THE FACTS

Whereas the facts presented by the Applicant may be summarised as
follows:

The Applicant is an Austrian citizen born in 1919 and at present
resident in Graz.

In 1961 and 1963 disciplinary proceedings were brought against the
Applicant, who is a lawyer, before the Disciplinary Committee of the
Bar Association for the Steiermark (Disziplinarrat der Steiermärkischen
Rechtsanwaltskammer) for overcharging in a number of cases. The
Applicant was of the opinion that the Disciplinary Committee was not
impartial and that a number of irregularities had been committed in the
intermediate (interlocutory) proceedings in these cases. He therefore
applied under paragraph 27 of the Disciplinary Code (Disziplinarstatut)
for the cases to be transferred to a different Disciplinary Committee.

The Disciplinary Committee referred this application to the Supreme
Appeals and Disciplinary Commission for Lawyers and Legal Pupils
(Oberste Berufungs- und Disziplinarkommission für Rechtsanwälte und
Rechtsanwaltsanwärter).

On ..., 1962, the Supreme Appeals and Disciplinary Commission rejected
the applications as being out of time.

On appeal the Constitutional Court (Verfassungsgerichtshof) set aside
this decision on the ground that the decision on the question of
whether an application was made in time did not lie within the
competence of the Supreme Appeals and Disciplinary Commission but in
that of the Disciplinary Committee.

The Disciplinary Committee then informed the Supreme Appeals and
Disciplinary Commission that it did not consider that the applications
were out of time and again referred the applications together with a
subsequent application relating to a case arising in 1963, to the
Supreme Commission.

On ..., 1964, the Supreme Commission rejected the applications for
transfer on the ground that the facts alleged by the Applicant did not
establish any lack of impartiality in the Disciplinary Committee and
the other alleged irregularities were not such as to justify a transfer
to another Disciplinary Committee.

The Applicant appealed to the Constitutional Court which rejected his
appeal on ..., 1965. The decision was served on the Applicant on ...,
1965.

The Court rejected the Applicant's contention that he had not been
judged by a proper court, because the Supreme Commission had proceeded
with complete lack of logic in its application of paragraph 27 of the
Disciplinary Code (denkunmöglich angewendet) and thus did not
constitute a court at all. The Court held that the decision had been
lawfully made by a competent court. Furthermore, contrary to what
appeared to the Applicant's opinion, it did not contain any decision
on the question of whether the Disciplinary Committee had been properly
constituted at the time it made a number of intermediate
(interlocutory) decisions. Nor did it in any way forejudge the future
composition of the Disciplinary Commission in the hearing of the case
against the Applicant.

In respect of the Applicant's contention that the principle of equality
of treatment had been violated with regard to the Applicant by the
decision, the Court decided that the Supreme Commission had not acted
arbitrarily in deciding that the Disciplinary Committee had not shown
a lack of impartiality and that there were not other weighty reasons
requiring the case to be transferred to another Disciplinary Committee
because:

- in 16 cases mentioned by the Applicant various persons had allegedly
improperly taken part in intermediate decisions of the Disciplinary
Committee;

- the Disciplinary Committee had not dealt with one matter relating to
the Applicant according to the relevant provisions;

- the Disciplinary Committee had not dealt with the Applicant in the
same manner as it had dealt with other lawyers in similar cases;

- the Disciplinary Committee had allegedly in certain cases given the
Supreme Commission incorrect information in its report and had
committed certain other irregularities;

- the representative of the Bar Association (Kammeranwalt) had
allegedly committed certain irregularities;

- the Court rejected the Applicant's contention that the decision of
the Supreme Commission constituted a violation of Article 6 of the
Convention on Human Rights and maintained its former jurisprudence
according to which Article 6 does not apply to disciplinary as opposed
to criminal or civil proceedings.

The Applicant maintains that Article 6 of the Convention, properly
interpreted, applies to disciplinary proceedings as these are, on a
substantive (as opposed to a merely procedural) classification,
criminal proceedings since they imply punishment and the punishments
which can be imposed are as far-reaching in their effects as many of
those imposed by the criminal law. Furthermore, it is not a valid
objection that disciplinary proceedings only to a limited class of
persons as this is true of certain crimes.

Presuming that Article 6 applies, the Applicant maintains that it is
violated by the fact that the Supreme Appeals and Disciplinary
Commission for Lawyers is not a court but an administrative authority
and so does not constitute a tribunal within the meaning of Article 6.

He submits that the right to a fair trial is further violated as the
Supreme Commission took its decision after hearing the Attorney-General
(Generalprokuratur) in the absence of the Applicant at a hearing which
was not open to the public.

The Applicant further maintains that by refusing his applications for
transfer the Supreme Commission deprived him of his right to trial by
an impartial court contrary to Article 6.

The Applicant also complains that an effective remedy was not available
for the alleged violation of Article 6 and invokes Article 13 of the
Convention.

THE LAW

Whereas, in so far as the Applicant's complaints concern alleged
violations of Article 6 (Art. 6) of the Convention, it is to be
observed that Article specifically relates only to the determination
of civil rights and obligations or of a criminal charge; whereas in the
case of the Applicant the proceedings concerned his alleged misconduct
as a member of the legal profession and took place before disciplinary
authorities; whereas it is clear that these proceedings were not
concerned with a determination of the Applicant's civil rights or
obligations within the meaning of paragraph (1) of Article 6
(Art. 6-1); whereas it is equally clear that the Applicant was not
charged with a criminal offense within that paragraph; whereas,
therefore, Article 6 (Art. 6) of the Convention is not applicable to
the proceedings instituted against the Applicant before the
disciplinary authorities; whereas it follows that this part of the
Application is incompatible with the provisions of the Convention;
whereas in this connection the Commission refers to its decision in
Application No. 734/60 S. v. the Federal Republic of Germany
(Collection of Decisions No. 6, page 28); whereas the Applicant's
complaint of a violation of Article 13 (Art. 13) is based on the fact
that no effective remedy is provided under Austrian law for alleged
breaches of Article 6 (Art. 6) in connection with disciplinary
proceedings;

Whereas the Commission has already found that the Applicant's complaint
of a violation of Article 6 (Art. 6) is incompatible with the
Convention;

Whereas it follows that his complaint of a violation of Article 13
(Art. 13) is likewise incompatible with the Convention; whereas the
Application must accordingly be rejected in accordance with Article 27,
paragraph (2) (Art. 27-2), of the Convention.

Now therefore the Commission declares this Application inadmissible.