Mag. Balazs Esztegar LL.M.
Attorney-at-law Vienna

Piaristengasse 41/10
1080 Vienna, Austria
Tel. +43 1 997 4102
Fax +43 1 997 4102-99

Commentary on the Austrian Citizenship Act, 2nd Edition

Jan Sramek Verlag, Vienna 2023

With the publication of the first edition of the commentary on the Citizenship Act in April 2017, a standardised and up-to-date commentary on the Citizenship Act 1985 was available for the first time in a long time. Six years have passed since the successful book presentation, during which time the work has been able to secure a firm place among experts. Since then, the contributions have been used by citizenship authorities, administrative courts and courts of public law alike as a guideline and interpretation aid, and lawyers also like to refer to the work. The inclusion of the work in the RDB legal database has also contributed to its dissemination.

Although no fundamental amendments to citizenship law were passed during these six years (despite their necessity), there were several reasons why the time was right for an updated and significantly expanded edition, which was published in November 2023. On the one hand, the further development of citizenship law is increasingly being driven by supreme court rulings due to the not always very precise legal requirements, which have led to fundamental changes in the application of citizenship law in some areas since the first edition. In addition to the judgements of the Constitutional Court and Administrative Supreme Court, several decisions of the European Court of Justice have also had a significant impact on citizenship law. Secondly, Section 58c of the Citizenship Act has been amended twice since the first edition, which has created new opportunities for the acquisition of citizenship for descendants of former citizens who were persecuted during the Nazi era. This provision is now responsible for a considerable number of naturalisations.

Compared to the first edition, the work has also increased in size and, with over 1,100 pages, has almost 350 more pages than the first edition. Nevertheless, the book has remained handy. Only cautious changes have been made to the proven structure of the commentary. The primary claim remains that the work should be a practical commentary on the Citizenship Act, so that the practical approach to the relevant issues in citizenship law was always given preference over the academic-theoretical treatise. Where criticism of the legal situation or case law appears appropriate for objective reasons, this is also addressed - as can rightly be expected of a commentary.

Balazs Esztegar LL.M. is one of the three editors of the second edition of the commentary on the Citizenship Act and has edited and commented on many of the key provisions of the Citizenship Act, including Section 10 (5) (secure livelihood), Section 20 (assurance of citizenship), Section 27 (loss of citizenship) and Section 28 (authorisation to retain citizenship).