The image is from Wikipedia Commons
|Chancellor of Austria|
3 June 2019
|President||Alexander Van der Bellen|
|Preceded by||Sebastian Kurz|
|President of the Constitutional Court|
23 February 2018 – 3 June 2019
|Nominated by||Kurz cabinet|
|Vice President||Christoph Grabenwarter|
|Preceded by||Gerhart Holzinger|
|Vice President of the Constitutional Court|
1 January 2003 – 22 February 2018
|Nominated by||Schüssel cabinet|
|Preceded by||Karl Korinek|
|Succeeded by||Christoph Grabenwarter|
|Born|| (1949-06-25) 25 June 1949
|Alma mater||University of Vienna|
Brigitte Bierlein (German: [bʁiˈɡɪtə ˈbiːɐ̯laɪ̯n]; born 25 June 1949) is an Austrian jurist serving as Chancellor of Austria since 2019. An Independent, she was the advocate general of the Procurator's Office – essentially the country's chief public prosecutor – from 1990 to 2002, as well as a member of the executive board of the International Association of Prosecutors from 2001 to 2003. In 2003, Bierlein was made a member of the Constitutional Court. Between January 2018 and June 2019, she served as President of the Constitutional Court, the first woman to hold the position.
Following the Ibiza affair, President Alexander Van der Bellen named Bierlein Chancellor of Austria, after a parliamentary motion of no confidence dismissed the government of Sebastian Kurz, the first successful motion of no confidence in Austrian modern history. She is the first woman to assume the role and is expected to serve until the next government is sworn in after the upcoming legislative election, which is slated to take place no later than September 2019.
Brigitte Bierlein was born on 25 June 1949 in Vienna during the Allied occupation of Austria. Her father was a civil servant. Her mother, trained as an artist, was a homemaker. She was educated at the Gymnasium Kundmanngasse, from which she graduated in 1967. Bierlein originally wanted to study either art or architecture and came close to joining the University of Applied Arts. However, she ultimately chose to study law instead, partly on the advice of her mother and partly because she did not want to be a financial burden on her parents any longer than necessary. Bierlein enrolled at the University of Vienna, receiving her doctorate of law in 1971.
Bierlein served for four years as a candidate judge, before she was officially elevated to the judiciary in 1975. She spent the next two years presiding over trial courts, first the District Court Innere Stadt (German: Bezirksgericht Innere Stadt Wien) and then the District Tribunal Vienna (Strafbezirksgericht Wien), a criminal court that has since been dissolved. In the former position, she mostly dealt with cases at tenancy law, an area that appears to have bored her greatly.
In 1977, Bierlein left the bench to join the Vienna Public Prosecutor's Office (Staatsanwaltschaft Wien). She was responsible for general and political criminal cases as well as for criminal cases pursuant to media law, a type of proceedings customarily handled by dedicated specialists in Austria. In 1986, Bierlein was promoted to the Vienna Chief Public Prosecutor's Office (Oberstaatsanwaltschaft Wien). She was now a distinguished civil servant attached to one of the country's five most senior criminal chambers. In 1987, she spent a few months working in the Department of Criminal Law in the Ministry of Justice, then returned to her position in the prosecution service.
In 1990, she was appointed advocate general of the Procurator's Office, the section of the prosecution service attached directly to the Supreme Court. She was the first woman to serve in this position.
The same year, Bierlein became a member of the board of examiners for judges and prosecutors at the Vienna Higher Regional Court, a position she would hold until 2010.
In 1995, Bierlein was appointed to the executive board of the Association of Austrian Prosecutors. From 2001 to 2003, she served as the association's president. Also from 2001 to 2003, she held a seat on the executive board of the International Association of Prosecutors.
In 2002, the first Schüssel government recommended Bierlein for appointment as vice president of the Constitutional Court. The move was not uncontroversial at the time. Bierlein had prosecuted crime with great fervor but had not distinguished herself as a legal scholar; she is in fact considered indifferent as a theorist to this day. Opposition politicians such as Josef Cap accused the government of passing over multiple more competent candidates in favor of a partisan hack. Bierlein supporters such as Maria Fekter countered that Bierlein's appointment would be an important step towards gender equality in Austria.
According to the well-known Austrian law professor Werner Doralt, Bierlein owed her career at the Constitutional Court to the Austrian politician Jörg Haider and her life partner, the Austrian judge Ernest Maurer, a close friend of Jörg Haider.
Assenting to the cabinet's recommendation, President Thomas Klestil appointed Bierlein on 21 November 2002, the appointment to be effective 1 January 2003. Once again, Bierlein was the first woman to serve in the role she was being elevated to. In fact, there had been no women at all on the Constitutional Court until 1995.
On the initiative of the Freedom Party, the right-of-center Kurz government moved to turn her interim position into a permanent one. President Alexander Van der Bellen confirmed Bierlein as the new president of the Constitutional Court on 23 February 2018. Bierlein's previous role as vice president passed on to Supreme Court justice Christoph Grabenwarter. Wolfgang Brandstetter, who had formerly been vice chancellor and minister of justice on a People's Party ticket, was appointed to fill the vacancy of the Court.
