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Entities to which International Guarantees Apply

X v Austria (decision), 15 October 1981 [ECtHR]

 

Case no 8652/79


The applicant in the present case claims, however, that this provision was wrongly applied to him and that the true reason why the second association founded by him was prohibited was the fact that like the first association it constituted a religious community, excluded from the application of the Associations Act by virtue of its Article 3 (a) . This exclusion of religious communities from the application of the Associations Act would have left him without any legal possibility to organise the group represented by him as an entity recognised by law and having legal personality because there are no alternative forms of organisation available for non-recognised religious communities. (...)

This decision by the Constitutional Court was the final domestic decision in the applicant's case and therefore the decision which the Commission must take as the starting point for its examination under the Convention. It shows that the Associations Act was applied in such a way as to allow, in principle, for the establishment even of religious organisations as associations under the Act, notwithstanding the terms of Article 3 (a) thereof. The availability of alternative forms of legal organisation is therefore irrelevant. The applicant's complaint that he was barred from having the group represented by him registered as an association because it was a religious community and that his freedom of association as guaranteed by Article 11 of the Convention has thereby been violated is consequently manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27 (2) of the Convention.

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