532. Forming associations and objectives of associations.

The right to form an association is an inherent part of Article 111. This right applies to all associations2, not just trades unions. The refusal to give legal status to an association through registration constitutes an interference with Article 11 and must be justified3.

The right to freedom of association protects associations formed to undertake any activity or pursue any objective provided that that activity or objective is lawful, and national laws restricting the objectives of associations will be subject to scrutiny under the European Convention on Human Rights as they have the effect of negating the right to free