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Supreme Court of Denmark

Allotment garden association not entitled to resign from the Danish Allotment Garden Federation 

Case no. 296/2008
 

A/H Søndergården
vs
Danish Allotment Garden Federation

Allotment garden association not entitled to resign from the Danish Allotment Garden Federation 

In 1957, a property was transferred from the Danish State to an allotment garden association. According to the deed of conveyance, it was a condition that the association was a member of the Danish Allotment Garden Federation for as long as the area was used for allotment gardens and as long as the Federation existed.

In 2006, the association wished to resign from the Allotment Garden Federation to avoid being obliged to adhere to the Federation's valuation rules in connection with the sale of the allotment sheds. However, the Federation refused to accept the resignation.  

Then, the association sued the Allotment Garden Federation claiming that the Federation should accept the association's lawful resignation from the Federation.

The association's primary argument before the Supreme Court was that the Federation by rejecting the resignation had set aside a general principle of equality under the law of associations (prohibition against unfair discrimination). In addition, the Federation had infringed the negative freedom of association (prohibition against compulsory membership of certain associations), cf. Article 11 of the European Human Rights Convention.

Referring to the bylaws of the Allotment Garden Federation and the registered provision in the conveyance deed, the Supreme Court stated that the allotment garden association cannot withdraw from the Allotment Garden Federation without the consent of the Federation. The Supreme Court was not satisfied that the Federation in its rejection had set aside a general principle of equality under the law of associations, just as Article 11 of the European Human Rights Convention could not lead to another conclusion.

The High Court had reached the same conclusion.   

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