide appropriate resources for regional courts”, encouraged Kolonovits for more staff and thanked the plenary for the cooperation.
StR Mag. Jürgen Czernohorszky (SPÖ) underlined that there had recently been “more transactions than receipts” at the administrative court; at the same time, all the parliamentary groups in the house had a constructive feedback loop, which led to “bringing many improvements to the ground and increasing the staff”.
Vote: The report of the Vienna Administrative Court for 2019 was unanimously noted.
Changes to the Vienna National Park Act, the Vienna Nature Conservation Act, the Fisheries Act and the Hunting Act
LAbg. Mag.a Angelika Pipal-Leixner, MBA (NEOS) recalled the debate in today’s Question Time and referred again to the “Aarhus Commission”: This provides rights of participation for environmental protection organizations in legal proceedings, “which is also a step forward for the Citizens are involved ”, says Pipal-Leixner:“ This is a huge benefit for the environment and for species protection. ”
LAbg. Dr. Jennifer Kickert (Greens) replied to the previous speaker at NEOS: “From your point of view, it happened quickly; You haven’t been around for long. ”But, according to Kickert:“ Our first bills date from 2016, that was a ‘slow’ job. ”Nonetheless, there was an“ amical ”collaboration between the Greens and NEOS, albeit the NEOS Kickert regretted that had appeared very “decisive” and that not all points from the public statements had been incorporated or implemented. She recalled the core of the “Aarhus Convention”, namely the “right to live in an intact environment” – but that also includes the “right to public access and the right to go to court”. “It’s a shame”, because the “rights to information and participation” would not appear in the amendment, said Kickert. The Vienna Chamber of Labor had also pointed out these omissions in the amendment in a statement. In general, Vienna implemented the Aarhus objectives “much less strictly” than other federal states; that does not correspond to the international legal obligation of the Aarhus Commission. Kickert also found criticism of the “short objection period” of four weeks – she submitted a motion to change the amendment.
LAbg. Dr. Michael Gorlitzer, MBA (ÖVP) reminded that the “Aarhus Convention” had already been ratified by the EU in 2001; since 2015 this has also been anchored in law in Austria. For this reason alone the initiative is to be welcomed. But, according to Gorlitzer: The Hörndlwald contradicts all of these plans. “Setting up a few park benches there is not enough for nature conservation in Hietzing,” said Görlitzer. The Hörndlwald is subject to the Vienna Nature Conservation Act, and by means of an application, he requested an allocation to the Environment Committee – in order to “finally take care of the last step of the rededication”.
LAbg. Mag.a Nina Abrahamczik (SPÖ) recalled: The Hörndlwald has been “a protected area for many years” and the recreation area should be preserved – including renaturation. “But no matter how often we decide this and how often we say it here – the commitments are there!” Thus, the SPÖ will follow the ÖVP request “to show that we have been doing what you ask for for years” . Abrahamczik recalled a meeting with environmental experts and representatives from all political groups in February 2021, where there was a good exchange of content. In this respect, Abrahamczik, could not understand the desired change in the amendment by the Greens – “why should the environmental advocate or other parties involved have two weeks less time than environmental organizations?” That does not correspond to the principle of equality. Abrahamczik submitted an application for the Supply Chain Act. It is important to know where the products we need in everyday life come from when it comes to ecological, social and economic issues (cont.) Nic / esl
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