On 28 July, the Human Rights Centre of Ghent University submitted a third party intervention in connection to two Russian cases, namely Nikolay Alekseyev and Movement for Marriage Equality v Russia and Nikolay Alekseyev and Others v Russia. Both cases involve the domestic Russian court upholding the refusal by the authorities to register two LGBTI rights organisations on the grounds that they were considered ‘extremist organisations’ due to the allegedly immoral character of their activities. The Human Rights Centre (HRC) have sought leave of the European Court of Human Rights (‘ECtHR’) to intervene on the grounds that this constitutes an unjustifiable restriction on the freedom of association (Article 11 ECHR).

The two principal matters laid out in the third party intervention are firstly, the need to analyse the legitimate aim used to justify a restriction of the right of freedom of association; and secondly, the need for considerations in relation to Article 14 ECHR (prohibition of discrimination) due to stereotyping and stigmatising judicial decisions at a domestic level.

The HRC are of the opinion that States sometimes rely on broad interpretations of the legitimate aims that may justify restricting certain rights. Governments should not use these wide interpretations as a smokescreen for hiding the true purpose of the limitations, e.g. suppressing opposition or repressive/discriminatory practices …

This is an article from the PILA bulletin of 31 August 2016

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