Special Project:

Using litigation to advance the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association

Worldwide, space is shrinking for civic organizations and actions, while the threats to the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association are growing.

In an effort to help reverse these trends, the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association began a new project in 2014 that aims to protect these rights via litigation in national and regional courts.

The project, which is supported by the government of Norway, focuses on providing technical assistance and advisory services for public interest litigation on assembly and association issues, with a view to increasing such litigation and encouraging the application of international law norms at the domestic level. The Special Rapporteur also plans to submit amicus briefs in relevant cases, where he can highlight international norms and principles.

The Special Rapporteur recognizes the importance of involving all arms of government, and in particular, the judiciary in order to provide recourse for rights violations. Additionally, engagement with the judiciary through litigation provides an avenue for international human rights law to filter into domestic jurisprudence, informing the creation and implementation of laws at the national level.

This page hosts information, news and documents related to the litigation project.

(Photo: Courtroom inside St George’s Hall in Liverpool, United Kingom – Michael D Beckwith/Flickr)

Watch: Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai explains the project

FOAA Online! Legal arguments to help with assembly & association cases
Case list: The Special Rapporteur’s cases and official legal analyses

Bolivia: NGO registration
(filed May 13, 2015)

Mexico: Assembly notification & restrictions on location
(filed Aug. 21, 2015)

Azerbaijan: Prior authorization for assemblies & policing
(filed Nov. 4, 2015)

Chile (analysis only): 'Identity check' bill
(submitted to gov't Nov. 19, 2015)

India (analysis only): Foreign Contributions Regulation Act
(submitted to gov't April 20, 2016)

Kenya: Limits on the location of protests
(filed May 27, 2016)

Kazakhstan (letter to court): Bokayev on trial for
'unauthorized' assembly

(submitted Oct. 28, 2016)

USA/Ethiopia: Electronic surveillance of activist
(filed Nov. 3, 2016)

Rwanda: Government interference with associations
(filed Jan. 5, 2017)

South Africa: Notification requirements for assemblies
(filed March 31, 2017)

Zimbabwe: Notification requirements for assemblies
(filed April 28, 2017)

• Mexico: Management of assemblies
(pending for 2017)