Brandstetter puts VfGH in a bind

“His status as a suspect in an ongoing, open procedure should not be interpreted as behavior that would contradict the respect and trust that his office requires,” explained VfGH President Christoph Grabenwarter. An attitude that is difficult to understand for many. One has the highest moral expectations of a VfGH judge.

However, the removal of a constitutional court judge is a complex matter, a suspension of a section head can be implemented more quickly. Because a constitutional judge is not an official, but a public functionary. It is not subject to the classic “disciplinary law”.


In addition, the top lawyers at the Constitutional Court fear two eventualities: On the one hand, the presumption of innocence applies to ex-Justice Minister Brandstetter. A fact that lawyers recognize. A suspension would be final. What happens if the investigation is stopped?

On the other hand, a precedent could be set. Because a member of the Constitutional Court can only be removed from office if his behavior has shown himself to be “unworthy of the respect and trust that his office requires.”

But what does unworthy mean? The VfGH decides on a case-by-case basis. There is no relevant case law yet. With regard to the loss of office, only serious misconduct is recorded. A precedent could be created here. So you better wait.


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