The freedom to associate is a freedom for individuals to join together with others without interference by the state in order to pursue a particular end1. It includes the right to form or be affiliated with a group or organisation pursuing particular aims2, but it does not amount to a right to attain those aims3. It also comprises a right not to be compelled to associate with others4. The term 'association' has an autonomous meaning under the European Convention on Human Rights5 and so the domestic characterisation of an institution is only of relative value and constitutes no more
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