Acta Universitatis Danubius. Administratio, Vol 6, No 1 (2014)

The Right of Access to Its Own File

Gina Livioara Goga, Georgeta Modiga, Gabriel Avramescu


Abstract: The right of access to its own file represents a principle of administrative law as defined in the legislation and jurisprudence of the European Union which constitutes a guarantee of the right to defence. Generally, in matters of access to files, the Court of Justice of the European Union was quite cautious. It was decided in the case of Consten & Grundig v Commission [1966] that they have no right of access to Commission records, only the case of Hercules Chemicals since 1991 the Court of First Instance ruled that the access to documents and “accusing and non-accusing” the person of the applicant must be respected by the institutions of the Union. After this point, the jurisprudence has been constant, while guaranteeing the protection of the right of accessing its own file. However, not all European Union institutions documents may be available to the public. On the possibility of the Commission to bring to the attention the parties of its internal documents, the Court made it clear that this is allowed only if exceptional circumstances of the case require so, given that there are strong grounds for believing to be provided by the parties. Also, regarding access to documents held by public authorities, the Court ruled that access to these documents can be justifiably limited in the case of grounds relating to the protection of public or private interest. As regards the institutions covered by the access to its file, it should motivate its decision.  The present research aims not only at analysing the legislation in matters of access to its own file, but also experiencing such requests for access. It will be highlighted in the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union that the institution is limited to just a simple examination of the information, without having the decision motivated by an interest or reason.


Full Text: 111-116


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