ECHR rules in favour of Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Centre
On 12 January 2023, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (ECHR) adopted a judgement on the case of EPDE’s member Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center (EMDS) against the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The court ruled that EMDS’ right to freedom of association (Art. 11 European Convention) had been violated by Azerbaijani government, namely the Ministry of Justice.
After their founding in 2008, the association EMDS requested to be registered as a legal entity in Azerbaijan. Despite providing all relevant documents and data, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan rejected the request falsely citing deficiencies in the submitted documents.
Subsequent legal disputes through all national judicial instances finally culminated in the recent judgment by the European Court of Human Rights.
In their ruling, the ECHR ruled that Election Monitoring and Education Centre (EMDS) has been violated in their right to freedom of association (Art. 11 of the European Convention) by the Azerbaijani government:
“the domestic authorities’ refusal to register the applicant association was arbitrary and not “prescribed by law” within the meaning of Article 11 § 2 of the Convention“ - European Court of Human Rights
In addition, the court ruled the confiscation of case files by the Azerbaijani authorities to be in breach of EMDS’ right to file individual complains (Art. 34 of the European Convention).
Read the court’s documentation here.
The Election Monitoring and Democracy Studies Center (EMDS) was re-established on 1 December 2008, on the basis of the deregistered Election Monitoring Center (EMC).Half a year earlier, on May 14 2008, the Khatai District Court canceled the registration of EMC based on the groundless claim of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan. After this event, the founders and members of EMC founded EMDS. Previously, in 2021, the European Court of Human Rights recognized the violation of the right to the association by considering the complaint regarding the cancellation of the registration of EMC.
Further information can be found on EMDS’ website.