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826/2015 - Spain - Opinion on the Citizens’ security law

Measures recommended
As regards articles 18 and 20 (personal checks and external body searches in public places), the Law should link them to the purpose of discovery and prevention of offences of a certain gravity and provide that, as a rule, they should be conducted on the basis of an individualised suspicion. As to indiscriminate/random searches, their use should be circumscribed and accompanied by procedural safeguards, including appropriate follow-up mechanisms; Law no. 4/2015 should specify that the authorities should tolerate demonstrations – even those which were not notified in advance or which deviate from the conditions set out in the notification – unless there is an ascertainable risk of “substantial disorder”. Organic Law no. 9/1983 (on the right of assembly) should also be amended accordingly. The Spanish legislator has discretion as to how this “principle of tolerance” should be incorporated into the law, so that the statutory formula is compatible with Article 21 of the Constitution; Law no. 4/2015 should specify that organisers and promoters of demonstrations cannot be brought to liability for the failure to notify the authorities or for non-compliance with the format of the demonstration set out in the notification if the gathering was spontaneous or if the deviations could not be reasonably foreseen or averted by means available to the promoters and organisers; The amount of penalties provided by Law no. 4/2015 – especially those for serious and very serious offences (up to 600 000 Eur in the latter case) – appears quite high, in the Spanish context. In view of the imprecise definition of some offences (most notably Article 36 para. 6 which speaks of “disobedience to the authorities”), these fines may have a chilling effect on the exercise of the freedom of assembly. The amounts of the fines should therefore be reconsidered; Some of the penalties provided by Law no. 4/2015 can be characterised as “criminal” in essence. Therefore, the procedure in which they are imposed should satisfy some basic requirements of fair trial provided by Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, under its criminal limb. The presumption of truthfulness of the reports of the police, the immediate enforceability of heavy fines and the lack of entitlement to legal aid counsel weaken the position of the defendants vis-à-vis the state. The legislator should ensure that presumed offenders enjoy at least the minimal guarantees required under Article 6 of the ECHR; On the rejections of foreigners trying to illegally cross the Spanish border in the autonomous towns of Ceuta and Melilla (additional provision 10 to Organic Law no. 4/2000), the Venice Commission acknowledges that Spain finds itself in the difficult situation of having to defend its borders and at the same time comply with its obligations under international law. Even though additional provision 10 has been found to be “conditionally constitutional”, the Commission considers that the Law should specify that police officers should not proceed with the rejection at the border if, in the circumstances, they see that an alien has cogent reasons for not using the ordinary procedures for seeking asylum.



827/2015 - Spain - Amendments to the Institutional Law on the Constitutional Court of Spain

Measures recommended
The Venice Commission recalls that judgments of Constitutional Courts have a final and binding character. As a corollary of the supremacy of the Constitution, judgments of Constitutional Courts have to be respected by all public bodies and individuals. Disregarding a judgment of a Constitutional Court is equivalent to disregarding the Constitution and the Constituent Power, which attributed the competence to ensure this supremacy to the Constitutional Court. When a public official refuses to execute a judgment of the Constitutional Court, he or she violates the principles the rule of law, the separation of powers and loyal cooperation of state organs. Measures to enforce these judgments are therefore legitimate. Several of the measures which the Constitutional Court can take when it encounters a refusal to execute one of its decisions do not raise any problems, for instance requesting the National Government to substitute the execution or requesting the prosecution and the ordinary courts to initiate criminal proceedings. There is also no objection to the Court requesting information or reports on the execution of its decisions. However, two measures raise questions: the repetitive, coercive penalty payments applied on individuals and the suspension from office of officials who refuse to execute the Courts’ decisions. The personal scope of the suspension from office remains unclear and should be specified. It could be problematic if it were to include directly elected officials, who are not excluded by the wording of Article 92. The law or its application should provide for different treatment when penalty payments concern respectively public authorities, office holders and individuals. In order to enhance the perception of the Constitutional Court as a neutral arbiter, the Court should not act on its own motion but only upon request by a party in exercising the execution powers under the Amendment. However, another serious concern against attributing to the Constitutional Court the task of executing its own decisions is that the Court has to take these measures – coercive penalty payments and suspension of officials – in a situation where the Court is already facing a refusal to execute its decisions. It is not unlikely that the person refusing the execution will also refuse to pay the penalty or ignore the suspension and continue exercising his or her office. This could challenge the authority of the Constitutional Court and, in turn, that of the Constitution itself. In such a case, other state bodies should step in, in order to defend the Constitution and the Constitutional Court. The attribution of the power of execution of its decisions to the Constitutional Court may seem as an increase of power at first sight. However, the division of competences of adjudicating on the one hand, and of executing its results, strengthens the system of checks and balances as a whole, and in the end, also the independence of the Constitutional Court. The Venice Commission does not recommend that these powers be attributed to the Constitutional Court. However, in the light of the absence of common European standards in this field, the introduction of such powers does not contradict such standards.

