Declaration of the dissolution of an organisation with a fascist ideological profile
Dissolution of political party
Freedom of association
Limitation of fundamental right
RULING Nº 17/94
18 of January of 1994
Act 64/78 - a legislative measure required to implement the constitutional rule prohibiting organisations which espouse fascist ideology - differentiates, from a procedural point of view between, on the one hand, the legal identification of an organisation as espousing this ideology and the call for its disbandment and, on the other hand, the criminal consequences connected with forming organisations of this type.
Despite the inevitable inter-dependence and complementarily of this identification and the criminal consequences, the powers of the Constitutional Court are limited to the issue of whether the organisation in question adopts a fascist ideology and whether, consequently, it must be compulsorily disbanded.
The Constitution and the law prohibit neither individual espousal of fascist ideology nor the public expression, the defence or the propagation of this ideology; they do, however, prohibit the existence of organisations which are set up for those purposes.
Since the legislative concept of "organisation" is a very broad one, and given that this is a matter of restricting fundamental rights, freedoms and guarantees, special care must be taken when putting Act 64/78 into practice.
The concept of an organisation espousing fascist ideology is determined, prima facie, by its very raison d'être, and by its constitutional justification; it must be gauged according to present day circumstances and not only in historical terms.
Although, in the Court's opinion, the organisation concerned was apparently liable for prosecution, the Court did not in the event have to decide since, before a case could be brought, the organisation had already voluntarily and permanently disbanded.