Tag Archive for: Constitutional Court

Opioid Maintenance Treatment: Success before the Constitutional Court

Constitutional Court Annuls Removal of a Doctor from the List of Doctors Authorized to Provide Opioid Maintenance Treatment Due to Violation of the Prohibition of Arbitrariness

The constitutional problem: regulation of opioid maintenance treatment, strict (and unclear) documentation requirements for doctors

The new calendar year 2024 begins for the law firm with a successful and delightful decision by the Constitutional Court: a doctor who was authorized to provide opioid maintenance treatment and registered on the list of doctors authorized to do so was removed from the list of doctors authorized to provide opioid maintenance treatment by the responsible health authority (Municipal Department 40). The health authority had concerns about the documentation and administration practice. As this is a sensitive and, in the public interest, highly regulated area, doctors who are authorized to carry out opioid maintenance treatment are subject to comprehensive documentation obligations, which, however, are not conclusively and precisely regulated in the applicable laws (Narcotic Substances Law, Narcotic Drugs Ordinance, etc.). In several places, only “comprehensible documentation” is mentioned. The law (Narcotic Substances Law) and the Narcotic Drugs Ordinance alone do not clearly state when documentation is sufficiently comprehensible.

The constitutional solution: comprehensive duty of investigation and justification on the part of the health authority, consideration of the circumstances of the individual case

In the present case, the Constitutional Court took up our argument in particular that measures were taken in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic to provide sufficient treatment and opioid maintenance treatment for people requiring treatment. The Constitutional Court agreed with this argument and came to the conclusion that the health authority (Municipal Department 40) and the Administrative Court had not sufficiently taken this aspect into account in their decision. The decision of the Administrative Court therefore violated the prohibition of arbitrariness derived from the principle of equality. The decision dated 30 November 2023, E 1435/2023-17, was delivered to us in the middle of last week.

Our expertise in constitutional law for you

With this decision, our law firm is sharpening its profile in the area of public law. The applicable provisions in the Narcotic Substances Law and in the Narcotics Ordinance are regulations governing the exercise of gainful employment for the treating physicians. We thus remain true to our principle of successfully handling special administrative law cases in peripheral areas of public law with the utmost care and diligence. We are happy to familiarize ourselves with special matters (such as here: Narcotic Substances Law and Narcotics Ordinance) in order to achieve economically valuable and also constitutionally important victories for our clients!

With this in mind, we wish you a happy and successful new year 2024!

Please contact us at any time if you would like to have public law issues clarified before administrative authorities, administrative courts and ultimately the Administrative and/or Constitutional Court!

“Die Presse”, legal supplement of April 3, 2023: Coverage of two cases of our law firm

We are pleased that the Austrian newspaper “Die Presse” covered in the last edition of its legal supplement “Rechtspanorama” (April 3, 2023) two challenging and interesting cases from our law firm, moreover on the same page.

“Cosmetic surgery beats fate” – Supreme Court decision on insurance law after cosmetic surgery

Under the headline “Cosmetic surgery beats fate”, “Die Presse” reports on an interesting insurance law case that our law firm represented through the instances.

The Supreme Court decided on January 25, 2023, 7 Ob 202/22i, on claims of our client for reimbursement of surgical costs for a cosmetic operation by the health insurance. The surgery was necessary as a result of a cancer disease and treatment, but according to the expert had its cause in a previous cosmetic surgery. The case is also interesting in that the client had acuqired a “health insurance policy covering all risks” as defined in Section 11(2)(4) NAG. Based on the interpretation of a liability exclusion, the insurance company refused to cover the surgery costs as consequences of a cosmetic surgery or treatment. The Supreme Court confirmed the legal position of the insurance company in this case. The case provides clarity in the interpretation of the exclusion of liability for “cosmetic surgery and its consequences.”

“Between ‘Tomahawk’ and ‘Zebra'” – Constitutional Court confirms our legal position in name law

On the same page, Mag. Kommenda reports on a success of our law firm before the Constitutional Court, title “Between ‘Tomahawk’ and ‘Zebra’: right to change name strengthened“.

The Constitutional Court ruled on this case in the last session (Constitutional Court, March 14, 2023, E 2363/2023).

In this case we successfully represented a client who wanted to adopt a name he had been using for a long time as his legal name. This case was contested before all instances. The Administrative Court rejected the change of name. Before the Constitutional Court we successfully enforced our client’s wish to change his name. The Constitutional Court qualified the decisions of the lower instances as an interference with the right to private life (Art 8 ECHR).

We enjoy dealing with complex legal problems, preferably related to public law, constitutional law and human rights. Our success before the Constitutional Court in the area of name law has once again confirmed our profile in the context of representation in public law cases.

We look forward to hearing from you if you are confronted with a complex and special legal problem, possibly also in an “unusual” legal matter such as the law of names.

Excursion to the Austrian Constitutional Court

Last Monday, we visited the Austrian Constitutional Court (https://www.vfgh.gv.at/index.en.html) as part of our office excursion.

Despite the ongoing summer session of the Constitutional Court, we received a very friendly welcome there. Apart from our legal “daily business”, the interesting and expert lecture by the head librarian, Hon.-Prof. Dr. Josef Pauser, and the subsequent tour were an excellent opportunity for us and our staff to gain a direct and personal impression of the history, the working methods, the representative building and the importance of this Austrian supreme court.

Since we repeatedly submit appeals to the Constitutional Court in the name of and on behalf of our clients, the lecture complements our legal work and will remain a very good memory for us in our regular professional activities, which often include submissions to the Constitutional Court (complaints against decisions and legal norms).

The convivial lunch in the nearby courtyard of the Schottenstift was the pleasant finale of our law firm excursion.

Suspension of ban of Islamic headscarf by the Austrian Constitutional Court (§ 43a Austrian School Education Act)

With gread joy we announce that we successfully represented three afflicted girls and their parents in proceedings to suspend an unconstitutional legistlative act before the Austrian Constitutional Court.
The Constitutional Court has taken its decision and formally announced the conclusions today, November 11, 2020. The decision suspends the ban of the Islamic headscarf for girls aged 6 to 10 years of age. The announcement was broadcast life on the website of the constitutional court, www.vfgh.at.

The ban explicitly aimed at Muslim girls. In the parliamentary reports, the legislator explained that the ban should not be applicable for dresscodes of other religions (like Jews, Sikhs).

The Austrian Constitutional Court has stopped a grave infringement on the freedom of religion and expression. It ruled that the girls’ and parent’s religious freedom were disrespected by this legislative act.

The Constitutional Court suspended the unconstitutional act immediately, i.e. without granting the legislator a period for “reparation”.

We celebrate this victory of human rights and liberal democracy together with our clients!