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  • Writer's pictureMaria Cahill

Societās Working Paper Series

Global Perspectives on Freedom of Association



The Societās network of legal experts from around the world have been compiling reports on how freedom of association is protected in their jurisdictions. We have put together an exciting working paper series showcasing this cutting-edge research.


Featured national jurisdictions and international organisations in this first tranche of 10 working papers include:



More working papers will soon be released, including featured jurisdictions such as Finland, Ireland, Ethiopia, France, Poland, and the Organisation of American States (Inter-American Court of Human Rights), among others.


Each jurisdiction has its unique features, but contributions address common themes such as:


  • the source of right: whether protected at constitutional, legislative and/or international level or through the common law, and the historical, political and sociological context in which it is articulated and protected

  • the content of the right: whether it encompasses a right to associate, a right to disassociate and/or a right to organisational autonomy, whether it mandates procedural and/or substantive review, and the types of disputes that arise before courts

  • its relationship with other rights: the ways in which courts delineate the contours of freedom of association, especially by reference to other rights such as freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of thought and belief, privacy, and the principles of equality and non-discrimination 

  • the purpose of the right: rationales that courts have and develop for vindicating freedom of association as well as any theoretical and/or scholarly expositions of its purpose that have been developed or are emerging


These reflections build on cross-jurisdictional conversations that have been organised by the Societās project, and funded by the Irish Research Council, and hosted at the School of Law, notably in an online webinar in March 2023 and a conference in Cork in June 2023.


We are keen to continue to expand the range of featured jurisdictions. If you are a legal expert with knowledge and interest in understanding right to freedom of association, and particularly if the project does not currently feature your jurisdiction, we would love to hear from you: societasproject@gmail.com or maria.cahill@ucc.ie.


Meanwhile, existing working papers are available here: Law - Societās Working Paper Series (ucc.ie).

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