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Freedom of Assembly

Freedom of assembly is a fundamental right that underpins all democratic societies. Its enforcement and protection creates a platform through which individuals and groups can conveniently express their views, opinions or displeasure on issues affecting their society as well as share ideas.

To this end, this guide has been developed to serve as a tool for the protection, exercise, and enforcement of this right. This guide contains practical steps and guidelines for the enforcement of the right to freedom of assembly in Nigeria.

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What is Freedom of Assembly?

Freedom of assembly refers to the right of individuals and groups to come together for a common purpose, either to express their views publicly, exchange ideas or to hold a peaceful protest. The right does not apply to assemblies involving violence but covers all gatherings for peaceful purposes irrespective of the degree of public support for the purpose of the gathering.

Peaceful assembly: An assembly is deemed peaceful if its organizers have professed peaceful intentions and the conduct of the assembly is generally non-violent.

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Scope of this guide

This guide is general in scope. It is developed to provide an overview of Freedom of Assembly as a right and how it can be protected and enforced. This guide will:

  1. Explain the nature, scope, and limitations of freedom of assembly.
  2. Spell out the legal framework protecting this right.
  3. Provide practical steps on how to protect your right.
  4. Set out the legal options open to you to enforce your right.
  5. Set out the places you can get support to seek justice.

It is important to remember that every legal system is different and changes over time. To enforce your rights, you must know the laws and procedures that apply in your country, as this will form the basis of approaching the court. It will also be important for you to try and get legal advice from a lawyer.

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Contributors

This guide was put together by a team of Lawyers, CSO experts and Law students in Partnership with NULAI and sponsored by Action 4 Justice.

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Action4Justice is a group of NGO's united to support public interest litigation worldwide as a means to advance social justice.

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