This paper will show that in the judicial context in Germany, refugee status determination is part of a wider whole of legal decision-making, operating around professional and personal strategies, similarly applicable in other areas of law. Hence the myth of difference promulgated in the refugee status determination literature is de-constructed by the realities of routine decision-making in a necessarily indeterminate legal environment. Instead, the paper will propose a framework delineating how underlying principles and methods of fact-finding and fact evaluation serve to shape and ultimately homogenise
This research is based on extensive fieldwork at two different administrative courts in Germany. Data collection was built on a tripartide structure: Courtroom observations, case and file material and most importantly semi-structured interviews with judges and lawyers, "studying up", focusing primarily on the institutions, policies and the relevant agents rather than the asylum-seekers themselves.