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Vogt v. Germany, No. 17851/91, ECtHR (Grand Chamber), 26 September 1995

Type Judgment
Case number 17851/91


Dismissal of a teacher appointed to a permanent post as a civil servant in a State secondary school due to the manifestation of extremist political beliefs. Breach of art. 10 ECHR.

Normative references

Art. 10 ECHR


1. The right of recruitment to the civil service was deliberately omitted from the Convention.  Consequently, the refusal to appoint a person as a civil servant cannot as such provide the basis for a complaint under the Convention.  This does not mean, however, that a person who has been appointed as a civil servant cannot complain on being dismissed if that dismissal violates one of his or her rights under the Convention. Civil servants do not fall outside the scope of the Convention. 

2. Dismissal, as a disciplinary sanction for failing to comply with the duty of civil servants to uphold the democratic constitutional system, through its commitment to a political party that pursues unconstitutional objectives, interferes with the right to freedom of expression secured under Article 10 ECHR. Although such interference pursues a legitimate aim, where civil service is the guarantor of the Constitution and democracy, the severity of the measure adopted and the resulting consequences are not proportionate to the aim pursued if the hostility to constitutional values ​​is deduced only from membership, however active, to a political party.
(Case related to a the dismissal of a teacher appointed to a permanent post as a civil servant in a State secondary school in Germany on account of her political activities as a member of the German Communist Party).