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Legal Information System

Central access to national law and access to the legislation of the Supreme Courts, Commissions and Tribunals as well as access to EU law

It is one of the oldest public government projects in the Internet: the “Legal Information System" (Rechtsinformationssystem des Bundes, or RIS) has been in existence since 1997. This database can be used not only by law students and lawyers, but by all citizens to look up current and historical laws. The Legal Information System of the Federal Government (RIS) is operated by the Austrian Federal Chancellery and is used to announce legislation which must be declared by law in authentic form in the Federal Law Gazette (Bundesgesetzblatt, or BGBI) and in the provincial law gazettes of all provinces (since 2015) and to provide information about laws of the Federal Government and the provinces. In addition, the RIS offers access to EU law, legislation (such as that of the supreme courts), on selected legal standards and on selected decrees from federal ministries. In the development, in particular the requirements of citizens, of the interested public, of business (for instance the representatives of legal-advisory professions such as lawyers and notaries) were taken into account.

The search interface complies with accessibility standards and is very user-friendly. It only takes a few seconds for the search to return the laws that correspond to the given search term. Since 2004, the Federal Law Gazettes and since 2015 the of all Federal States are only published in their legally binding form to the Legal Information System. Since 2016, the Official Veterinary Notifications (AVN) of the Federal Ministry for Health and Women's Affairs as well as the Official Notifications from the social insurance organisations are announced in a legally binding manner in the RIS. Here too, an electronic signature or an electronic seal is used: In order to ensure the authenticity and the integrity of these legal regulations, all federal and provincial law gazettes as well as the Official Notifications from the social insurance organisations and the Official Veterinary Notifications have an electronic signature.

In addition to the federal law gazettes, there are also links in the RIS to EU law (EUR-Lex), the provincial law gazettes and the valid and historical federal and provincial law in consolidated version. The legislation of the supreme courts (i.e. legislation of the supreme courts (Supreme Court of Justice, Constitutional Court, Higher Administrative court) of the federal and of the nine provincial administrative courts as well as other commissions or tribunals is also included. Selected decrees from the Federal Ministries round off the offering. In most applications, the documents are available in the file formats HTML, PDF and RTF. The scope and functionality of the Legal Information System is constantly being expanded.

Within the framework of a collaboration of the Federal Chancellery with science, a RIS app was developed that makes it possible to retrieve Austrian federal and provincial law in consolidated form but also decisions of the courts simply and in a straightforward manner whilst out and about. A download function makes it possible to save individual standards offline too. Since May 2012, the RIS data have been made available within the framework of Open Government Data.

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