The immunities of States and international organisations

This database contains the original national contributions bringing together information on The immunities of States and international organisations

Information on the contribution

Member State
Type of document
Permanent link to the contribution
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Database of the CAHDI "The immunities of States and international organisations" - contribution of Austria - Jurisprudence of 21/11/1990

R. W. (individual) v. Embassy of X. (State)


Supreme Court (Oberster Gerichtshof)

Date of the decision, of the judgment


Points of law

Employment contracts between foreign missions in Austria (States) and Austrian employees are subject to Austrian jurisdiction.

Summary of the case

An individual employed locally as a photographer by a foreign embassy in Vienna filed a suit against her employer who had issued a notice terminating her contract arguing that the employer had not observed the relevant provisions of Austrian industrial law. The defendant appealed to the Supreme Court claiming immunity.

The Court noted that the employment contract in this case was a legal relationship under private law in respect of which a foreign State was subject to Austrian jurisdiction by virtue of the rules of both international and Austrian law.

The Supreme Court noted as well that international organisations enjoyed more far-reaching privileges and immunities than States, the immunity of international organisations arose from the relevant international agreements and intended to protect international organisations from interference of States.


No. 9ObA244/1990 (Supreme Court) and No.93/09/0346 (Adm. Court), Austrian legal information system (see: – "Judikatur Justiz OGH" and "Verwaltungsgerichtshof").

Additional information (explanations, notes, etc.)

The same case was dealt with by the Administrative Court, which agreed to the view of the Supreme Court as to the applicability of Austrian industrial law in this case (see judgment of 13 September 1994).

Similar decisions: see No. 04/01/0260-11 (Administrative Court, 29 April 1985), No. 98/08/0127 (Administrative Court, 12 October 1998).