The public prosecutor in Austria

  • Klaus Schwaighofer


The Austrian public prosecutor's office was established in 1873 as a criminal prosecution authority and operates based on the principles of indictment and mandatory prosecution. Although it has been part of the judiciary since 2008, its judicial guarantees are limited, as it is bound by the instructions of the Minister of Justice, which is a source of constant controversy. The office is responsible for determining charges and leading investigations. Since 2001, the public prosecutor's office has also been able to terminate investigations through diversion, which is similar to the role of a judge. The principle of mandatory prosecution prescribes the prosecution of all criminal offences, with some exceptions, such as authorisation and private prosecution offences. The public prosecutor's office leads the investigation, orders evidence and coercive measures and requires judicial authorisation only in cases involving fundamental rights. During the main hearing, the public prosecutor's office takes a position that is similar to that of the defendant and is on an equal footing with them. However, the public prosecutor's office retains the power to decide on the indictment.

Apr 16, 2024
How to Cite
SCHWAIGHOFER, Klaus. The public prosecutor in Austria. DPCE Online, [S.l.], v. 62, n. 1, apr. 2024. ISSN 2037-6677. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 24 june 2024. doi:
Citation Formats
Sezione Monografica