The 1968 Supreme Court Act created a statutory basis for the Records Office. It has responsibility for recording and processing the Court’s decisions, as well as decisions of the lower courts that might be of relevance. Young judges can be assigned to work in the Records Office. Their function is to provide support to the members of the Supreme Court.
In 1993, without any specific statutory instruction, the Records Office began work on an electronic database, to include all the judicially stated guiding principles previously held in hand-written files. This work was carried out by a number of teams, and was completed in January 1997.
In 2001 the Supreme Court Act was amended to incorporate rules on the use of information technology. By these provisions, the Federal Minister for Justice was required to establish a data base containing the full text of every major decision taken by the Court. This database now contains more than 130.000 decisions. Access to the Court’s database is unrestricted. This is considered to be a modern aspect of the rule of law. Anyone seeking information about the law will find additional resources in the database. At the same time, the electronic storage and publication of Court judgments allows the public to monitor their contents, and affords an ongoing opportunity to discuss and evaluate judicial decisions (RIS-Justiz).