Recent developments: new database and res judicata effect

Author: Klaus Oblin

New database

On 1 January 2019 amendments to Austrian Enforcement Act entered into force, granting certain parties access to data on pending enforcement proceedings.

Thus, attorneys and notaries public may now access information about the enforcement court, case number and debt amount pertaining to a specific proceeding.

The database is available online and aims to assist potential claimants in evaluating the creditworthiness of their prospective respondents before commencing court or arbitral proceedings.

Res judicata effect

On 11 June 2018 the Supreme Court confirmed that the res judicata effect of a foreign judgment applies at all stages of proceedings conducted in Austria. This decision is particularly important, as it clarifies that the effect of res judicata also applies to pending appellate proceedings.

The Supreme Court emphasised that this is true with respect to both issues of the res judicata effect – namely, the exclusiveness and the binding effect of foreign judgments.

The court further clarified that the interdiction of novation in appellate proceedings applies only to new facts and new evidence and therefore does not preclude an appellate court from considering the res judicata effect of a new foreign decision.