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Vogt v Germany, (17851/91) [1996] ECHR 34 (2 September 1996)

Facts: The applicant was a teacher in a State secondary school in Germany and was appointed to a permanent teaching post as a civil servant with tenure for life. Disciplinary proceedings against her had been brought and she was dismissed from the civil service on account of her political activities.

Complaint: the applicant claimed that her dismissal was a violation of her right to freedom of expression secured under Article 10 ECHR and a violation of her right to freedom of association secured under article 11

Holding: the ECHR found a violation of article 10 and article 11.

Reasoning: the guarantees of the Convention extended to civil servants. The applicant's dismissal as a disciplinary penalty for having failed to comply with her duty of political loyalty constituted an interference with the exercise of the right to freedom of expression. The court admitted that a democratic State was entitled to require civil servants to be loyal towards the Constitution. However, it concluded that the applicant's dismissal had been disproportionate to the legitimate aim pursued. There had accordingly been a violation of Article 10 and Article 11.


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