This article considers the ongoing legitimacy of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), 17 years after its creation. Its organizing principle is that anyone seeking international protection will have only one opportunity to have their application assessed, by one of the 28 Member States of the European Union. The CEAS therefore implements a common system of reception, definition, procedures, and responsibility for asylum seekers. Yet, the recognition rates for individual asylum seekers from the same countries of origin vary dramatically in different Member States. This article therefore takes seriously the proposal by Professor Guy S Goodwin-Gill that, for the CEAS to be fair to asylum seekers, there is a need for common institutions, charged with the faithful implementation of States’ international protection obligations to determine claims in the pursuit of fair and consistent outcomes and treatment.