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Key facts of the case:

The Minister of Finance decided on 1 February 2013 to disown the owners of securities and other capital of the public limited company SNS REAAL PLC and the public limited company SNS BANK PLC (hereinafter: SNS BANK). The appellants appeal against this decision. They allege, among other things, that their rights to a fair trial and other procedural aspects were infringed upon. They rely on article 6 ECHR and article 47 of the Charter. The appellants point out that they only had available a short time to appeal against the decision, that there was only a short time between the appeal and the hearing of this appeal by the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State and the circumstance that in some cases they only had a few days available to study the docuAments that were dealt with during the hearing. This meant that they could insufficiently defend their interests. The Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State judges that article 6 ECHR does not consist of an absolute right of access to a tribunal. Member States have a margin of appreciation, provided that the essence of the access to a tribunal is not violated, the limitations serve a legitimate aim and the limitatations are proportional. The Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State acknowledges that the time limits laid down in the Act on Financial Supervision are shorter than usual in administrative law. This does not violate the right of access to a tribunal, however. Furthermore, the public interest in this particular case required a prompt judgement. The appellants have been able to put forward their points of view both orally and in writing. That this has been strenuous, does not change the Council’s judgement. The appeal fails in this respect. Question raised: is it fair to limit the time within which parties can appeal and prepare themselves for a hearing?