644. Interference must be justifiable.

Article 3 of Protocol 11 does not, in principle, prevent a contracting state from adopting legislative measures that involve treating certain categories or groups of individuals differently from others, provided that the interference with the rights of the statutory category or group as a whole can be justified under the European Convention on Human Rights2. Examples of restrictions include minimum age requirements3, residence conditions4 and the exclusion of prisoners convicted of serious criminal offences5. However, the exclusion of any group or category of the general population must be reconcilable with the underlying purposes of Article 3 of Protocol 1