'Overwhelmed' German legal system is on the verge of 'collapse' because so many migrants are appealing against decisions to expel them from the country, judge warns
Germany's civil legal system is teetering on the verge of collapse due to refugees appealing decisions to expel them from the country. That is the verdict of a senior judge who said that asylum seeker cases are 'overwhelming' the system.
Officials say there are around 250,000 asylum decisions waiting to be challenged in German courts
'The situation is dramatic for administrative courts,' said Robert Seegmüller, chairman of the Association of German Administrative Law Judges.
'The number of people bringing legal challenges against their asylum request decisions has overwhelmed the administrative courts. We are now completely stretched to our limits.'
There are currently around 250,000 asylum decisions waiting to be challenged in German courts.
'The administrative court system cannot endure such a figure in the long run. At some point, everything will collapse,' Seegmüller said.
'Things may go well for a while, but not permanently,' adding that there were not enough judges or other personnel, enough courtroom space or IT personnel to deal with the legal tsunami.
'The justice system is indeed determined to bulk itself up, but it is ever more difficult to find the desperately needed personnel,' he added.
The sheer volume of refugee cases has stalled legal proceedings in hundreds of thousands of other hearings - from neighbour disputes to planning applications and civil claims of every variety.