The Supreme Administrative Court quashed a decision of the Administrative Court and of the Legal Aid Office where an applicant had been refused legal aid in appeal procedures against the Finnish Immigration Service decision to reject his third application for international protection. The Legal Aid Office rejected his legal aid request on the ground that an appeal procedure would be ineffective as there were no new elements in his application for international protection.
The Supreme Administrative Court concluded that the denial of legal aid in anticipation of the outcome should be applied exceptionally and the assessment of success chances of an appeal in matters of international protection should be treated with caution when deciding on legal aid requests. The Supreme Administrative Court stated that erroneous negative decisions can have serious consequences for an asylum applicant returned in his country of origin and due consideration must be given of potential changes in the applicant’s situation or in the security situation in his country of origin. Consequently, legal aid has been granted for the applicant.
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