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This chapter examines the free assembly and free association case law, focusing on political parties and, to a lesser extent, trade unions. The case law on political parties shows a commitment to liberal democracy; there is a substantive democratic component as well which appears in the party dissolution cases. The chapter concludes by looking at how the free association rights support deliberative and participatory democracy especially in the context of trade unions.
This chapter discusses the scope of the right to free elections in the Convention. It explores how this is largely limited to legislatures but there are debates about the application to presidential elections and referendums. The chapters includes a discussion on globalisation and the development of the free elections case law in respect of the European Parliament.
This chapter discusses the protection of the right to vote in the Convention. It examines case law on restriction of the right to vote, in particular residence-based and nationality-based restrictions as well as the case law on voting rights of prisoners.
The European Convention on Human Rights 1950 (the Convention) has long been associated with the idea of democracy. Its preamble speaks of the importance of an ‘effective political democracy’ while several articles refer to the ideal of a ‘democratic society’.
This chapter discusses the Court's free expression jurisprudence. This supports a liberal democratic conception of democracy but there are other concepts discussed also. A substantive conception comes across in some of the earlier case law on obscenity and blasphemy and more recently a substantive commitment to pluralism, tolerance and broad-mindedness is emphasised. The case law on free expression during elections and political advertising suggests a more deliberative conception of democracy, while recently there is a stronger commitment to freedom of information, essential for a participatory democracy.
The conclusion summarises the Convention's commitment to a liberal, representative and substantive democracy and highlights how the Convention might be interpreted to support more deliberative, participatory and inclusive models of democracy,
This chapter discusses how the European Court of Human Rights interprets and applies the European Convention on Human Rights. It examines the Court's approach to interpretation which stresses the Convention receives an effective, evolving and autonomous interpretation. The key principles involved in deciding whether a right has been appropriately limited or restricted are presented: legality or lawfulness, legitimate aim and proportionality. The margin of appreciation and positive obligations doctrines are explained.
This chapter examines different theories of democracy, highlighting the relevance of liberal, representative and substantive democracy for the European Convention on Human Rights. It outlines deliberative, participatory and inclusive models of democracy that address limitations of liberal representative democracy.
This chapter reviews the historical context for the creation of the Council of Europe and the drafting of the European Convention on Human Rights, including the decision to enshrine a provision about free elections in a separate protocol.
The chapter looks at how the European Court of Human Rights deals with restrictions on the right to run for election. It includes a discussion on how the Convention deals with issues of inclusion in respect of women and minorities.