Freezing of assets - national proceedings

Republic of Austria

Austria - Federal law on judicial cooperation in criminal matters with the Member States of the European Union (EN/DE) 2004 (2020)

Chapter I
General Provisions

Scope of Application
§ 1. (1)
b) the freezing of evidence and property;

Chapter III
Recognition and Enforcement of Judicial Decisions

Part Two
Execution of Decisions on Seizure by Member States

§ 45. (1) With regard to the relation with Danmark and Ireland a decision on seizure of means of evidence can be taken or executed because of criminal acts carrying court punishment according to the law of the deciding State and, subject to the provision of para. 3, according to the law of the executing State.

(2) With regard to the relation with all other Member States of the European Union a decision on the freezing of property that might subsequently become subject to an order relating to property rights may be issued or executed because of criminal acts that allow freezing according to the law of the deciding State and of the executing State.

(3) For a decision pursuant to para. 1 or 2 double criminality need not be verified if the offence underlying the freezing order was assigned to one of the categories of offences listed in Annex I and carries a maximum custodial sentence of at least three years according to the law of the issuing State.

(4) The freezing order will only be executed if it is accompanied by a certificate in the form shown in Annex III. If the certificate is incomplete, or if it obviously does not correspond to the freezing order, the issuing judicial authority may be set a time limit for completing or correcting the information, if the available documents are not sufficient for a decision on the execution of the freezing order.

Competences and Procedure
§ 46. (1) The regional court with jurisdiction for the location of the property or evidence shall decide on the execution of a freezing order by another Member State. The issuing judicial authority shall be informed of the filing of the complaint, as well as of the outcome of the procedure on the complaint.

(2) A request for executing a freezing order which requires a procedure deviating from Austrian criminal procedural law, shall be satisfied, if this can be reconciled with the criminal proceedings and its principles pursuant to Chapter 1 StPO.

(3) The court shall decide as expeditiously as possible on the freezing order, if possible within 24 hours after receiving the request, and shall inform the issuing State of its decision.

Rome Statute

Article 93 Other forms of cooperation

1. States Parties shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Part and under procedures of national law, comply with requests by the Court to provide the following assistance in relation to investigations or prosecutions:

(k) The identification, tracing and freezing or seizure of proceeds, property and assets and instrumentalities of crimes for the purpose of eventual forfeiture, without prejudice to the rights of bona fide third parties; and