Legal remedies

An Applicant may take action against the incriminating notification if he disagrees with the decision by an authority because the applied approval was refused or it was subject to conditions or other ancillary provisions - contrary to his application.

Decisions by the authorities in Germany must be generally provided with legal remedies, which informs about the possibilities of whether and how you can proceed against the decision.

Basically, the following legal remedies are available:


The objection is a formal, extrajudicial appeal against an incriminating administrative act or against the rejection of a favourable administrative act. The execution of the objection proceedings is, in principle, a precondition for future legal action. In objection proceedings, the administrative authority reassesses its decision based on legality and appropriateness. In accordance with Section 70 subsection 1 of the Code of Administrative Court Procedure (Verwaltungsgerichtsordnung), the objection must be filed in writing or by recording (log) at the authority, which issued the administrative act, within one month after the administrative act has been notified to the Applicant.
(This link leads to a range of information that is available in German and English)

Commencement of an action

If the authority has rejected the objection, the Applicant will receive a notification of decision on objection. The latter may object to this notification only by filing a petition in an administrative court. The petition must be filed within one month of receipt of the notification of decision on objection in writing or by recording at the clerk of the court. The competent court in a particular case can be found in the information on legal remedies, which is annexed to the decision on objection. Basically, the seat of the respondent authority is crucial.

Administrative act

According to Section 35 of the Administrative Procedure Act (Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz), an administrative act is an order, decision or other sovereign measure, which is taken by an authority to regulate an individual case under public law and which is directed to direct external legal effect.
(This link leads to a range of information that is only available in German)

The administrative act may be favouring (e.g. approval decision on a grant application) or incriminating (e.g. prohibition of a trade).

Legal proceedings

A Chamber of the Court decides in proceedings before the administrative courts. It is usually presided over by three professional judges and two lay judges. The administrative court generally decides on the basis of a hearing. The dispute matter is discussed with stakeholders and evidence is collected. Both parties get the opportunity to make their statements. If the parties waive a hearing, a decision may be passed by written procedure.

You can appeal against a decision passed by the administrative court only if it is allowed by the administrative court or at the request of the higher administrative court. The appeal shall be decided by the competent chamber of the court presided over by three professional judges and two lay judges.

An appeal or complaint of refusal of the appeal may be lodged against a decision of the higher administrative court. This will be decided by the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig.

The Applicant must, in principle, be represented by a counsel at both the Higher Administrative Court and the Federal Administrative Court. A solicitor is, in particular, considered as such a counsel.