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Finland / Supreme Administrative Court / 20.10.2014/3199 KHO:2014:152

A and B v The Finnish Immigration Service

Policy area:
Justice, freedom and security
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
Supreme Administrative Court
Decision date:

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.