National Security – A Trump Card? Combating Terrorism while Protecting Freedom of Association
Jernej Letnar Cernic
European Faculty of Law (EVRO-PF)
March 6, 2010
Dignitas - Slovene Journal of Human Rights, pp 244-282; No. 51-52, Vol. 2011
European University Institute Max Weber Programme Working Paper No. 2010/02
On 30 June 2009, the European Court of Human Rights delivered three decisions deriving from the situation in the Basque country, Herri Batasuna and Batasuna v. Spain, Etxeberría and Others v. Spain and Herritarren Zerrenda v. Spain. In Herri Batasuna and Batasuna v. Spain, the European Court of Human Rights upheld the dissolution of the political parties Herri Batasuna and Batasuna, whereas it held in Etxeberría and Others v. Spain and Herritarren Zerrenda v. Spain that the political groups, which wished to continue the activities of the illegal political parties, are also prohibited from presenting candidates in municipal, regional and autonomous community elections. This article will briefly explore some of the basic legal questions arising from the above decisions. It attempts to demonstrate that the Court's analysis is entirely at odds with the functioning of a democratic society, and it argues that the extreme measure of dissolution of Herri Batasuna and Batasuna, Etxeberría and Herritarren Zerrenda may have been avoided by employing less drastic and individualized measures. Despite the Court holding that the dissolution of the political parties and groups was necessary and proportionate, it may have failed to establish the factual basis and therefore also its conclusions are subjected to criticism.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 39
Keywords: European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Freedom of Association, Freedom of Expression, Fight Against Terrorism, Spain, Basque Country, Political Pluralism, Democracy, Necessary in Democratic Society, Pressing Social Need
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K33, K39, K40Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 6, 2010 ; Last revised: May 20, 2012
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