Freedom of assembly and association - Conor Gearty's challenge

 

1.       Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

2.       No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights other than such as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. This Article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces, of the police or of the administration of the State.

 

edited on Mar 23, 2015 by Noita Sadler

ConstitutionUK Apr 10, 2015

It seems that this idea was broadly accepted but some members expressed concerns about the reservation clause in part 2 of this draft article. 

Should the right to freedom of assembly be included without reservation or should this idea be included in the constitution in a provision such as this:  https://constitutionuk.com/post/81562

Please comment and vote on which ever of these two provisions you prefer.  We have a very tight schedule so make sure to get involved asap.

The ConstitutionUK Team  

 

John Z Apr 10, 2015

No right is absolute, so there will always be some limitation as prescribed by law.  For instance, can a large group of people have the absolute right to assemble on some person's property?  Can they assemble in the middle of a busy road and block traffic?  The answer is obviously no, thus thus right is not absolute.

Tom Austin Apr 10, 2015

As the restrictions outlined above, and current practice,  render this proposal nigh-on void, perhaps we should try and do something under the other proposal.

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ConstitutionUK Apr 10, 2015

So you would include a limitation clause. What form should that limitation clause take? Perhaps something simple like this: 

"No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights other than such as are prescribed by law." 

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John Z Apr 10, 2015

Yes, a broad statement such as that.  The Constitution cannot give specific exceptions, as that may be interpreted as being an exhaustive list of exceptions.

Rob G Apr 13, 2015

No, I think that's too broad. In the Convention, not only must limitations be prescribed by law, they must also be necessary in a democratic society - and even then, that can only be for the furtherance of specific societal goals. In other Values topics, there's some debates as to whether those goals are actually too broad - especially "protection of morals"; I don't think it would be appropriate in this one to remove all those qualifications.

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ConstitutionUK Apr 13, 2015

Hi All, 

Thanks for your comments.  If any of you have some ideas on how the limitation clause might be drafted, please do share. 

Tom Austin Apr 13, 2015

1.       Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests and to protest.

2.       No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights other than such as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety or property, //  This Article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces, of the police or of the administration of the State, said lawful restrictions to be fully accordant with provisions elsewhere in the Constitution.

[My amendments in Bold]

JimF Apr 18, 2015

Can I draw attention to my proposal on general freedom at https://constitutionuk.com/category/browse#/post/84137. This automatically includes freedom of association and freedom of assemble, as well as other freedoms, while permitting legislation for any legitiamte necessary restrictions (not that I can think of any)

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