The Hungarian Helsinki Committee’s (HHC) study “Country Information in Asylum Procedures – Quality as a Legal Requirement in the EU” is published in the framework of the trans-national project “COI Network III – Training, Master Class, Good Practice”. It investigates how substantive quality standards of researching and assessing COI appear in the form of legal requirements in the EU.
In recent years, UNHCR, non-governmental organisations and the judiciary have elaborated guidelines summarising main quality standards and requirements related to COI, while EU member states are currently in the process of finalising their guidance document. In addition, professional standards have gradually taken root in national and community asylum legislation as well as in jurisprudence in the Union.
This study aims to draw a comprehensive picture of how substantive quality standards of researching and assessing COI appear in the form of legal requirements within the present system, either as binding legal provisions or guiding judicial practice. The report identifies “good legislative practises” concerning COI in the 27 EU member states and presents what the EU asylum directives require in this respect. In addition, it refers to 140 relevant judgements from several EU countries. As such, it aims to provide a useful tool and a set of concrete examples for policy and law makers, advocates, judges and trainers active in this field.
The four standards (relevance, reliability and balance, accuracy and currency, transparency and retrievability) selected to determine the construction of the study have been established in the practice of the Austrian Centre for Country of Origin and Asylum Research and Documentation (ACCORD) and the Europe-wide “COI Network”.