II. RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAW

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48. The provisions of the Constitution of July 1991 concerning freedom of assembly read as follows:

Article 43

“(1) Everyone shall have the right to peaceful and unarmed assembly at meetings and marches.

(2) The procedure for organising and holding meetings and marches shall be provided for by act of Parliament.

(3) Permission shall not be required for meetings to be held indoors.” Article 44 § 2 “Organisations whose activities are directed against the sovereignty or the territorial integrity of the country or against the unity of the nation, or aim at stirring racial, national, ethnic or religious hatred, or at violating the rights and freedoms of others, as well as organisations creating secret or paramilitary structures, or which seek to achieve their aims through violence, shall be prohibited.”

49. The legal requirements for the organisation of meetings are set out in the Law on Meetings and Marches of 1990. Its relevant provisions are as follows:

Section 2

“Meetings and marches may be organised by individuals, associations, political or other public organisations.”

Section 6 § 2

“(2) Every organiser [of] or participant [in a march or a meeting] shall be responsible for damage caused through his or her fault during the [event].”

Section 8 § 1

“Where a meeting is to be held outdoors the organisers shall notify in writing the [respective] People’s Council or mayor’s office not later than 48 hours before the beginning [of the meeting] and shall indicate the [name of] the organiser, the aim [of the meeting], and the place and time of the meeting.”

Section 9 § 1

“The organisers of the meeting shall take the measures necessary to ensure order during the event.”

Section 10

“(1) The meeting shall be presided over by a president.

(2) The participants shall abide by the instructions of the president concerning the preservation of [public] order ...”

50. Prohibitions against meetings are also regulated by the Law on Meetings and Marches:

Section 12

“(1) Where the time or the place of the meeting, or the itinerary of the march, would create a situation endangering public order or traffic safety, the President of the Executive Committee of the People’s Council, or the mayor, respectively, shall propose their modification.

(2) The President of the Executive Committee of the People’s Council, or the mayor, shall be competent to prohibit the holding of a meeting, demonstration, or march, where reliable information exists that:

1. it aims at the violent overturning of Constitutional public order or is directed against the territorial integrity of the country;

2. it would endanger public order in the local community;

...

4. it would breach the rights and freedoms of others.

(3) The prohibition shall be imposed by a written reasoned act not later than 24 hours following the notification.

(4) The organiser of the meeting, demonstration or march may appeal to the Executive Committee of the People’s Council against the prohibition referred to in the preceding paragraph. The Executive Committee shall decide within 24 hours.

(5) Where the Executive Committee of the People’s Council has not decided within [that] time-limit, the march, demonstration or meeting may proceed.

(6) If the appeal is dismissed the dispute shall be referred to the respective district court which shall decide within five days. That court’s decision shall be final.”

51. The Law on Meetings and Marches was adopted in 1990, when the Constitution of 1971 was in force. Under the Constitution of 1971 the executive local state organs were the Executive Committees of the district People’s Councils. The mayors referred to in some of the provisions of the Law on Meetings and Marches were representatives of the Executive Committee acting in villages and towns which were under the jurisdiction of the respective People’s Councils. The 1991 Constitution abolished the Executive Committees and established the post of mayor, elected by direct universal suffrage, as the “organ of the executive power in the municipality” (Article 139).