Practices relating to freedom of assembly in the former Soviet Union

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This short essay examines the sharing of bad practices in the legal regulation of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly in ‘hybrid regimes’ in the former Soviet Union. Whilst noting persistent concerns about the excessive use of force by law enforcement officials, and repeated failures to adequately protect assembly participants from violent counter-demonstrators, the essay focuses instead on three recurring characteristics of the legal framework: excessive discretion conferred on regulatory authorities (powers); notification requirements that are tantamount to authorisation requirements (procedures); and the imposition of disproportionate sanctions for relatively minor infractions of the law (penalties). Although there are clearly regional exceptions, the essay argues that there has broadly been a failure to embed the principle of proportionality in the legal framework governing the right to freedom of peaceful assembly (especially in relation to these powers, procedures and penalties). It is suggested that this failure is underpinned by a regulatory mind-set focused primarily on the management and control of assemblies, rather than their facilitation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSharing Worst Practice
Subtitle of host publicationHow countries and institutions in the former Soviet Union help create legal tools of repression
EditorsAdam Hug
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherThe Foreign Policy Centre
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)1-905833-30-X
ISBN (Print)978-1-905833-30-6
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Freedom of Assembly
  • Former Soviet Union
  • Contagion

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