Bierlein has no political affiliation. She is seen as solidly right of centre. During her time as a prosecutor, she was noted for her hardline tough-on-crime stance, although her years on the bench have earned her a reputation for civility and for working well with ideological opponents. Commentators from both sides of the political spectrum note Bierlein's close ties to both People's Party and Freedom Party, as well as the fact that her career owes both its unexpected major breaks to right-of-centre coalition governments.
Bierlein herself acknowledges both her toughness as a prosecutor and her socially conservative bent in general. In response to doubts about her ability to remain above the fray as a Constitutional Court justice, she claims to be as committed to impartiality as any other professional judge and also points out that she has never actually joined any party.
In December 2017 the Austrian Constitutional Court with Bierlein as president ruled to introduce same-sex marriage on 1 January 2019.
After the Kurz government lost a parliamentary vote of no-confidence on 27 May 2019 following the Ibiza affair, Alexander Van der Bellen, the president of Austria, named Bierlein as Kurz's successor. She became the first female chancellor of Austria and is expected to be in office until the next government is formed following the National Council elections on September 29, 2019. Bierlein's appointment was agreed with all political parties in the National Council. She is the second independent to serve as a chancellor after Johannes Schober, who was in office twice between 1921 and 1930, and is the first in modern Austrian history.
Bierlein is unmarried and has no children. Her partner is Ernest Maurer, a retired judge. Bierlein is a supporter of the arts. She owns contemporary paintings, although she does not consider herself a collector. She also attends theatre and opera performances as well as museums. She enjoys skiing and sailing.
- Austrian honours
- Grand Decoration of Honor in Silver with Sash of the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria 
- Said-Moorhouse, Lauren (30 May 2019). "Austria names its first female chancellor". CNN. Archived from the original on 30 May 2019. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
- "Brigitte Bierlein". Austrian Constitutional Court. Archived from the original on 14 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
- Jungwirth, Michael; Swoboda, Manuela (21 February 2018). "Erstmals eine Frau an der Spitze des Höchstgerichts". Kleine Zeitung. Archived from the original on 14 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
- Kommanda, Benedikt; Aichinger, Philipp (21 February 2018). "Bierlein: Stets die Erste – jetzt auch im Verfassungsgerichtshof". Die Presse. Archived from the original on 22 February 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
- Prechtl, Elisabeth (22 February 2018). "Brigitte Bierlein: Kunstsinnige Spitzen-Juristin". Oberösterreichische Nachrichten. Archived from the original on 14 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
- John, Gerald (23 February 2018). "Brigitte Bierlein, Pionierin an der Spitze des Höchstgerichts". Der Standard. Archived from the original on 12 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
- "Brigitte Bierlein: Paradejuristin wird erste Frau an VfGH-Spitze". Die Presse. 21 February 2018. Archived from the original on 14 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
- "Paradejuristin wird erste VfGH-Präsidentin". Der Standard. 21 February 2018. Archived from the original on 14 July 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
- "Der Mann an Bierleins Seite – Ausdrucken – Österreich / oe24.at". www.oe24.at.
- Bischof, Daniel. "Vertraut und distanziert". Recht – Wiener Zeitung Online (in German). and Weber, Ina. ""Befangene" Richter: SPÖ im Notfall für Gesetzesänderung". Österreich Politik – Nachrichten – Wiener Zeitung Online (in German). In 2007, the SPÖ speaker for constitutional affairs, Hannes Jarolim severely criticized Ernest Maurer's close political relationship with Jörg Haider
- Heller, Kurt (2010). Der Verfassungsgerichtshof. Die Entwicklung der Verfassungsgerichtsbarkeit in Österreich von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart. Vienna: Verlag Österreich. pp. 492–495, 626.
- Aichinger, Philipp (27 December 2009). "Höchstrichterin: Nein zu Frauenquoten". Die Presse. Archived from the original on 14 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
- "Vizepräsidentin Brigitte Bierlein übernimmt interimistisch Leitung des Verfassungsgerichtshofes". Austrian Constitutional Court. 1 January 2018. Archived from the original on 11 September 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
- "Bierlein wird VfGH-Präsidentin, Brandstetter rückt nach". Tiroler Tageszeitung. 21 February 2018. Archived from the original on 23 February 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
- "Bierlein wird VfGH-Präsidentin, Brandstetter rückt nach". Die Presse. 21 February 2018. Archived from the original on 28 July 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
- "Neues VfGH-Präsidium von Van der Bellen angelobt". Die Presse. 23 February 2018. Archived from the original on 15 June 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
- "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 30 May 2019. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
- "VfGH-Präsidentin Bierlein: "Ich war nie bei einer politischen Partei"". Oberösterreichische Nachrichten. 26 February 2018. Archived from the original on 14 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
- "Austria gets first woman chancellor after scandal". BBC. 30 May 2019. Archived from the original on 31 May 2019. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
- "Anfragebeantwortung" (PDF). Austrian Parliament. 23 April 2012. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 November 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
- Brigitte BIERLEIN at the Constitutional Court homepage
- Bahasa Indonesia
- Bahasa Melayu
- Simple English
- Српски / srpski
- Tiếng Việt
- This page is based on the Wikipedia article Brigitte Bierlein; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA.