In recent years, country information (COI) has become one of the main issues on the European asylum agenda, partly as a result of the spectacular advancement of information technologies.
Far from its supplementary role in the nineties, its key importance as being always-available objective evidence is widely recognised by all actors in this field. The UNHCR, nongovernmental organisations, the judiciary and administrative asylum authorities have equally elaborated guidelines summarising main quality standards and requirements related to COI. In addition, professional standards have gradually taken root in national and community asylum legislation as well as in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and national courts. This study aims to draw a complex picture of how substantive quality standards of researching and assessing COI appear in the form of authoritative legal requirements within the present system, either as binding legal provisions or guiding judicial practice. As such, the study intends to provide a tool and a set of concrete examples for policy- and law-makers, advocates, judges and trainers active in this field.
This is the second, updated edition of a 2007 publication that appeared under the same title.
The study was realised in the framework of the “COI in Judicial Practice” project, co-funded by the European Commission.