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Human Rights Law Directions

Human Rights Law Directions (4th edn)

Howard Davis
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date: 10 December 2022

p. 38918. Article 11: freedom of assembly and associationlocked

p. 38918. Article 11: freedom of assembly and associationlocked

  • Howard DavisHoward DavisReader in Public Law, Bournemouth University


Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. It discusses European Convention law and relates it to domestic law under the HRA. Questions, discussion points and thinking points help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress and knowledge can be tested by self-test questions and exam questions at the chapter end. This chapter considers Article 11 and relates it, in outline, to aspects of public order law in the UK. Article 11 protects the rights of people to ‘peaceful assembly’—to hold and take part in peaceful meetings, marches and demonstrations. Related issues such as the notion of peaceful assembly and positive duties in respect of facilitating political action are discussed. Article 11 also guarantees the right to ‘associate’: to join and be active in ‘associations’ such as political parties, pressure groups, religious organisations, and trade unions. Both these rights are subject to restriction under the terms of Article 11. The importance of Article 11 rights for democracy is fully recognised, and any restrictions must be consistent with the principles of tolerance and pluralism. Article 11 also permits significant restrictions on the political freedom of police, civil servants, and other public officials.

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