Long Duration of Proceedings in NAG Proceedings: Effective Protection?

Rihs: Effective Protection Against Undue Protraction of Proceedings [by Authorities and Administrative Courts] under the Settlement and Residence Act (NAG)? migraLex 2020, 42. (PDF-Version)

Time is money: Unfortunately, unpleasant delays occur time and again, particularly in proceedings for residence permits under the Settlement and Residence Act (NAG). Although the general statutory decision period of 6 months and – in cases like student visas or red-white-red cards – even shorter decision periods apply to individual residence titles, procedures for grant of a residence title often take longer than the statutory period.

In a scholarly article written for the legal journal migraLex, Dr. Georg Rihs examines the question of the extent to which the protection against undue protraction of proceedings in Austrian General Administrative Procedure Law meets the requirements for procedures under the Settlement and Residence Act. Especially with regard to the requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (CFR), the legal design of the protection against protractions and delays caused by an authority’s or court’s inaction is problematic in Austria. The legal remedies provided by the Austrian General Administrative Procedure Law to the administrative courts and requests for the setting of deadlines to the Administrative Court often – even conceptually – do not lead to the desired acceleration of proceedings.

The thorough examination of legal remedies for the enforcement of expeditious proceedings is important for our practical work as lawyers, because legal remedies for protection against undue delays must be used again and again in order to achieve and enforce the objectives of our clients quickly and within the required time.

The article also contains suggestions to the Austrian legislator to remedy defeciencies in the rule of law for the future and avoid practical problems in the enforcement of the law.

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