Asylum Forum 2023: Workshop input by Simone Uran


At the annual Asylum Forum (Asylforum), a broad range of actors, including the Austrian government, regional and international organisations, the private sector, and civil society met in Leibnitz from 11 to 13 April 2023. The forum was organised by Asylkoordination Österreich and supported by the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection as well as the UNHCR and the Austrian party The Greens (Die Grünen).


The common goal of all stakeholders was to raise awareness on priority areas, gaps, and challenges while highlighting important progress made to date. These issues were addressed throughout the event, including through thematic presentations, panel discussions and workshops.

On 13 April, a workshop on the project “Courtroom observation of proceedings at the Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht)” which was initiated in December 2022 by the volunteer network “Kompetenznetzwerk Asyl” took place. In this workshop, the project, its goals and first impressions were presented.

Simone Uran provided input on courtroom interpretation in asylum appeal hearings and reported on initial impressions from observing proceedings, in particular regarding the expectations of institutional representatives at the Federal Administrative Court, conversation management and the influence of different actors on the interpreter. This was followed by a fruitful discussion with the workshop participants (primarily legal counsellors and representatives of organisations like Caritas, Diakonie and the UNHCR) about different experiences with and perceptions of interpreted communication at the Federal Administrative Court. The topics discussed included, in particular, the concept of multipartiality and why transparency is key in legal interpreting settings.