Austria has had a system of jury trial, with some interruptions, since 1848. Although Austrian jury trial was derived from England via France, little is known about it in the common law world. This article commences with an overview of the history of jury trial in Austria and of the constitutional protection it currently enjoys. Then the major differences between Austrian jury trial and the common law's model of jury trial are analyzed, and the system of appeals is described. It will be seen that much of trial practice and the appeals system is either an attempt to adapt a transplanted institution to the inquisitorial system and/or a result of the “Austrofascist” dictatorship's so-called reforms of 1933–1934. Austrian jury trial has not fared well in the inquisitorial environment, a state of affairs that does not result from any fundamental incompatibility between the inquisitorial system and jury trial but rather from a lack of enthusiasm for jury trial among the Austrian legal elite.
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