human rights organizations, refusal to register a non-governmental organization, registration legislation, registration procedure, state registration of non-governmental organizations, the right to freedom of assembly and association, the right to freedom of association
The full text of the article is available only in Russian.
In the decision on the case of Jafarov and Others v. Azerbaijan the European Court of Human Rights examined the complaint by the applicants who demanded the recognition of the fact that the decision by Azerbaijani authorities to refuse to register a non-governmental organization “Human Rights Club” was unlawful and performed in violation of the requirements of the legislation on the registration procedure and, therefore, in violation of Article 11 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (right to freedom of assembly and association). The Court also took into account the shortcomings of the process of registration of nongovernmental organizations in Azerbaijan, based on the Venice Commission’s Opinion on compatibility of the legislation on non-governmental organizations of Azerbaijan with human rights standards in 2011, and stated that significant delays in the registration process amount to de facto interference with the right to freedom of association. Furthermore, the Court, referring, inter alia, to its position in Maestri v. Italy [GC], once again emphasized that legal norms should be accessible to the persons concerned and formulated with sufficient precision to enable these persons to foresee the consequences of a given action. The Court concluded that in the present case the provision of the law cited by the registering organ as a ground for refusal to register did not meet the criterion of “predictability” and, therefore, violated the requirement of the Convention on being “prescribed by law”. The Court also stated that the registering organ violated the requirement of the registration procedure to identify all the shortcomings of the documents within a single review, which led to an unlawful delay in the registration procedure. Therefore, the Court concluded that the interference with the applicants’ right to freedom of association was unlawful and, accordingly, constituted a violation of Article 11 of the Convention.
Citation: (2019) Evropeyskiy Sud po pravam cheloveka: obzor postanovleniya ot 25 iyulya 2019 (Sektsiya V) goda po delu Dzhafarov (Jafarov) i drugie protiv Azerbaydzhana (zhaloba no.27309/14) [European Court of Human Rights: review of the judgment of 25 July 2019 (Section V) in the case of Jafarov and Others v. Azerbaijan (application no. 27309/14)] // Mezhdunarodnoe pravosudie, vol.9, no. 3, pp.39–44. (In Russian).