Germany - High Administrative Court of Niedersachsen, 13 April 2011, 13 LB 66/07

Country of Decision:
Country of Applicant:
Date of Decision:
13 LB 66/07
Additional Citation:
Court Name:
High Administrative Court of Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony)
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The question of whether the current situation in Iraq is an internal armed conflict (nationwide or regionally) according to Section 60 (7) (2) Residence Act/Art. 15 (c) Qualification Directive was left open. Even if one assumes that such a conflict takes place, subsidiary protection is only to be granted if the applicant is exposed to a serious and individual threat to life or physical integrity “in the course of” such a conflict. This cannot be established regarding the applicant in the present case.


The applicant was born in Germany in 2002. Her parents are of Kurdish ethnicity and originate from the province of Dohuk. Her parents' asylum applications were rejected. Due to a provision of the German Asylum Procedure Act, the authorities automatically initiated an asylum procedure for the child born in Germany. The authorities rejected the application as manifestly unfounded and found that neither subsidiary protection nor other forms of protection were to be granted. The Administrative Court of Göttingen annulled this decision in January 2006 for procedural reasons, arguing that no lawful procedure had taken place. The High Administrative Court granted a further appeal (Berufung) because of the fundamental significance of the case. The procedural issues were clarified in advance, so the further appeal proceedings only focused on the question of whether the applicant was eligible for subsidiary protection.

Decision & Reasoning: 

The applicant was not eligible for subsidiary protection under Section 60 (7) (2) of the Residence Act/Art. 15 (c) of the Qualification Directive. The court found:

It can be left open whether the current situation in Iraq justifies the assumption that an internal armed conflict is taking place (either nationwide or regionally). Even if one assumes that such a conflict is taking place, deportation would only be prohibited if the applicant was exposed to a serious and individual threat to life and limb “in situations of” (i.e., “in the course of”) this conflict. Such a threat cannot be established regarding the applicant in the present case.

According to the decision by the Federal Administrative Court of 14 July 2009,10 C 9.08 (, M16130) an “individual accumulation of a risk”, which is essential for granting subsidiary protection, may on the one hand occur if individual circumstances lead to an enhancement of the risk for the person concerned. On the other hand, it may also, irrespective of such circumstances, arise in extraordinary situations which are characterised by such a “density of danger” that practically any civilian would be exposed to a serious individual threat simply by being present in the relevant territory.

Regarding the applicant, who was born in Germany, there are no individual risks which may enhance the general risk in case of return. Though she was born in Germany and therefore is influenced by a “Western lifestyle”, she shares this characteristic with many other Kurds who were born in Western countries or with those Kurds who have been living there for a long time. Without further “risk-enhancing” circumstances, an “individualisation of a real risk” cannot be derived from this fact. Furthermore, it can be assumed that the applicant, being a child, will easily be able to adapt to the cultural realities of her home region.

Furthermore, the necessary individualisation cannot be deduced from an exceptional “density of danger” which the applicant may be exposed to and against which she may not find internal protection in other parts of Iraq. A degree of danger which would expose virtually any civilian to a serious and individual threat solely by being present in the relevant territory cannot be established for the province of Dohuk, where the applicant’s parents come from. According to the country of origin information, the number of attacks in Dohuk is rather low in comparison to other regions and the security situation is considered to be good.


The applicant was not eligible for subsidiary protection.

Case Law Cited: 

Germany - Administrative Court Göttingen, 18 January 2006, 2 A 506/05