Residence of Alien Trader (Germany) Case

CourtRegional Administrative Court (Germany)
Date13 s 1954
German Federal Republic, Administrative Court of Appeal of Münster.
Residence of Alien Trader (Germany) Case.

Aliens — Treatment of — Right of Residence — Exercise of Discretion by Administrative Authority — The Law of Germany.

The Facts.—The appellant, an Italian national, was an itinerant trader whose residence permit in Germany had expired. When he applied for a new permit his application was refused, on the ground that an alien was not entitled to claim the right of continued residence, and that the German authorities were therefore entitled, in their discretion, to refuse to issue a new permit. In the present appeal the appellant contended, inter alia, that there was a general rule of international law which conferred a right on aliens to reside in foreign countries unless it could be said that they were undesirable, and as in the present case the application for a new permit had been refused on the ground that there were too many itinerant traders in Germany, the German authority concerned had exercised its discretion improperly, and the appeal should therefore be allowed.

Held: that the appeal must be dismissed. There was no rule of international law which conferred a right of residence on aliens, and the German authority concerned had not exercised its discretion improperly.

The Court said: “While a State is not allowed to shut itself off from general international intercourse, it is under no duty, according to the general principles of international law, to admit individual aliens. Every State is entitled, in its discretion, to restrict or refuse the admission of aliens. It is significant that Articles 11 and 12 of the Constitution confer the rights of unrestricted movement, choice of occupation and place of work only ‘on all Germans’, and not on foreign nationals. It follows that an alien's right of residence can only be based...

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