Chernega and Others v. Ukraine (Application no. 74768/10)

A selection of key paragraph(s) can be found below the document.


222. States must not only refrain from applying unreasonable indirect restrictions upon the right to assemble peacefully but also safeguard that right. Although the essential object of Article 11 is to protect the individual against arbitrary interference by public authorities with the exercise of the rights protected, there may in addition be positive obligations to secure the effective enjoyment of these rights (ibid., § 158). The authorities have a duty to take appropriate measures with regard to lawful demonstrations in order to ensure their peaceful conduct and the safety of all citizens. However, they cannot guarantee this absolutely and they have a wide discretion in the choice of the means to be used. In this area the obligation they enter into under Article 11 of the Convention is an obligation as to measures to be taken and not as to results to be achieved (see ibid., § 159, and Frumkin v. Russia, no. 74568/12, § 96, ECHR 2016 (extracts)).

231. There was, therefore, an interference with the first six applicants’ freedom of peaceful assembly. Such an interference with the right to freedom of peaceful assembly gives rise to a breach of Article 11, unless it can be shown that it was “prescribed by law”, pursued one or more legitimate aims as defined in paragraph 2 of that Article, and was “necessary in a democratic society” (see, for example, Schwabe and M.G. v. Germany, nos. 8080/08 and 8577/08, § 107, ECHR 2011 (extracts)). 281. The Court concludes that by failing (i) to regulate in an adequate fashion the use of force by security personnel, (ii) to properly organise the division of responsibility in maintaining order between the private security personnel and the police, which would also have allowed for the identification of the security personnel deployed, (iii) to enforce the rules concerning adequate identification of persons authorised to use force, and (iv) to explain the decision of the police not to intervene on 27 and 31 May 2010 in any meaningful fashion capable of preventing or controlling effectively the clashes, the respondent State failed to comply with its obligation to ensure the peaceful nature of the protests on those dates


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