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Key facts of the case:

The appellant, a Somali citizen, filed an application for international protection on 25 May 2014. After the first inquiry, which took place on the same day, the appellant was interrogated by the Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum (Bundesamt für Fremdenwesen und Asyl, BFA) on 17 February 2015. By decision of 3 April 2015, the BFA denied the appellant entitlement to asylum based on claims that he failed to put forward relevant reasons which underpinned the fact that he was persecuted. However, the BFA granted him subsidiary protection. The BFA argued that the appellant mentioned in his first inquiry that he only left Somalia because of hoping to find a better life (including work), whereas now he is claiming to be persecuted by Al-Shabbab. Thereupon, the appellant submitted a complaint to the Federal Administrative Court, which was rejected on 4 September 2015 without conducting a public hearing. The Court argued that the BFA conducted a proper and flawless judical inquiry and that the circumstances of the case, which were brought forwad, are not of relevance regarding asylum. Thereupon, based on Article 144 B-VG, the appellant submitted a complaint to the Constitional Court claiming that his constitutionally protected rights, especially the right to a fair trial with a public hearing according to Article 47 para 2 CFR, have been violated by the decision of the Federal Administrative Court. The Constitutional Court decided on 10 June 2016 that the complaint is founded. According to the Constitutional Court, the Federal Administrative Court violated the right to fair trial by not conducting a public hearing.

As for the presented case, the relevant legal norms are: § 3 Asylum Act 2005 (Asylgesetz 2005, AsylG 2005) , § 21 (7) Federal office for immigration and asylum procedures (BFA-Verfahrensgesetz, BFA-VG) and Article 47 para 2 CFR.

The key legal question is about the violation of the right to fair trial by not conducting a public hearing and rejecting the application for asylum of a Somali citizen. Moreover, it is about inssufficent clarification of the circumstances of the case regarding the lack of credibility in relation to flight reasons. Both the not conducting of a public hearing even when proscribed and inssufficient clarification of the circumstances of the case consitutute a violation of the right to fair trial.

Outcome of the case:

The Constitutional Court found a violation of the right to fair trial by not conducting a public hearing. The Constitutional Court then set aside the Federal Administrative Court’s decision.