Key facts of the case:
A and B were Russian citizens. The Finnish Immigration Service had rejected their application for asylum and a residence permit and had refused them entry. The administrative court had dismissed their appeal without giving their counsel the opportunity to be heard regarding the country of origin information used by the court when assessing the appeal. The Supreme Administrative Court ruled that there had been no procedural fault which would have affected the applicants’ right to a fair trial. The Aliens Act and the Asylum Procedure Directive (2005/85/EC) require that decisions on applications for asylum are based on precise and up-to-date information. However, they do not obligate the determining authority to hear the applicant in an asylum procedure regarding country of origin information. The Supreme Administrative Court noted that the country of origin information did not immediately concern the applicants. As to its contents, the information used by the administrative court was not new or deviate from that used by the Immigration Service. Therefore, it was not necessary to hear the applicants again before the court specifically regarding country information. In their appeal to the administrative court, the applicants had had the opportunity to challenge the information sources used and the conclusions drawn by the Immigration Service. They had also had the opportunity to present new country information differing from that used by the Immigration Service.
The right to a fair trial must also be assessed from the point of view of EU law. This case is concerning the application of Union law and therefore, Article 47 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights is applicable. Its requirements, to a large extent, correspond to those prescribed in Article 6 of the ECHR.
Kysymystä oikeudesta oikeudenmukaiseen oikeudenkäyntiin on kuitenkin tarkasteltava myös Euroopan unionin oikeuden kannalta. Koska kysymys on tässä tapauksessa unionin oikeuden soveltamisesta, perusoikeuskirjan 47 artiklan sisältämät, ihmisoikeussopimuksen 6 artiklan suurelta osin vastaavat vaatimukset oikeudenmukaisesta oikeudenkäynnistä tulevat sovellettavaksi.