In 2016, Austrian Criminal Law experienced some substantive legal developments in both, procedural and material aspects. The following overview reflects the most relevant developments in Austrian Criminal Law in 2016.

1. Material changes

1.1. Breach of trust

With effect from 1 January 2016, the offence "breach of trust" in sec 153 of the Austrian Criminal Code ("ACC") has been fundamentally revised. At first glance, sec 153 of the ACC is not a very complex provision. It states, quite simply, that whoever knowingly abuses the authority conferred to him or her shall be liable, if he or she intends to cause and eventually causes financial harm to his or her principal (eg the company). Thus, sec 153 ACC has three prerequisites: (i) an abuse of authority, (ii) financial harm and (iii) criminal intent. With the reform of sec 153 ACC the Austrian legislator finally addressed the concern that the scope of what constitutes an "abuse of authority" is not always easy to assess: read more

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