Legal System Faces Collapse Under Immigration Challenges


Sources told Reuters that the huge number of legal challenges to decisions of administrative courts in immigration matters has pushed the legal system to the brink of collapse. That is the message conveyed by Robert Seegmuller, chairman of the Association of German Administrative Law Judges while speaking to the publishing house Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND). 

Judge Seegmuller said : “The situation is dramatic for administrative courts. We are now completely stretched to our limits.” Seegmuller has been vocal in recent months with his complaints about the number of lawsuits being filed against the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). Thousands of applicants have challenged the decisions delivered on their cases by the BAMF, including deportation orders back to potentially unsafe countries such as Afghanistan.

According to RND’s estimates, currently there are about 250,000 asylum-related cases waiting to be brought before the courts. Seegmüller warned, “The administrative court system cannot endure such a figure in the long run. At some point, everything will collapse. Things may go well for a while, but not permanently.” With such a huge number of cases, the legal system finds itself lacking judges and other personnel, space, and IT capabilities, he added.

The justice system is indeed determined to bulk itself up, but it is ever more difficult to find the desperately needed personnel,” he said. Seegmuller said in addition to the volume of work, the courts have to deal with poor decisions by immigration authorities. The situation has been made even worse following reports earlier this year, that a group of German soldiers allegedly plotted the assassinations of left-wing politicians intending to blame the murders on migrants.

One of the suspects in the conspiracy managed to get a fake ID saying he was a Syrian refugee. That discovery prompted an additional review of over 100,000 asylum decisions. That action in turn has created an even bigger backlog for the court system, according to the German Interior Ministry.

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