Freedom of Assembly: Procedures of Permission and Notification

Published: June 2014

One of the most common ways that countries restrict assemblies is to enact laws that require organizers and participants to receive permission from the government authorities in advance of holding the assembly. The UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, Mr. Maina Kiai, however does not consider the permission requirement a good practice and says that the exercise of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly should be “governed at most by a regime of prior notification regarding the holding of peaceful assemblies, in lieu of a regime of authorization.”

This ICNL article focuses on the legality of permission requirements and discusses other practices that facilitate the exercise of the right to peaceful assembly.