The detention of migrants and asylum-seekers on administrative grounds is common practice in Germany and Austria. Administrative detention in migration settings mainly aims at facilitating deportation procedures but can also lead to deterrence. A definition for deterrence in pre-deportation detention settings is developed in this paper and applied to three German and three Austrian court cases. In this way, it is possible to show how deterrence occurs and what it looks like. Broad discretionary powers and insufficient training for law enforcement agents, such as the immigration police, as well as vague standards and procedures, play a role in the occurrence of deterrence.


School of Global Affairs and Public Policy

Degree Name

MA in International Human Rights Law

First Advisor

Korhonen, Outi

Committee Member 1

Kagan, Michael

Committee Member 2

Sayed, Hani

Document Type



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