Search in ‘Judgments and decisions’

Natura 2000 provisions provide no third-party protection in favour of the owner of protected areas


The owner of land situated in a Natura 2000 site is not entitled, in a dispute under the law concerning the respective interests of neighbours, to claim a breach of provisions of the Federal Nature Conservation Act enacted to implement Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (OJ L 206 p. 7) - Habitats Directive (continuation of BVerwG, judgment of 26 April 2007 - 4 C 12.05 - BVerwGE 128, 358 para. 31).

Decision of 26 January 2021 - BVerwG 1 C 52.20 (uploaded on 17 January 2022)

Interruption of the Dublin III time limit for transfer due to suspension by the authorities of the execution of a deportation order on account of COVID-19 pandemic


Request for a preliminary ruling to the Court of Justice of the European Union on the interpretation of provisions of the Dublin III Regulation (Regulation No 604/213), seeking in particular to clarify whether the suspension by the authorities of the execution of a transfer decision according to section 80 (4) VwGO, which is issued only on account of the fact that the transfer is impossible in fact due to the COVID-19 pandemic, interrupts the time limit for transfer pursuant to article 29 (1) of the Dublin III Regulation.

In accordance with article 267 TFEU, a preliminary ruling is to be obtained from the Court of Justice of the European Union, which is asked to process the case in the expedited procedure under article 105 (1) of the Rules of Procedure of the Court of Justice, on the following questions:

1. Does suspension by the authorities of the execution of a transfer decision, which is issued revocably only on account of the fact that transfers are (temporarily) impossible in fact due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fall within the scope of article 27 (4) of the Dublin III Regulation during appeal proceedings?

2. If question 1 is answered in the affirmative: Does such a suspension decision interrupt the time limit for transfer pursuant to article 29 (1) of the Dublin III Regulation?

3. If question 2 is answered in the affirmative: Does this also apply if, prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a court had dismissed an application by the asylum seeker pursuant to article 27 (3) (c) of the Dublin III Regulation for execution of the transfer decision to be suspended pending the outcome of the appeal proceedings? 

Judgment of 21 January 2021 - BVerwG 7 C 4.19 (uploaded on 23 February 2022)

Decommissioning and dismantling licence under atomic energy law


1. The requirement to obtain a licence for decommissioning and dismantling a nuclear installation set out in section 7 (3) first sentence AtG does not re-trigger the entire examination effort incurred during construction and commissioning of this installation and does not call into question the legally binding operating licence as a whole.

2. The scenario of a "targeted air crash" may be assigned to the residual risk as regards buffer storage areas of a decommissioned nuclear power plant used for temporary storage of low- to medium-level radioactive material (following BVerwG, judgment of 22 March 2012 - 7 C 1.11 - BVerwGE 142, 159).

Judgment of 21 January 2021 - BVerwG 7 C 9.19 (uploaded on 16 March 2022)

Challenging of an extension decision under immission control law


1. The cursory review to be performed within the framework of an extension decision under section 18 (3) BImSchG may also include the assessment of errors contained in the installation licence that has become final and binding if an erroneous method in the original licencing procedure continues to have an impact on the assessment as to whether the purpose of the law will be jeopardised in the event of an extension of a time limit.

2. The term jeopardising the purpose of the law in section 18 (3) BImSchG refers exclusively to the purposes of the Federal Immission Control Act stated in section 1 BImSchG.

3. The possibility of conducting a supplementary procedure in order to remedy errors (section 7 (5) UmwRG) is only excluded in the extension procedure under section 18 (3) BImSchG if it can be ruled out from the outset that the error may be remedied in this procedure.

Judgment of 30 November 2020 - BVerwG 9 A 5.20 (uploaded on 15 February 2022)

Planning approval procedure under road law (Ummeln Bypass)


1. Section 4 (3) second sentence UmwRG is not applicable to relative procedural errors pursuant to section 4 (1a) UmwRG (change of jurisprudence following the CJEU judgment of 28 May 2020 - C-535/18 -).

