Austria’s Mandatory Vaccination Law

By M M. Elghusein, J.D.

Published on January 5, 2022

Austria has become the first country in Europe to introduce a general compulsory COVID-19 vaccination. The law will apply to anyone living in Austria from the age of 14. Limited exceptions are allowed in the case of pregnant women and individuals with certain health issues.

Already in the form of a draft law, the compulsory vaccination law has resulted in waves of strong street protests in Vienna, Linz, Graz, and Klagenfurt, and other cities as well as strong criticism from Great Britain.

The law is scheduled to take effect on the 1 February of this year. ​Those who refuse to comply with the law may end up having to pay a penalty of up to €3,600.​

The Austrian government’s move to make vaccinations mandatory, as well as its 2G+ ordinance which effectively discriminates against those who refuse to take the government’s ‘Game changing’ vaccine, violates national, European, as well as international laws and covenants.

Unfortunately, the mainstream media in Austria which receives sponsorship from the government fails to inform citizens of these laws, resolutions, and conventions which casts serious doubt about their credibility, impartiality, and accountability towards citizens.

This article will examine these laws and convenants in detail and their implications.

The Council of Europe

On 27 January 2021, the Council of Europe adopted a resolution on COVID-19 vaccines. The Parliamentary Assembly urges the Member States and the European Union to ‘ensure that citizens are informed that the vaccination is NOT mandatory and that no one is under political, social or other pressure to be vaccinated if they do not wish to do so’ and ‘to ensure that no one is discriminated against for not having been vaccinated, due to possible health risks or not wanting to be vaccinated.’

The wording of the resolution is unambiguous. All the political pressure exerted by the incumbent government to get people vaccinated is contrary to the Council’s resolution.

The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

The government’s mandatory vaccination laws and 2G+ ordinance violate the European Convention on Human Rights. Austria joined the Council of Europe on 16 April 1956 as its fifteenth Member State.

As such, all civil and political rights of the European Convention on Human Rights are part of Austrian constitutional law and, therefore enjoy full constitutional protection.

Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

Article 8 (1) of the European Convention on Human Rights pertains to the right to respect for private and family life, and states that: ‘Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.’

Mandatory vaccinations can be considered as a violation of the right to private life under Article 8 (1) of the ECHR.

However, Article 8 (2) of the ECHR states: ‘There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others’.

While Article 8 (2) provides exceptions to Article 8 (1) by stating that exceptions are made for the protection of health, it is hard to believe how a government can use this exception to impose mandatory vaccinations given all the knowledge we have about the Coronavirus itself, the ineffectiveness of the mRNA vaccines, the warnings from renowned scientists, and the high number of side effects and deaths resulting from the vaccine.

Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), Mandatory Vaccination, and the 2G+ Ordinance

Article 14 of the ECHR pertains to the prohibition of discrimination and states: ‘The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.’

The government’s plan to impose mandatory vaccinations as well as its 2G+ ordinance which prevents unvaccinated people from visiting stores other than grocery stores, pharmacies, opticians, and telecommunication stores, constitutes a form of discrimination and violates Article 14 which states that the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as ‘political or other opinion’. Many medical doctors and scientists have voiced their concerns and disapproval of the measures imposed by the government and the use of mRNA vaccines and many people share these opinions. These opinions are based on legitimate fears that are based on facts and not fiction or some conspiracy theory.

Compulsory vaccination with a gene-based vaccine known to cause serious side effects and deaths is simply incompatible with the basic human right to physical integrity.

The government failed to respect other opinions deviating from its narrative and continues to discriminate against the unvaccinated.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is a multilateral treaty adopted by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2200A (XXI) on 16 December 1966, and has been in force since 23 March 1976 in accordance with Article 49 of the covenant.

Compulsory vaccinations against the Coronavirus violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This international treaty was ratified by Austria in 1978.

Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that ‘No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation.’

Whether the mRNA vaccine is a type of experiment is subject to debate. However, we do need to realize that the mRNA vaccine is not a traditional vaccine, and many side effects and deaths have resulted from its use. Many renowned scientists have warned of the use of the mRNA vaccine.

‘Decision makers, in WHO, will be held responsible, accountable and liable for the dramatic consequence that this biological experiments on human beings could possibly entail’. – Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche, DVM, PhD

Renowned Belgian virologist and vaccination expert Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche served as head of the German Center for Infection Research in Cologne as Head of the Vaccine Development Office. Dr. Bossche was formerly employed with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health Discovery team in Seattle (USA) as Senior Program Officer and then worked with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) in Geneva as Senior Ebola Program Manager. At GAVI Dr. Bossche tracked efforts to develop an Ebola vaccine. He is at present primarily serving as a Biotech / Vaccine consultant while also conducting his own research on Natural Killer cell-based vaccines.

Dr. Bossche has said that it is ‘absolutely absurd’ to give people booster jabs, and that “the corona vaccines are able to compete with the innate antibodies. Instead, you get antibodies that are no longer able to completely neutralize the virus -we are seeing more and more that mass vaccinations can lead to resistance.’

In September of this year, Heute, one of the largest daily mainstream newspapers in the country reported that more than 13,000 people have been infected with the Coronavirus despite being vaccinated.

Dr. Bossche released an open letter claiming that the COVID-19 vaccines will be harmful to humans and will allow the virus to mutate in a dangerous way.

There have been many discussions about vaccinating children with the mRNA vaccine. On this topic, Dr. Bossche has said that ‘Children are endowed with innate antibodies that are highly functional and effective against a wide variety of viruses. The disadvantage is that these antibodies are not yet fully developed in children and can very easily be displaced by vaccine antibodies. Vaccinating children against SC-2 (SARS-CoV-2) deprives them from their capacity to sterilize this virus as well as a number other viruses that do not usually cause harm to children. In the meantime, unvaccinated children may get mild or moderate disease. The resulting training of their innate immune system or acquisition of natural S-specific Abs (that outperform vaccine Abs!) will provide them with sustained protective innate or acquired immunity, respectively.’

On the 6 March 2021 Dr. Bossche published a letter ‘addressed to all the authorities, scientists and experts around the world, to whom this concerns: the entire world population.’ In this letter he wrote:

‘‘I am all but an antivaxxer. As a scientist, I do not usually appeal to any platform of this kind to make a stand on vaccine-related topics. As a dedicated virologist and vaccine expert, I only make an exception when health authorities allow vaccines to be administered in ways that threaten public health, most certainly when scientific evidence is being ignored. The present extremely critical situation forces me to spread this emergency call. As the unprecedented extent of human intervention in the Covid-19- pandemic is now at risk of resulting in a global catastrophe without equal, this call cannot sound loudly and strongly enough. As stated, I am not against vaccination. On the contrary, I can assure you that each of the current vaccines has been designed, developed, and manufactured by brilliant and competent scientists. However, this type of prophylactic vaccines are completely inappropriate, and even highly dangerous, when used in mass vaccination campaigns during a viral pandemic. Volcanologists, scientists, and clinicians are blinded by the positive short-term effects in individual patients, but don’t seem to bother about the disastrous consequences for global health. Unless I am scientifically proven wrong, it is difficult to understand how current human interventions will prevent circulating variants from turning into a wild monster. Racing against the clock, I am completing my scientific manuscript, the publication of which is, unfortunately, likely to come too late given the ever-increasing threat from rapidly spreading, highly infectious variants. This is why I decided to already post a summary of my findings as well as my keynote speech at the recent Vaccine Summit in Ohio on LinkedIn. Last Monday, I provided international health organizations, including the WHO, with my analysis of the current pandemic as based on scientifically informed insights in the immune biology of Covid-19. Given the level of emergency, I urge them to consider my concerns and to initiate a debate on the detrimental consequences of further ‘viral immune escape’. For those who are no experts in this field, I am attaching below a more accessible and comprehensive version o f the science behind this insidious phenomenon.

While there is no time to spare, I have not received any feedback thus far. Experts and politicians have remained silent while obviously still eager to talk about relaxing infection prevention rules and ‘springtime freedom’. Many statements are based on nothing else but science. They shall only be contradicted by science. While one can barely make any incorrect scientific statements without being criticized by peers, it seems like the elite of scientists who are currently advising our world leaders prefer to stay silent. Sufficient scientific evidence has been brought to the table. Unfortunately, it remains untouched by those who have the power to act. How long can one ignore the problem when there is at present massive evidence that viral immune escape is now threatening humanity? We can hardly say we didn’t know- or were not warned. In this agonizing letter, I put all of my reputation and credibility at stake. I expect from you, guardians of mankind, at least the same. It is of utmost urgency. Do open the debate. By all means: turn the tide!’

Dr. Bossche is not alone here. British pharmacologist Dr. Michael Yeadon who himself was a scientific researcher and vice president at drugs giant Pfizer warned that the mRNA vaccine is unsafe. Dr. Yeadon is a co-founder of a biotech firm that was purchased by the Swiss drugmaker Novartis for at least $325 million. Despite his achievements as a scientist, Yeadon was accused of making false and unfounded claims claims about the COVID-19 pandemic and the safety of the vaccines.

Renowned German virologist Sucharit Bhakdi has strongly voiced his concern about the vaccine from the very beginning and said that the mRNA vaccine is a gene-based vaccine and not a traditional vaccine and as such poses a high risk to health.

The Austrian medical doctor and virologist Professor Martin Haditsch who opposes the government’s measures said that ‘the new mRNA vaccination provides insufficient protection and has many side effects.’

