Demonstrations in a public place will normally cause some disruption to others. It is a well-established principle in international law that a degree of tolerance towards such disruptions is required from the public and the authorities.
The ECtHR has repeatedly underlined that
Similarly, the IACHR has stated:
The UN Special Rapporteur likewise considers that “the free flow of traffic should not automatically take precedence over freedom of peaceful assembly”; the OSCE-ODIHR Guidelines on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and the Study Group on Freedom of Association and Assembly in Africa both state that assemblies are equally legitimate uses of public space as commercial activity or the movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
The requirement of tolerance towards disruption means, for example, that authorities should show significant restraint in resorting to dispersal, including when an assembly takes place on a public street or road (see Assembly section 9.3).
- Disk and Kesk v. Turkey, ECtHR, Judgment of 27 November 2012, para. 29; see also, among others, Ashughyan v. Armenia, ECtHR, Judgment of 17 July 2008, para. 90; Barraco v France, ECtHR, Judgment of 5 March 2009, para. 43; Gün and Others v. Turkey, ECtHR, Judgment of 18 June 2013, para. 74; Kudrevičius and Others v. Lithuania, ECtHR, Grand Chamber Judgment of 15 October 2015, para. 155. ↑
- IACHR, Report on the Criminalization of the Work of Human Rights Defenders, OEA/Ser.L/V/II, Doc.49/15, 31 December 2015, paras.126-127. ↑
- UN Human Rights Council, First Thematic Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, UN Doc. A/HRC/20/27, 21 May 2012, para. 41. ↑
- OSCE-ODIHR and Venice Commission, Guidelines on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly, 2nd edn, 2010, Guideline 3.2 and Explanatory Notes, para. 20; See AComHPR, Guidelines on Freedom of Assembly and Association in Africa, para 87 ↑