What are the types of courts in Liechtenstein?
The Liechtenstein civil law system is based in part on the Austrian law and in part on Swiss law. The particularity of the Liechtenstein judicial system is that some of the courts function under a mixt jurisdiction formed by Liechtenstein, Swiss, and Austrian judges. These courts are:
- the constitutional court,
- the criminal court,
- the assize court (Schöffengericht-Vergehen),
- the upper court (Obergericht),
- the supreme court (Oberster Gerichtshof),
- the superior court of appeal.
The administrative court is also formed by mixt jurisdiction. The above courts are formed usually by five judges in order to assure the impartiality: three Liechtenstein judges, one Swiss and one Austrian. The right to control the appointment of the country's judges is owned by the prince.
The courts with single Liechtenstein jurisdiction are the county court, the juvenile court and the court for misdemeanors, usually formed by a single judge. Besides the above, in Liechtenstein is located the EFTA Court. The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has also jurisdiction in certain cases in Liechtenstein.
What are the responsibilities of the courts in Liechtenstein?
The County Court (Landgericht) with Liechtenstein jurisdiction is taking decisions in minor civil cases and summary criminal offenses. The juvenile court as its name states is hearing cases involving underage individuals. There is also a court for misdemeanors called Schöffengericht.
The appeals raised against the decisions of these courts are heard by the upper and supreme courts of Liechtenstein.
The major criminal cases are judged by the criminal court, known as Kriminalgericht. These cases are usually heard by a panel of five judges.
The administrative court hears appeals from governmental or local authorities related to the administrative decisions taken by the authorities and its main goal is to protect citizens against the state. The decisions taken by this court are usual final unless the Constitutional Court decides else.
The Constitutional Court decides the constitutionality of laws and decrees and is the first and only instance in such cases. It is also a guarantor of the European Convention of Human Rights. It may also reverse Supreme Court or the Administrative Court.
What are the responsibilities of the Arbitrary Court in Liechtenstein?
Arbitration process is a practice used by many individuals in order to settle mostly commercial disputes. It assures the protection of confidentiality and short proceedings. Besides these, another advantage of using the arbitration proceedings is that the arbitrators can be picked by the involved parties, this assuring a higher degree of trust in the process. The main document on which the arbitration process is based is the arbitration agreement. The decisions taken by the Arbitrary Court are final and are enforceable immediately.
How long does litigation in Liechtenstein take?
A litigation may take from a couple of months to a couple of years depending on the complexity of the case, the fact that the decision is accepted or not, the correctitude of the submitted documents. It’s advisable to be part of an arbitration process than a judicial process mostly because of the small costs involving the first.