Despite all this, Karoline Edtstadler, Austria’s minister for the constitution has said in a press conference that ‘we should vaccinate today, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow.’ Following waves of country-wide street protests, Edtstadler seems to have changed her stance recently and stated that mandatory vaccination applies only when the vaccines work.

If the government and the mainstream scientists are truly concerned about our health and well-being then why have they failed to consider other health policy strategies to boost people’s immunity and improve their health such as advising people to eat healthy foods and diets, reduce alcohol consumption, quit smoking, reduce stress, and engage in sports and outdoor activities? I have not heard Dr. Wolfgang Mückstein, Austria’s Minister of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection putting emphasis on these vital issues. Instead, the government has placed all its belief in the prophets of the doom scientists and the ‘Game changer’ vaccine.

What is particularly disturbing is that anyone who questions the mRNA vaccine or opposes its use is considered an outcast and branded as a ‘conspiracy theorist’, a ‘Corona denier’, a ‘Corona rebel’, or a ‘far-right extremist’.

For the government, dissent is highly undesirable and intolerable as many doctors, scientists, nurses, and hospital workers who refused to follow the government’s narrative were fired.

Recently, Dr. Andreas Sönnichsen who served as Head of the Department of General and Family Medicine at the Center for Public Health was relieved of his duties by the University of Vienna due to his opposition to the government’s vaccination measures.

Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

The introduction of compulsory vaccinations contradicts the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Article 3.1, of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, pertains to the right to integrity and states that: ‘Everyone has the right to physical and mental integrity.’

Following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009, the Charter of Fundamental Rights holds the same status as the Union’s founding treaties. The Charter applies to the institutions of the European Union and its member states when implementing European Union law. The fundamental rights contained in the Charter of Fundamental Rights can be used in proceedings before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) as well as before the Austrian courts.

Austrian Criminal Law: §275 StGB (1) of the Landzwang

If implemented, mandatory vaccinations and the sanctions that will be imposed against those who refuse to comply could constitute a massive violation of Austrian criminal law.

Dating back to the year 1475, the Landzwang laws deal with threats that are considered dangerous to the public and that cause a serious disturbance of public peace (also known as land peace in medieval times).

§275 StGB (1) of the Landzwang states that ‘Anyone who threatens a large group of people with an attack on their life, health, bodily integrity, freedom or property and causes them fear and disturbance is to be punished with an imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years.’

The UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights

While it is not a legally binding instrument, the UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights contain a series of principles and rights that are based on human rights standards enshrined in other international instruments that are legally binding – such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights places great importance on respect for human dignity and states: ‘Recognizing that ethical issues raised by the rapid advances in science and their technological applications should be examined with due respect to the dignity of the human person and universal respect for, and observance of, human rights, and fundamental freedoms.’

Article 3 of the declaration pertains to human dignity and states that ‘human dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms are to be fully respected’. Article 3 (2) states that ‘the interests and welfare of the individual should have priority over the sole interest of science or society.’

Article 6 pertains to consent and states that:

1. Any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned, based on adequate information. The consent should, where appropriate, be express and may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without disadvantage or prejudice.

2. Scientific research should only be carried out with the prior, free, express and informed consent of the person concerned. The information should be adequate, provided in a comprehensible form and should include modalities for withdrawal of consent. Consent may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without any disadvantage or prejudice. Exceptions to this principle should be made only in accordance with ethical and legal standards adopted by States, consistent with the principles and provisions set out in this Declaration, in particular in Article 27, and international human rights law.

3. In appropriate cases of research carried out on a group of persons or a community, additional agreement of the legal representatives of the group or community concerned may be sought. In no case should a collective community agreement or the consent of a community leader or other authority substitute for an individual’s informed consent.

Article 6 (3) makes it clear that all the silly and immature political talk about holding a referendum in order to legitimize mandatory vaccinations is invalid. Issues of public health cannot be decided by a government minister, a politician, or a referendum.

Article 11 pertains to non-discrimination and non-stigmatization and states ‘No individual or group should be discriminated against or stigmatized on any grounds, in violation of human dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms’.

Here it is clear that the 2G+ ordinance of the government discriminates against those who choose not to be vaccinated. In reality, the 2G+ ordinance discriminates against people who are healthy and implies that unless they have been tested, they are either ill or carrying the virus.

Finally, the declaration states that ‘Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any claim to engage in any activity or to perform any act contrary to human rights, fundamental freedoms and human dignity.’

That the government plans to implement such a law despite all the reported side effects and deaths resulting from the vaccine as well as warnings from renowned scientists and doctors should tell any reasonably-minded person with critical thinking faculties that something is terribly wrong.

The Author

Mohamed Elghusein

Born in Vienna, M M. Elghusein, J.D. read the law in England and the United States. He is the founder, publisher, and editor-in-chief of The New Jurist.

Article picture: 12019 via Pixabay


Law & Philosophy