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The Right to Freedom of Assembly

A Comparative Study

By: Orsolya Salát
Media of The Right to Freedom of Assembly
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Published: 25-06-2015
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 320
ISBN: 9781782259855
Imprint: Hart Publishing
RRP: £31.49
Online price : £25.19
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About The Right to Freedom of Assembly

In legal decisions and commentary, freedom of assembly is widely cherished as a precious human right and as indispensable for the preservation of democratic governance. But despite this rhetoric assemblies are subject to extensive regulation, such as prior restraints, and restrictions on the time, place and manner of assemblies.

This comparative study examines five influential jurisdictions and reveals similarities and inconsistencies between them. It finds that freedom of assembly is often subjugated to freedom of expression in a way that disregards the expressive potential of assemblies. The shortcomings include the misconstrued content neutrality and public forum doctrines in the US, blanket bans and other restrictions based on intangible and distant harm in the UK, preventative restrictions and viewpoint discrimination in Germany, and the uncertain status of freedom of assembly and opaque judicial reasoning in France. Such inconsistencies also present challenges for the European Court of Human Rights in developing a coherent assembly doctrine. The book argues that it is time for jurisprudence to move away from a narrowly focused concept of expression, and recognise the creative and expressive value of freedom of assembly.

Table Of Contents

I. The Challenge of Freedom of Assembly
II. A Concept of Assembly
III. Structure
Chapter 1: Origins, Forms and Values
I. Historical Origins of the Right to Freedom of Assembly
II. Meeting, Marching or Speaking: Forms of Assembly
III. Fundamental Right, or 'Mere' Common Law Liberty
IV. The Value of Freedom of Assembly: Contemporary Judicial Rationales
Chapter 2: Prior Restraints, Exemptions and Bargain
I. Prior Restraint in General
II. Advance Notice or Permit
III. Prior Ban and Conditions
IV. Exemptions, Derogations from the Notification Requirement
Chapter 3: From Violence to Public Disorder to Crime Prevention
I. The Peacefulness Requirement: A Determinant of Scope or a Limit
II. The Would-be Disorderly: Judicial Doctrines of Risk-assessment
Chapter 4: From Coercion to Direct Action to Disruption
I. Nötigung in Germany
II. United Kingdom: Disruption, Obstruction and Many More
III. United States: Inconsistency Masked by Content-neutrality
IV. France: Pressure Inherent in Strike
V. European Court of Human Rights: No Violation
Chapter 5: Dignity as Peace, Truth and Love
I. Germany: Dignity and its Substitute 'Public Peace'
II. France: Dignity as Public Order and Officially Declared Truth
III. United States: Dignity as Non-Argument
IV. United Kingdom: Dignity Under Different Names
V. European Court of Human Rights: Hate Speech Chaos
Chapter 6: Restrictions on the Time
I. Special Days of the Year: The Notion of Public Order in Germany
II. Duration, Time Limit, Frequency
Chapter 7: Restrictions on the Manner
I. Banned and Protected Symbols: Whose Identity?
II. Uniforms and Masks: Whose Fear?
III. One Man's Noise is Another's Music
IV. Modes and Means of Protest as Aesthetic Harm
Chapter 8: Restrictions on the Place
I. Private Public Places
II. Governmental Buildings: Managerial or Authoritarian Protection?
III. Memorial Sites: Identity Fight over Collective Memory
IV. Designated Zones: Speech Pens, Protest Cages
I. Specific Comparative Findings
II. General Evaluation and Suggestions

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