The article discusses the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights on the Frumkin v. Russia case in the context of freedom of peaceful assembly and on possible limits which could be imposed by authorities on the actual exercise of this right. The author examines details of the circumstances underlying the case – from submission of a notice for a public demonstration and meeting on Bolotnaya Square in Moscow in May 2012, improper police actions which led to the conflict and dispersal of meeting, and finally applicant’s arrest. In the Court’s decision, the references were made to some earlier Court’s judgments on the similar cases (e. g. Barankevich v. Russia and Djavit An v. Turkey). The author considers the Court’s arguments on definition of peaceful assembly and the police actions to limit the agreed space of the rally as well as readiness of the authorities to negotiate with the organisers. The Court had ruled that in this case the authorities had not met even the minimum requirements to communicate with the assembly leaders to avoid the conflict ensuring the peaceful conduct of the assembly and the safety of citizens. Consequently, the Court decided that there has been a violation of Article 11 of the Convention on the account that the authorities have failed to fulfil their positive obligation in respect of the assembly at Bolotnaya Square. The Court has also established that there has been a violation of Article 5 and 6 of the Convention in sentencing the applicant to administrative detention. The author assumes that the Frumkin v. Russia judgment can facilitate delivering of Court’s decisions on other Bolotnaya incident applications.
About the author
Ilya Shablinsky- Doctor of Sciences in Law, Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law at the National Research University – Higher School of Economics.
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