2. Under article 4 (1) (a) (i) WFD, the competent authority has the obligation to verify prior to the authorisation decision whether the project complies with the obligations to prevent deterioration and to enhance the status of bodies of water. The project developer must submit the relevant information to the planning approval authority; this information must be of a nature that ensures that the effects of the project on water can be assessed in the light of the criteria and requirements laid down in particular in article 4 (1) WFD. The information must be made available to the public concerned (following CJEU, judgment of 28 May 2020 - C-535/18 - para. 76 and 80 et seqq.).

3. A project-related deterioration of the chemical status of a body of groundwater exists, first, if at least one quality standard or one of the threshold values pursuant to article 3 (1) of the Drinking Water Directive is exceeded and, secondly, if the concentration of a pollutant the relevant threshold for which has already been exceeded foreseeably increases. The values measured at each monitoring point must be taken into account individually (following CJEU, judgment of 28 May 2020 - C-535/18 - para. 119).

4. Members of the public who maintain a domestic drinking water well in geographical proximity to the planned road are entitled to assert breaches of the ban on the deterioration of groundwater, whilst members of the public who merely use the public water supply network cannot assert such breaches (following CJEU, judgments of 28 May 2020 - C-535/18 - para. 132 et seq. and of 3 October 2019 - C-197/18 - para. 40 and 42).

Judgment of 25 November 2020 - BVerwG 6 C 7.19 (uploaded on 1 February 2022)

No individual right to demand further action by the Federal Government to prevent US drone operations in Yemen using Ramstein Air Base


1. In principle, duties of protection arising from basic rights on the part of the German state may also exist vis-à-vis foreign nationals living abroad and if, in the event of impairments of or threats to basic rights caused by other states, there is a qualified connection to German territory, provided that, on account of the number and circumstances of breaches of international law that have already occurred, comparable acts of the other state in violation of international law can concretely be expected to also occur in the future.

2. Where actions of another state impair or threaten an interest protected under basic rights abroad, a sufficiently close connection to the German territory for duties of protection to arise from basic rights on the part of the German state only exists, if partial acts of the overall event, which have a relevant decision-making character and are therefore decisive for the legal assessment, take place in Germany.

3. When assessing the actions of other states under international law, the Federal Government has a margin of appreciation within the range of justifiable legal opinions.

4. In cases with a foreign connection, the breach of a duty of protection arising from basic rights can only be established where the Federal Government has remained completely inactive or if the measures taken are obviously completely unsuitable or inadequate.

No results found. The decicion text is usually several weeks after the delivery of a judgment.

FAQFrequently asked questions

  • What judgments or decisions of the Federal Administrative Court can I find on the website?

    You can find rulings of the Federal Administrative Court from January 2002 onwards on this website. Excluded are inter alia

    • Decisions regarding values of the matter in dispute
    • Determinations of costs
    • Third-party summons
    • Settlement deals
    • Rulings that are classified or that have been rendered incomprehensible or distorted by the anonymisation required by law.

    Rulings of the Federal Administrative Court passed before the year 2002 will gradually be added to the website. You can also find abbreviated versions of several several rulings in English.

  • When is the decision text for a judgment made available?

    It is usually published several weeks, in some cases also several months, after the delivery of a judgment.

    The background of this is as follows: In general, the Federal Administrative Court passes a judgment after a hearing and a deliberation. At that point in time, there is a ruling, the operative part of the judgment (so-called Tenor), but the text of the reasons for the ruling is not available yet. The written reasons will only be drawn up, a vote on them will be taken by the Senate, and they will be signed after the passing. Then the judgment will be delivered to all parties involved in the proceedings, anonymised and published.

  • What is the ECLI and what is it used for?

    ECLI is the abbreviation for the European Case Law Identifier. It serves to identify court rulings and enables cross-border search in a European judgment database. The ECLI allows for the linking of several sources and versions such as summaries, translations and comments for a judgment or decision. The ECLI often does not only lead you to just a single judgment, but to many other documents regarding this judgment.

  • How can I do research all over Europe using the ECLI?

    You can use the ECLI to do research in all participating national and European databases. That includes: