AS TO THE ADMISSIBILITY OF


Application No. 12781/87
by Rune ANDERSSON
against Sweden


        The European Commission of Human Rights sitting in private on
13 December 1988, the following members being present:

                MM.  C.A. NØRGAARD, President
                     J.A. FROWEIN
                     S. TRECHSEL
                     G. SPERDUTI
                     E. BUSUTTIL
                     G. JÖRUNDSSON
                     A. WEITZEL
                     J.C. SOYER
                     H.G. SCHERMERS
                     H. DANELIUS
                     H. VANDENBERGHE
                Mrs.  G.H. THUNE
                Sir  Basil HALL
                MM.  F. MARTINEZ
                     C.L. ROZAKIS
                Mrs.  J. LIDDY

                Mr.  H.C. KRÜGER, Secretary to the Commission


        Having regard to Article 25 of the Convention for the
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;

        Having regard to the application introduced on 16 December
1983 by Rune ANDERSSON against Sweden and registered on 9 March 1987
under file No. 12781/87;

        Having regard to the report provided for in Rule 40 of the
Rules of Procedure of the Commission;

        Having deliberated;

        Decides as follows:

THE FACTS

        The facts of the case, as submitted by the applicant, may be
summarised as follows.

        The applicant is a Swedish citizen, born in 1932 and resident
at Täby.

        In January 1983 the applicant decided to demonstrate outside
the Eslöv District Court against the fact that a carpenter had been
incarcerated for violations of the tax laws.  Upon inquiring the
applicant was told by the police that he needed permission for such a
demonstration.

        The applicant submitted his request for a permit on
2 February 1983.  He stated that he estimated that the number of
demonstrators would be between one and five.

        On 4 February 1983 the Police Board (polisstyrelsen) of Eslöv
granted the permission.  The applicant was also charged a fee
(expeditionsavgift) of 60 SEK. The applicant states that he learned
about the fee only after the demonstration had taken place.

        On 7 February the applicant fetched the permit at the police
station.  He informed the police that he would be the only
demonstrator.

        On the same day, 7 February 1983, the applicant carried out a
one-man demonstration outside the District Court.

        The applicant appealed against the Police Board's decision
claiming that his demonstration did not require a permit.  The appeal
was rejected by the County Administrative Board (länsstyrelsen) of the
County of Malmöhus on 9 May 1983.  The applicant lodged a further
appeal with the Government.  On 22 June 1983 the Government decided
that the applicant had no right to appeal since his application for a
permit had been granted by the Police Board.

        The applicant refused to pay the fee of 60 SEK and the matter
was eventually subject to enforcement proceedings.  On 17 November 1984
the Enforcement Office (kronofogdemyndigheten) of Täby decided to take
the applicant's debt to the State - then 110 SEK - from his tax credit
resulting from the taxation of his income during 1983.

        The applicant, asking for a hearing in the case, appealed to
the Svea Court of Appeal (Svea hovrätt) which rejected the appeal on
26 February 1985 without a hearing.  In its decision the Court of
Appeal, inter alia, stated:

        "The fundamental provision in the Instrument of Government
        (regeringsformen) concerning the freedom to demonstrate is
        found in Chapter 2 Section 1 (4).  It states that every citizen
        shall, in relation to the community, be guaranteed the freedom
        of demonstration: the freedom to arrange and to participate
        in demonstrations on public grounds.  From Section 14 in
        conjunction with Section 12 of the same Chapter, it appears
        that a limitation on the freedom of demonstration may only
        be based on law - or in certain cases other provisions after
        authorisation in law - and further that this freedom may only
        be restricted for reasons of national security, order and
        security at the meeting or demonstration or in view of the
        traffic or in order to stop an epidemic.  In the 1956 Act
        on Public Meetings (lagen om allmänna sammankomster) it is
        provided in Section 3, first paragraph, that a public
        meeting may not take place, without the permission of the
        police authority, in streets, squares, parks or other places
        which, according to an adopted town plan or building plan,
        are public places and which are used for such purposes. ...
        From the second paragraph of the same Section it appears
        that such permission may be refused only if it is necessary
        having regard to the traffic or the public order.  In the
        Ordinance on Stamp Duties (expeditionskungörelsen) it is
        provided that the applicant is obliged to pay a stamp duty
        of 60 SEK for a permit.

        The requirement of a permit is of course a restriction of
        the freedom of demonstration.  However, the restriction does
        not go any further than what is permitted under the
        Instrument of Government.  The obligation to pay a stamp duty
        can possibly appear as a specific restriction.  However, the
        fee, which is not considerably higher or lower than other
        comparable stamp duties, is only a consequence of the fact
        that a permit is required.  Consequently, there is no question
        of an impermissible restriction of the freedom of demonstration."

        The applicant appealed to the Supreme Court (högsta domstolen)
and asked for a hearing on the issue whether leave to appeal should be
granted.  On 10 July 1985 the Supreme Court refused leave to appeal.

        The applicant also appealed to the National Tax Board
(riksskatteverket) against the decision to impose a fee of 60 SEK for
the demonstration permit and against the Svea Court of Appeal's
decision to charge 50 SEK for its decision of 26 February 1985.

        On 25 September 1986 the National Tax Board rejected the
appeal.


COMPLAINTS

1.      The applicant complains that he has never received a fair and
public hearing before a tribunal on the issue of whether his one-man
demonstration was subject to the condition of a permit and the payment
of a fee.  The applicant alleges a violation of Article 6 of the
Convention.

2.      The applicant complains that, before the payment of the fees
was enforced, the Enforcement Office threatened to enter his home with
the help of a locksmith to collect the fees.  In the applicant's
opinion this constitutes a violation of Article 8 of the Convention.

3.      The applicant also alleges that he has been the victim of a
breach of Article 10 of the Convention.

4.      The applicant further alleges a breach of Article 14 of the
Convention on the ground that his rights were violated because of his
political opinions.

5.      Finally, the applicant alleges a violation of Article 13 of
the Convention.

THE LAW

1.      The applicant alleges a violation of Article 10 (Art. 10) of the
Convention, which provides:

        "1.   Everyone has the right to freedom of expression.
        This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and
        to receive and impart information and ideas without
        interference by public authority and regardless of
        frontiers...

        2.  The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries
        with it duties and responsibiities, may be subject to
        such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties
        as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a
        democratic society, in the interests of national
        security, territorial integrity or public safety, for
        the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection
        of health or morals, for the protection of the
        reputation or rights of others, for preventing the
        disclosure of information received in confidence, or
        for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the
        judiciary."

        The Commission notes that the applicant applied for, and was
granted, a permit to carry out his demonstration, and that, in fact,
he also carried out the demonstration.  Consequently, the applicant has
not been prevented from imparting information or ideas by means of a
demonstration.

        The only issue which arises is whether the requirement of a
permit and the obligation to pay 60 SEK as a stamp duty for the
decision granting the permit can nevertheless be regarded as an
interference with the rights guaranteed by Article 10 para. 1 (Art.
10-1) and, if so, whether the interference is justified under the
terms of Article 10 para. 2 (Art. 10-2).

        The Commission considers that it can leave open the issue
whether the facts of the case constituted an interference with the
rights under Article 10 para. 1 (Art. 10-1).  Even assuming that there
was an interference, the Commission considers that the interference
was justified under the terms of Article 10 para. 2 (Art. 10-2) which
provides that the freedom to impart information and ideas "may be
subject to such formalities, conditions... as are prescribed by law
and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of ...
public safety, for the prevention of disorder and crime...".  The
Commission considers that these conditions were satisfied in the
present case.  It first notes that the permit was granted on the basis
that there would be one to five demonstrators.  It further notes that
the obligation to pay a stamp duty is laid down in the Ordinance on
Stamp Duties and that it is a consequence of the granting of a permit.
 The Commission considers that, in general, the requirement of a
permit for a demonstration may be necessary in order to properly
regulate traffic and otherwise maintain order in public places.
Having regard to the low amount charged as stamp duty, the Commission
finds that the condition imposed is not disproportionate to the
legitimate aim pursued.  Consequently there is no appearance of a
violation of the applicant's rights under Article 10 (Art. 10) of the
Convention.

        It follows that, in this respect, the application is
manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27 para. 2 (Art.
27-2) of the Convention.

2.      The applicant has also invoked Article 14 (Art. 14) of the
Convention, which prohibits discrimination in the enjoyment of the
rights and freedoms set forth in the Convention.  However, the
Commission finds no indication that the applicant has, on the basis
of his political opinion, been discriminated against contrary to
Article 14 (Art. 14).

        It follows that, in this respect, the application is also
manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27 para. 2
(Art.27-2) of the Convention.

3.      The applicant further alleges a violation of Article 6 (Art.
6) of the Convention, which provides as follows in its first sentence:

        "In the determination of his civil rights and obligations
        or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled
        to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an
        independent and impartial tribunal established by law."

        The Commission notes that the applicant lodged with the Police
Board a request for a demonstration permit, and that his request was
granted.  In his request the applicant had indicated that the number of
demonstrators would be one to five.

        The fact that the applicant later, when it turned out that he
would be the only demonstrator, wished to have a determination of
whether a one-man demonstration required a permit cannot give rise to
a dispute over the permit which had already been granted under
different conditions.

        Furthermore, there is no decision taken by Swedish authorities
requiring the applicant to obtain a permit for a one-man demonstration.

        Consequently, there is no dispute over a permit for a one-man
demonstration requiring a determination by a tribunal satisfying the
conditions of Article 6 (Art. 6) of the Convention.

        Finally, insofar as the stamp duty is concerned, the
Commission considers that a dispute concerning the payment of a fee
for a permit, as in the present case, does not concern the applicant's
"civil rights" or "obligations".  Article 6 para. 1 (Art. 6-1) was
therefore not applicable to the dispute over the said fee.

        It follows that, in this respect, the application is
incompatible ratione materiae with the provisions of the Convention
and must be rejected under Art. 27 para. 2 (Art. 27-2).

4.      The Commission finds no appearance of a violation of Article 8
or 13 (Art. 8, 13) of the Convention.  In these respects, the
application is therefore manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of
Article 27 para. 2 (Art 27-2) of the Convention.

        For these reasons, the Commission

        DECLARES THE APPLICATION INADMISSIBLE

  Secretary to the Commission             President of the Commission


         (H. C. KRUGER)                         (C. A. NØRGAARD)