The word 'necessary' in the context of the principle of necessity — ie that any interference with a qualified Convention right1 be 'necessary in a democratic society'2 — is not defined in the European Convention on Human Rights, although the European Court of Human Rights has held that it implies a 'pressing social need'3 and it is clear from the Court's case law that unless the reasons advanced by the authorities in support of a restriction demonstrate a real need for its imposition, a 'pressing social need' is unlikely to be made out
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