Austria / Asylum Court / E3 428458-1/2012 Claimant from Pakistan v Federal Asylum Office

Key facts of the case:

The claimant, a Pakistani citizen, entered Austria illegally on 9 July 2012. During his first interrogation after applying for international protection in July 2012 the claimant stated his reason for flight: that he loved a girl, and her brothers told him not to see her anymore. They remained however in contact, she got pregnant and the baby was aborted. This situation led to the killing of one of the brothers of the claimant in winter 2008. Six to seven months later his other two brothers were killed. Since 2008 the claimant is therefore on the run. This story was again told in front of the Federal Asylum Office. On 27 July 2012 the claim for international protection was rejected by the Federal Asylum Office and the claimant was expelled to Pakistan. Credibility was denied for the story and in the subsidiary arguments (Eventualbegründung) an internal flight alternative was seen as possible. The claimant appealed against this decision to the Asylum Court and asked for an oral hearing referring to Art. 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Art. 6 ECHR (Page 1 of 17 of the judgment).

Paragraphs referring to EU Charter: 


According to Art. 47 para 2 of the Charter of Fundamental Right, every person has the right to an independent and impartial public hearing before a Court previously established by law in a fair and public trial and within reasonable time. The limitation of the right to a public hearing (Verhandlungspflicht), established by § 41 para 7 Asylum Act 2005 (Asylgesetz 2005, AsylG 2005) according to Art. 52 para 1 Charter of Fundamental Rights, is allowed in the view of the Asylum Court, as it is – as foreseen in the Charter – provided for by law and respects the essential content of the right foreseen in Art. 47 para 2 of the Charter. Fairly quick decisions on asylum applications are a goal of the Union, which has a significant value (see recital 11 of the preamble of Directive 2005/85/EC). The omission of hearings in those cases, where the actual situation can be established and the omission of the oral hearing does not diminish the quality of the decision, help reaching this goal. Therefore the restriction in § 41 para 7) Asylum Act 2005 also fulfils the requirement of Art. 52 para 1 last sentence of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. In accordance with European law, an oral hearing in asylum procedures is therefore not per se compulsory (Page 17 of 17 of the judgement).

Deciding body (original language):