Wednesday, April 15, 2015

European Court of Human Rights affirms soldiers' Right of Association


In two separate decisions in October 2014, the European Court of Human Rights upheld the Right of Association by members of the French armed forces.  In the first instance, the Court agreed with the creation of Adefdromil (Association de défense des droits des militaires) created in 2001 by two members of the French armed forces. In the second instance, the Court also upheld the Right of Association, provided for under article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights [ECHR] as invoked by Lieutenant-Colonel Jean-Hughes Matelly who created in 2007 a professional association for serving and retired members of the Gendarmerie nationale which is part of French's armed forces. Matelly's sin, so to speak, was limited to having members participate in an internet "discussion forum" titled “Forum: gendarmes et citoyens” to discuss rapports between members of the Gendarmerie nationale and the general public. 

    On December 19, 2014 the President of the French Republic announced the tabling of a new law before Parliament recognizing heretofore the right of association for the French military. [Droit d’association professional adapté à l’état militaire, à l’exclusion de tout droit syndical.]
European media coverage over the grant of a freedom of association to the French soldiers

This means that close to  307,000 Frenchuniformed personnel will now have the right to form and join a professional association. This includes 115,000 soldiers; 95,000 members of the Gendarmerie nationale, 45,000 airpersons; 35,000 sailors and 15,000 joint logistics support personnel as well as 56,000 reservists.

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