Refah Partisi (The Welfare Party) and Others v Turkey, 13 February 2003 [ECtHR]

Cases nos 41340/98, 41342/98, 41343/98

133.  After considering the parties’ arguments, the Court sees no good reason to depart from the following considerations in the Chamber’s judgment:

“82.  ... The Court has previously held that the dissolution of a political party accompanied by a temporary ban prohibiting its leaders from exercising political responsibilities was a drastic measure and that measures of such severity might be applied only in the most serious cases (see the previously cited Socialist Party and Others v. Turkey judgment, p. 1258, § 51). In the present case it has just found that the interference in question met a ‘pressing social need’. It should also be noted that after [Refah’s] dissolution only five of its MPs (including the applicants) temporarily forfeited their parliamentary office and their role as leaders of a political party. The 152 remaining MPs continued to sit in Parliament and pursued their political careers normally. ... The Court considers in that connection that the nature and severity of the interference are also factors to be taken into account when assessing its proportionality (see, for example, Sürek v. Turkey (no. 1) [GC], no. 26682/95, § 64, ECHR 1999-IV).”


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