Transboundary legal relations in civil law matters are governed by a large number of multilateral and bilateral treaties. The object of these treaties is mainly mutual legal assistance (i.e. taking of evidence and provision of documents abroad), the recognition and enforcement of court rulings or arbitration awards by the respective other state, and the delimitation of the jurisdiction of the individual states and/or any restrictions of jurisdiction (for instance due to exterritoriality, immunity, etc.). These treaties also govern matters relating to procedural aspects under the Austrian Aliens Act (Federal Law concerning the Entry, Residence and Settlement of Aliens), such as the requirement of a cautio judicatum solvi, the granting of legal aid or procedural support abroad.
The Austrian embassies and consulates-general are not authorised to represent Austrian citizens as parties (for instance as claimants) in private law matters. The support provided by the Austrian representation authorities is thus restricted to informal information and information on the relevant legal provisions, the competent authorities and a qualified legal counsel (usually via the respective representation authority’s lawyer, i.e. its “legal counsel”).
Note: This lawyer acts on an honorary basis only for the respective Austrian representation authority. When he/she is asked to provide information or to become active on behalf of a party he/she will charge fees to that party.