"While this margin of appreciation is wide, it is certainly not all-embracing: the rules governing the electoral system “should not be such as to exclude some persons or groups of persons from participating in the political life of the country and, in particular, in the choice of the legislature, a right guaranteed by both the Convention and the Constitutions of all Contracting States” (ibid.). It is for the Court to determine in the last resort whether the requirements of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 have been complied with. It has to satisfy itself that the restrictions imposed do not thwart the free expression of the opinion of the people. "
DocumentCoE (ECHR): Case of the Communist Party of Russia and Others v. Russia, par. 110
- Freedom of expression may only be restricted under certain circumstances as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society.
- Suspension or exclusion of participatory rights is prohibited except on grounds established by law and which are objective and reasonable.
- Limits on those wishing to run for office must be based on objective and reasonable criteria.