The Federal Constitutional Court dismissed the complaint. Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Office of Religious Affairs submitted additional statements to the Supreme Administrative Court.
Religious minister Gerhard Lang filed an application with the ECtHR that addressed discrimination he faced with respect to military and civilian service. For the first time, the Republic of Austria submitted a statement regarding the application of Jehovah’s Witnesses to the ECtHR.
The ECtHR was informed of the Supreme Administrative Court’s decision to dismiss the complaint.
The ECtHR admitted the applications of religious ministers Gütl and Löffelmann. Jehovah’s Witnesses filed a second ECtHR application, which addressed the (minimum) ten-year waiting period for recognition as a religious society, and a third application, which tackled the discrimination faced by religious ministers who speak another language. The ECtHR admitted the first application of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Jehovah’s Witnesses supplemented their second ECtHR application, which addressed discrimination under tax law, and a fourth application, which dealt with the taxation of donations.
Jehovah’s Witnesses renewed their domestic application for recognition on 15 March, in the hope of preventing an unnecessary delay once the ten-year waiting period would expire on 11 July 2008. However, in an official notice dated 11 July 2007, the Office of Religious Affairs refused to handle the matter until the waiting period had ended.
The Federal Ministry announced an evaluation procedure into a decree to recognise Jehovah’s Witnesses as a religious society. Jehovah’s Witnesses submitted a complaint to the Supreme Administrative Court because no decision was made on their application of 15 March 2007 within the statutory period of six months (Section 73 (1) General Administrative Procedure Act). The ECtHR published its judgments on the applications of religious ministers Gütl, Löffelmann, and Lang against the Republic of Austria.
On 7 May, Jehovah’s Witnesses became the fourteenth religious society to be recognised in Austria according to the decree announced in the Federal Law Gazette.
The ECtHR published its judgments on the applications filed due to discrimination against ministers who speak another language and the unlawful taxation of donations.