Austria

ENTRY INTO FORCE of the European Convention on Human Rights

3 September 1958

Number of implemented cases*

353

Examples

Reforms made after mother lost custody of her children simply because of her religion

Ingrid Hoffmann was a Jehovah’s Witness. When she got divorced, a child psychologist advised that Ingrid should be given custody of her two children, because of their close emotional ties. However, a court ruled that the father should get custody, because of Ingrid’s religion. The European court ruled that this had been discriminatory – leading to changes to prevent the same happening again.

Read more

Fair custody rights for fathers of children born out of marriage

Under Austrian law, custody of a child born out of marriage was automatically given to the mother, with few exceptions. Meanwhile, custody of children born within marriage was decided according to the child’s best interests. At the Strasbourg court, Mr Sporer successfully argued that this was unfair – leading to a change in Austrian law.

Read more

Legal challenge brings an end to the state monopoly on TV and radio

During the 1970s and 1980s, various Austrians wanted to set up local TV or radio stations. However, Austrian law banned them from doing so, as it gave the Austrian Broadcasting Company a monopoly. The Strasbourg court ruled that the ban was disproportionate and violated the right to free speech. The judgment led to the opening up of broadcasting regulations.

Read more

* This figure includes implemented judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and implemented friendly settlements in litigation before the court. The statistics will be updated annually, at the beginning of each calendar year. Source: the database of the Department for the Execution of Judgments of the ECHR, HUDOC-EXEC.