Mouvement Raelien Suisse v Switzerland: ECHR 13 Jul 2012

Grand Chamber – the complainant, an organisation dedicated to promoting communication with extra-terrestrial beings, was prevented by a local authority from advertising on billboards. The local authority disapproved of their message on the ground that it was liable to encourage child abuse and other evils.
Held: The organisation had other means of getting across its message. The restriction was proportionate: ‘Like the Government, it finds that a distinction must be drawn between the aim of the association and the means that it uses to achieve that aim. Accordingly, in the present case it might perhaps have been disproportionate to ban the association itself or its website on the basis of the above-mentioned factors . . To limit the scope of the impugned restriction to the display of posters in public places was thus a way of ensuring the minimum impairment of the applicant association’s rights. The Court reiterates in this connection that the authorities are required, when they decide to restrict fundamental rights, to choose the means that cause the least possible prejudice to the rights in question . . In view of the fact that the applicant association is able to continue to disseminate its ideas through its website, and through other means at its disposal such as the distribution of leaflets in the street or in letter-boxes, the impugned measure cannot be said to be disproportionate.’

Nicolas Bratza, P
[2012] ECHR 1598, 32 BHRC 646, (2013) 56 EHRR 14, 16354/06
European Convention on Human Rights 9 10
CitedMouvement Raelien Suisse v Switzerland ECHR 13-Jan-2011
The applicant association alleged that the banning of its posters by the Swiss authorities had breached its right to freedom of religion and its right to freedom of expression, as guaranteed by Articles 9 and 10 of the Convention respectively. . .

Cited by:
CitedLord Carlile of Berriew QC, and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 12-Nov-2014
The claimant had supported the grant of a visa to a woman in order to speak to members of Parliament who was de facto leader of an Iranian organsation which had in the past supported terrorism and had been proscribed in the UK, but that proscription . .

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Human Rights

Updated: 27 December 2021; Ref: scu.542335