Desis in Deutschland / 'Foreigner Policy' and Applied Law in Germany

4. Features of the Case

4.1. Introduction

"The minister of the Interior of Berlin demands of one of my clients, who fulfils all conditions for naturalisation, that he commits himself to the repayment of the scholarships he received for his studies and his Ph.D. in the case that, among other things, the case pursued by you will be decided to the disadvantage of your client.

After looking through the documents I have got the hope that your client will not enter into a 'dubious settlement' but rather is ready to participate with his lawsuit in deciding similar cases and serve the development of the law." (from a letter by another lawyer to Dr. Herzog, dated 07.02.1986/ own translation)

Dr. Agarwal's case was certainly of much importance for the many other actual or potential applicants from South Asia and other developing countries who had also received scholarships for their studies in Germany. It set, together with the other case decided at the same time, a precedent and thus forced the administration to change methods and subsequently many former students were naturalised with little hassle.

For research about ethnic minorities and the law the case carries importance beyond this fact, since it can be used to investigate which agendas determined the course of the case, how the applicant from South Asia was able to attain justice, etc. It has already been shown that the different parties to the case, i.e. the applicant, the administration and the courts, played quite different roles and how these changed with time. The focus of this final discussion will be, in particular, on the agenda of the administration as it decides policy matters and thus sets the framework in which law is applied. It will be analysed what its claimed and its underlying agenda were and how these determined the position of applicants from developing countries.

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© Urmila Goel, / englishDesis in Deutschland/ Recht/ naturalisation 1998/2004