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Association ACCEPT and Others v. Romania, No. 19237/16, ECtHR (Fourth Section), 1 June 2021

Type Judgment
Case number 19237/16


Failure of the Romanian state to ensure the peaceful conduct of a pro-LGBT demonstration and to investigate the activities of some counter-protesters.

Normative references

Art. 8 ECHR
Art. 14 ECHR


1. Article 14 in conjunction with Article 8 of the ECHR places an obligation on a State not only to ensure adequate physical protection, but also adequate protection with regard to the dignity and more generally the private life of individuals.

2. The Court reiterated that, while being careful not to assume that every piece of hate speech should, as such, be prosecuted and criminally sanctioned, comments that amount to incitement to violence, and are therefore clearly unlawful, could in principle require States to take some positive measures. Attacks committed by insulting, ridiculing or slandering certain minority groups of the population cannot be included within the scope of freedom of expression.
(Members of an association promoting the rights of the LGBT community in Romania complained of being verbally threatened and insulted during a public screening in a museum by some ultra-nationalist groups. They also complained about the slow pace of the investigations carried out by the Romanian judiciary and their subsequent interruption).