Entities to which International Guarantees Apply

Barthold v Germany (decision), 12 March 1981 [ECtHR]

Case no 8734/79

(...) 2. The applicant has first complained that his compulsory membership in the Veterinary Surgeons' Council is contrary to his right to freedom of association as guaranteed by Article 11 of the Convention. In his submissionthis freedom includes the right not to associate and he considers that the establishment of a compiulsory association of public law for the veterinary profession cannot be justified under Article 11(2) of the Convention.
The Commission observes, however, that the Veterinary Surgeons' Council is not a private organisation but a public institution created by legislation in view of the importance of the veterinary profession for the health and well-being of the society as a whole. the Commission recalls its case-law according to which such institutions of public law cannot be considered as associations within the meaning of Article 11 of the Convention (cf. the Commission's decision on the admissibility of Application No. 6094/73, DR 9, p. 5, and its Report of 14 December 1979 on Applications Nos. 6875/75 and 7238/75, Le Compte, Van Leuven and De Meyere against Belgium, paras 61-64). The present case does not contain any elements which would justify a departure from this case law. The applicant's above complaint is therefore ratione materiae incompatible with the provisions of the Convention and must be rejected under Article 27 (2) of the Convention.


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