The right to freedom of assembly explained in 2 minutes!

[Text on screen]: Freedom of Assembly and Association.. Article 11 of the Human Rights Act.

Coming together in a time of need is one of the most basic principles. It allows us to express our views to the state,

What does the Human Rights Act officially say?

“Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others.”

But what exactly does it mean?

Basically,  Article 11 covers our right to protest. We can set up or join an association like a political party, and form or join a trade union. It allows us to come together and protect our common interests. But there are some exceptions.

Under certain circumstances, Article 11 can be limited. Restrictions can be placed if:

-It is in the interest of public safety
-It is to prevent a crime
-If it protects the health of those involved
-If others’ rights and freedoms are at risk.

Here are three key examples of what it does for us:

1. We have the right to refuse to join an association. (Young, James and Webster case, 1982)
2. We have aright two protest peacefully. (Laporite, 2006)
3. Barriers should not be put in place to prevent protest. (Peckham case, 2018)

Protests, assemblies and unions. These are all ways that we can enjoy our rights from Article 11.

Learn more about your rights at

The right to freedom of assembly explained in 2 minutes!

Published on 22 Feb 2022

This video is about Article 11 of the Human Rights Act (HRA) which is freedom of assembly and association. This right ensures we can protest freely and join trade unions with others who share similar views.

This video is part of a wider series showcasing the protections the HRA provides us and why they are so important in our daily lives. We’ve also curated a week of written content surrounding the proposed reform of the HRA so that you can stay informed and up to date on the latest developments.

The Human Rights Act is central to ensuring we can all live a safe and secure life. It sets out a range of principles that the government, and public bodies, must follow and uphold for all of us. If they fail to follow them, we have the ability to take our case to a UK court and, if our rights have been violated, we may be fairly compensated. The Human Rights Act has given us the ability to stand up to those in power.

But the Human Rights Act is under threat.

The government has announced plans to reform the HRA into a new British Bill of Rights, which lawyers and campaigners are concerned will shift more power in favour of the government, and weaken the protections we have available to us. We need to ensure that human rights are accessible and available for everyone, but we may risk losing those protections if the government’s reform comes into effect.

Want to learn more? Head on over to our spotlight to read more on the proposals to the HRA. You can find more videos in this HRA series in our YouTube playlist. 

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