Articles

China Elevator Stories

The Vienna Chamber of Lawyers

When perpetrators are protected by institutions, victims don’t stand a chance.

26/01/2023

Ruth Silbermayr

Author

In 2022, my husband’s lawyer, a former friend of mine, is stalking me and family. He tries to hunt me down at my address in Vienna, relays messages to me via third parties, calls my mother, and tries to coerce me into a “no-fault divorce” (where, very conveniently for my husband, I should sign away all my rights, my income, and my children as well).

I write a complaint to the Vienna Chamber of Lawyers in response to his unethical behavior, telling them what happened. If justice were served, he’d be blocked by now from being allowed to defend my husband.

Following my complaint, he has to reply to my accusations. His reply contains blatant lies, and he is allowed to walk away unscathed. I receive a letter from the Vienna Chamber of Lawyers later that they consider the case closed.

When I send in further proof to show that I am innocent and he is lying, the answer I get is still the same.

He violates my rights a few more times over the course of the divorce proceedings, and I send in two more letters to the Vienna Chamber of Lawyers. The second and third time I send in letters, the Chamber declines them immediately with the excuse that “no new claims have been made”.

Their replies are in direct violation of Article 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to an effective remedy).

My experience these last few years has been that the state of freedom of expression and opinion in Austria likens that of a pre-dictatorship more than that of a democracy and that democratic structures are failing. Experts have also been pointing out this has been happening.

Have you ever sent a complaint to a chamber of lawyers?