10th Anniversary of the Public Defender
Austria's initiation of the public defender on July 1, 1977 brought about improved governmental regulation and legal protection for the individual. According to constitutional law a public defender is appointed to investigate reputed wrongdoing in the federal sector, provided that the affected individual has no available means of legal redress. A public defender is also appointed even without being specifically requested to do so by an affected individual. Independence and freedom in pursuing their investigative activities are likewise guaranteed under the constitution. The office of the public defender consists of three constituents, and each one holds the chairmanship for one year. One term lasts six years, upon which one re-election is permitted. Parliamentary balance of political power is achieved due to the fact that members of the public defender are elected by the National Assembly based on a general motion put forth by the main committee. This commemorative stamp shows the administrative building of the public defender, the Palais Rottal, in Vienna.
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