Clinton Pavlovic

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Freedom of association and assembly


I've been giving some thought to political organisations and protest actions. Interestingly, I've come across the United Nations Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association A/HRC/23/39 (pdf warning).

In the conclusions and recommendations, the Special Rapporteur calls upon States:

To ensure that associations registered and unregistered can seek, receive and use funding and other resources from natural and legal persons, whether domestic, foreign or international, without prior authorization or other undue impediments, including from individuals; associations, foundations or other civil society organizations; foreign Governments and aid agencies; the private sector; the United Nations and other entities;

To ensure that peaceful assemblies are governed at most by a regime of notification regarding the holding of peaceful assemblies, [not] a regime of authorization. The notification procedure, where introduced, should be as simple and expeditious as possible;

To provide organizers, whenever an assembly is restricted in compliance with international human rights norms and standards, with reasonable alternatives to hold their peaceful assemblies, which should be facilitated within sight and sound of the target audience;

To ensure and facilitate at all times access to the Internet and other new communications technologies, and to further ensure that any restriction on such access or on the content of websites is reviewed by a competent judicial court;

To guarantee that assembly organizers are never held responsible and liable for the unlawful behaviour of others.

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