“Do you hear the people sing?”: Kudrevičius v. Lithuania and the problematic expansion of principles that mute assemblies

By Ella Rutter and Jasmine Rayée, students of the Human Rights Law Clinic at the Faculty of Law of Ghent University.

On 15 October 2015, in the case of Kudrevičius and Others v. Lithuania, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) delivered its first Grand Chamber judgment on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly. The case concerned the administration of criminal sanctions, by the State of Lithuania to the applicants, for participation in peaceful protests involving roadblocks. The ECtHR held unanimously that there was no violation of Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In this critical examination of the judgement, we argue that the general application of the principles defined in Kudrevičius would diminish the protective standard under Article 11 ECHR.

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