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Reimbursement of costs for criminal defence lawyers increases massively

Reimbursement of costs for criminal defence lawyers increases massively
Reimbursement of costs for criminal defence lawyers increases massively

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The National Council passed a corresponding resolution unanimously on Friday afternoon. In particularly lengthy proceedings, up to 60,000 euros can be paid out. The judge will make the decision in each case.

The regulation in detail: In the event of an acquittal, the maximum flat-rate rates for calculating the defense cost contribution for lay judge and jury proceedings are to be increased sixfold or threefold compared to the previous levels to 30,000 euros. The maximum rate for single judge proceedings at the regional court is to be quadrupled to 13,000 euros, and for proceedings before the district courts it is to be increased fivefold to 5,000 euros. If the proceedings last longer, these values ​​can be increased by half, and in the case of “extreme scope” to double the maximum contribution.

Praise from all sides

If the case is discontinued, the amount will be set at a maximum of 6,000 euros. However, in the case of longer or more complex proceedings, the amount can be increased by half, and in the case of “extremely extensive” proceedings, it can be doubled.

For once, praise came from all sides. VP representative Johanna Jachs emphasized that the funds of 70 million now represented a thirty-fold increase. Justice Minister Alma Zadic (Greens) thanked the Finance Minister in this regard. At the same time, she emphasized that her group had been pursuing the goal of higher cost reimbursement for a decade, since the defendants in the animal rights trial had been acquitted but had also incurred corresponding costs.

“Milestone in judicial history”

FPÖ representative Philipp Schrangl spoke of a “milestone in the history of the Austrian judiciary,” Zadic said that “something great had been achieved.” The SPÖ was also satisfied, although its justice spokeswoman Selma Yildirim criticized the fact that 100 judges were still missing, even though they would have additional tasks to perform. NEOS representative Nikolaus Scherak saw this as an important step for the rule of law, which had not been achieved for decades.

Constitutional Minister Karoline Edtstadler (ÖVP), who negotiated the law with Zadic, saw it as “an important step to ensure that people are not financially ruined despite being acquitted or criminal proceedings being dropped.” The reform passed today will help the presumption of innocence to break through.

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