Assembly Standards

Key International Obligations and Standards
Guidelines
UN Mechanisms
Case Law

Key International Obligations and Standards

This section lists the most important international and regional documents on freedom of assembly

Guidelines

This section lists practical guidelines on implementation of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and related rights, which are drawn based on implementation practice and lessons learned by intergovernmental organizations, civil society organizations and common activists of the streets around the world.

OSCE Human Rights Handbook on Policing Assemblies

This handbook aims to provide guidance for the law enforcement in facilitating peaceful assemblies. It outlines key steps and principles for careful police work through considered and proportionate policing, having at its core the aim of enabling the right to peaceful assembly.

UN Mechanisms

This section collects UN Human Rights Council resolutions,  annual and thematic reports of the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association (UN SR  FOAA) and other thematic mandate holders, which all have  contributed to the development of “soft law” in this field.]

  • HRC 32nd 31/05/2016 A/HRC/32/36: UN SR FOAA Report on fundamentalism’s impact on peaceful assembly and association rights.
  • HRC 31st 04/02/2016 A/HRC/31/66: Joint report of the UN SR FOAA and the SR on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions presenting a compilation of practical recommendations for the proper management of assemblies.
  • GA 70th 04/08/2015 A/70/266: UN SR FOAA Report comparing states’ treatment of businesses and associations worldwide.
  • HRC 29th 28/04/2015 A/HRC/29/25: UN SR FOAA Report on assembly and association rights in the context of natural resource exploitation.
  • HRC 27th 03/10/2014 A/HRC/RES/27/31: UN Human Rights Council resolution reminding states of their obligation to respect and fully protect the rights of all individuals to assemble peacefully online as well as offline.
  • GA 69th 01/09/2014 A/69/365: UN SR FOAA Report adressing concerns about the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in the context of multilateral institutions.    
  • HRC 26th 14/04/2014 A/HRC/26/29: UN SR FOAA Report on threats against groups most at risk when exercising assembly and association rights.
  • HRC 25th 11/04/2014 A/HRC/RES/25/38: UN Human Rights Council resolution on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of peaceful protests  urging states to avoid using force during peaceful protests and to ensure that, where force is absolutely necessary, no one is subject to excessive or indiscriminate use of force.
  • HRC 25th 01/04/2014 A/HRC/26/36: Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns discussing the protection of the right to life during law enforcement.  It  makes the case for the need for a concerted effort to bring domestic laws on the use of (especially lethal) force by the police in line with the international standards.
  • HRC 24th 26/09/2013 A/HRC/RES/24/5: UN Human Rights Council resolution on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association urging states to create and maintain a safe and enabling environment for civil society to operate and to continue to cooperate fully with and assist the Special Rapporteur in the performance of his mandate.
  • GA 68th 07/08/2013 A/68/299: UN SR FOAA Report about the exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in the context of election.
  • HRC 23rd 24/04/2013 A/HRC/23/39: UN SR FOAA Report explaining how the freedom of association includes the right to seek, receive, and use resources from domestic, foreign and international sources.
  • HRC 22nd 21/01/2013 A/HRC/22/28: Effective Measures and Best Practices to Ensure the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights in the Context of Peaceful Protests -  Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The report discusses  how dialogue between protest organizers and the police, as well as human rights training programs for police forces, can contribute to the protection of the human rights linked to peaceful protests.
  • HRC 20th 21/05/2012 A/HRC/20/27:  Report on best practices in promoting the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association with recommendations for states to protect those two rights.
  • HRC 19th 19/12/2011 A/HRC/19/40: Summary of the Human Rights Council panel discussion on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of peaceful protests prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Maina Kiai, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, discusses global trends related to peaceful protests.
  • HRC 17th 23/05/2011 A/HRC/17/28: Report of the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Execution discusses the international legal standards applicable to the use of lethal force during demonstrations and proposes some strategies to ensure greater compliance with these standards.
  • HRC 15th 06/10/2010 A/HRC/RES/15/21 UN Human Rights Council resolution on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association  recognizing that peaceful assembly and association are “essential components of democracy” and established the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur to promote and protect these two rights.

Case Law

This section includes landmark case law from the regional courts of human rights and compilation of significant jurisprudence cases such as UN Human Rights Committee communications.

  • ECHR landmark cases

    • “Ärzte für das Leben” v. Austria, Application No. 10126/82; judgement of 21 June 1988
    • Stankov and the United Macedonian Organisation Ilinden v. Bulgaria, Applications Nos. 29221/95 and 29225/95; judgement of 2 January 2002
    • Kuznetsov and Others v. Russia, Application No. 184/02; judgement of 11 April 2007
    • Baczkowski and Others v. Poland, Application No. 1543/06; judgement of 26 September 2007
    • Bukta and Others v. Hungary, Application No. 25691/04; judgment of 17 October 2007
    • Vajnai v. Hungary, Application No. 33629/06; judgement of 8 July 2008    2008
    • Patyi and Others v. Hungary, Application No. 5529/05; judgment of 7 October 2008
    • Ashughyan v. Armenia,  Application No. 33268/03; judgment of 1 December 2008
    • Éva Molnár  v. Hungary, Application No. 10346/05; judgment of 7 January 2009
    • Gasparyan v. Armenia, Application No. 35944/03; judgement of 13 January 2009
    • Hyde Park and Others v. Moldova (no. 2), Application No.45094/06; judgement 31 March 2009
    • Gül and Others v. Turkey, Application No. 4870/02; judgement of 8 September 2010
    • Alekseyev v. Russia, Applications Nos. 4916/07; 25924/08; 14599/09; judgement of 21 October 2010
    • Patyi v. Hungary, Application No. 35127/08; judgment of 17 April 2012
    • Szerdahelyi v. Hungary, Application  No. 30385/07; judgment of 17 April 2012
    • Berladir and Others v. Russia, Application No. 34202/06; judgement 10 July 2012
    • Tatár and Fáber v. Hungary, Applications Nos. 26005/08; 26160/08; judgement 12 September 2012
    • Trade Union of the Police and Others v. Slovakia, Application No. 11828/08; judgement of 25 September 2012
    • Kakabadze and Others v. Georgia, Application No. 1484/07; judgement of 2 October 2012
    • Najafly v. Azerbaijan, Application No. 2594/07; judgement of 2 October 2012
    • Fáber v. Hungary, Application No. 40721/08; judgement of 24 October 2012
    • Disk and Kesk v. Turkey, Application No. 38676/08; judgement of 27 November 2012
    • Gafgaz Mammadov v. Azerbaijan No. 60259/11; judgement of 15 October 2015
    • Kudrevičius and others v. Lithuania No. 37553/05; judgment of 15 October 2015 – press release: conviction of five farmers for reprehensible conduct was disproportionate
    • Körtvélyessy v. Hungary No. 7871/10; judgement of 5 April 2016
    • Ibrahimov and Others v. Azerbaijan No. 69234/11, 69252/11 and 69335/11; judgement of May 11, 2016: on dispersal of spontaneous assembly by the police and administrative detention
  • UN Human Rights Committee jurisprudence

  • LGBT case law

    • For LGBT case law under Article 11 see compilation of cases in front of European Court of Human Rights and Court of Justice of the EU prepared by Robert Wintemute, Professor of Human Rights Law King’s College London.