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Compendium of Council of Europe practice relating to the right to freedom of association and the position of non-governmental organisations

Adopted on: 30 June 2018
Reference number: CONF/EXP(2018)2 Adopted by: Council of Europe Conference of INGOs (Expert Council on NGO Law)
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This document, prepared by Jeremy McBride on behalf of the Expert Council on NGO Law of the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe, examines the practice of Council of Europe bodies whose activities deal in some way with the enjoyment of the right to freedom of association and/or the position of NGOs. The compendium describes different measures taken by Council of Europe institutions related to setting standards on freedom of expression and their implementation. It also focuses on how different aspects of the functions of NGOs have been dealt with by the Council of Europe. This includes for example: the extent to which NGOs’ activities and objectives may be limited and the situations in which this has occurred unjustifiably; the problems affecting their membership and internal management; the rights and enabling environment required for them to operate and the challenges faced in ensuring that both exist; the duty to protect them and the situations in which this has not happened; the requirements regarding penalties (including dissolution) that should be, but are not always, observed; and the particular problems faced in ensuring the right to freedom of association in the context of trade union activity.

The document provides many links to legal texts, decisions taken by different Council of Europe bodies, opinions and other texts that deal with the issues related to freedom of expression and NGOs.

Youth specific: No

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