Dissolution of an association for mutual aid and solidarity with the families of prisoners and convicts, on the grounds that certain members of the board of directors had been convicted, with a non-final judgment, of terrorist propaganda.
Art. 11 ECHR
1. Associations play an essential role in maintaining pluralism and democracy, and exceptions to the rule of freedom of association call for strict interpretation. Any interference with such right must respond to a “pressing social need”.
2. The dissolution of an association represents a very severe measure, with significant consequences for its members and which can only be tolerated in very serious circumstances. Article 11 of the Convention imposes thus a high burden on the State to justify the adoption of such a measure.
(In the present case, the Court unanimously held that there has been a violation of Article 11 ECHR, since the dissolution of the association at issue constituted an unnecessary, and therefore illegitimate, restriction on freedom of association under the Convention).