European Union – Value added tax. The general principle of EU law of respect for the rights of the defence should be interpreted as a requirement that, in national administrative procedures of inspection and establishment of the basis for VAT assessment, an individual was to have the opportunity to have communicated to him, at his request, the information and documents in the administrative file and considered by the public authority when it had adopted its decision, unless objectives of public interest warranted restricting access to that information and those documents. The Court of Justice of the European Union so held in a preliminary ruling relating to a VAT assessment notice.