Friday, May 4, 2012

Sweden v. Council case brief

Sweden v. Council
FACTS
-P requested Council to provide documents relating to meeting, concerning a draft directive on minimum standards for the reception of asylum applicants.  Council refused:
"interest in obtaining internal legal advice."

RULES -
When asked to disclose a document, the EU Council must examine:
1.  Council must satisfy itself that the document which asked to disclose does indeed relate to legal advice.  
2.  Must examine whether disclosure of the parts of the document in question which have been identified as legal advice would undermine the protection of that advice.
-Must be construed as aiming to protect an institution’s interest in seeking legal advice and receiving frank, objective and comprehensive advice.
3.  If Council takes view that disclosure of a document would undermine protection of legal advice, it is incumbent on Council to ascertain whether there is any overriding public interest justifying disclosure despite fact that its ability to seek legal advice and receive frank, objective and comprehensive advice would be undermined.
*If council decides to refuse access, must explain why it is refusing.

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