Haye and Smeukders (decision), 11 October 1990 [ECtHR]

Case no 15673/89

2. The applicants also complain that by considering the NMT as the representative of all dentists where the Health Care Fees Act is concerned, the Government have infringed on their right to freedom of association as laid down in Article 11 (Art. 11) of the Convention, which includes in the applicants' view, the freedom not to associate.

It is apparent from the file that dentists are not forced to join the NMT. Section 3 of the Health Care Fees Act regards as representative organisations those organisations which, at their request, are considered to be representative by the Minister of Public Health and Environmental Affairs. Nothing prevents dentists from associating in order to promote their interests. Furthermore, the European Court of Human Rights stated in its judgment of 27 October 1975 on the National Union of Belgian Police case (Series A no. 19, para. 41) that a general policy of restricting the number of organisations to be consulted is not incompatible with the freedom of association.

It follows that this part of the application is manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27 para. 2 (Art. 27-2) of the Convention.

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