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Austria / Highest Administrative Court / Ra 2019/14/0509

N/N (Afghan citizen), Federal Government

Policy area:
Borders and Visa
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
Highest Administrative Court
Decision date:

Key facts of the case:

The applicant, an Afghan citizen, applied for international protection in 2015 in Austria. After negative decisions by the Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum (Bundesamt für Fremdenwesen und Asyl, BFA) his case went through the instances, namely the Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht, BVwG) and the Highest Administrative Court (Verwaltungsgerichtshof). His case was then again brought back before the Federal Administrative Court, where the case was assigned to a different judge than before. The Federal Administrative Court dismissed the appeal without conducting a further oral hearing. The applicant appealed against this decision by the Federal Administrative Court, mainly arguing that the Federal Administrative Court had deviated from the established case-law of the Highest Administrative Court, according to which the personal impression of the applicant was particularly relevant when assessing the circumstances of integration of the applicant and that a further oral hearing has to be held if the case is assigned to a different judge after an administrative court ruling had been overturned, and if facts changed - in particular the submission of new country reports.

Key legal question raised by the Court:

The Highest Administrative Court had to decide, whether it was unlawful not to conduct a further hearing after the case was assigned to another judge at the Federal Administrative Court.

Outcome of the case:

The Highest Administrative Court set aside the contested decision on the grounds of unlawfulness due to a violation of procedural rules.

The Federal Government shall reimburse the appellant for expenses in the amount of EUR 1,346.40 within two weeks, otherwise it will be executed.