Measures taken by the State
The law examined stays in force with no relevant changes.



844/2016 - Armenia - Opinion on the draft law on referendums

Text(s) examined
CDL-REF(2017)049  English  31/10/2017 -  Public
Armenia - Draft constitutional law on referendum 
Measures recommended
The Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR welcome that the Armenian authorities have prepared a draft aiming to bring the legislation on referendums in conformity with the Constitution and international standards. It is recommended to address the following key issues: - Clearly address the unity of content of the referendum proposal and the requirement for the question of referendum to be clear and not misleading; - clarify and further develop the provisions on complaints and appeals, to ensure an effective system of appeal enabling electoral stakeholders to appeal the decisions that affect them; - require the authorities to provide objective information about the proposals put to referendum; - provide for submission of draft popular initiative for the Constitutional Court’s review prior to the collection of additional signatures; entitle the Constitutional Court to provide a nuanced ruling on the constitutionality of each proposed amendment, and allow for the valid provisions of a popular initiative to be submitted to the people’s vote without a new collection of signatures; - clearly regulate the collection of a referendum initiative support signatures and their verification and ensure that these rules do not restrict the right of eligible citizens to sign popular initiatives; - allow more than one structure for the “yes” and the “no” votes, respectively, – including for financial reporting - while ensuring equality of opportunity between supporters and opponents of the referendum. - expressly provide for the duty of neutrality of administrative authorities, as well as for effective sanctions for breaching it, in order to prevent the misuse of administrative resources; prohibit public sector employees from taking part in campaigns while performing official duties; - provide for the formation of precinct electoral commissions with representation of the referendum proposal’s supporters and opponents; - strengthen transparency of all funds collected and spent on the campaign; - extend the free airtime allocated on public radio and television, and consider requiring the public broadcaster to organise campaign debates with the referendum “parties”; - allow observation by NGOs created less than one year before the referendum and whose charter objectives relate to the issues put to referendum or to any of the issues listed in Article 21.1(3) of the draft law.

Measures taken by the State
The Constitutional Law on Referendum was adopted by the Parliament on March 23,2018 and is in force since April 9, 2018. A number of key recommendations of the joint opinion have been followed, at least partially, concerning: the need for a clear and not misleading question; the provision of objective information (more precisely, explanatory reports from both the “yes” and “no” sides, albeit to the polling stations and not to voters); the clarification of the rules on the collection of signatures. The adopted law also followed other recommendations of the joint opinion: it provided for the duty of neutrality of administrative authorities, by prohibiting public sector employees from taking part in campaigns; it provided for the formation of precinct electoral commissions with representation of the referendum proposal’s supporters and opponents; it made observation by NGOs easier by extending it to those created six months rather than one year before the elections. Some key recommendations have however not yet been followed, concerning: the need for clearly addressing the unity of content of the referendum proposal; the need for ensuring the review of draft popular initiatives by the Constitutional Court before and not after additional signatures have been collected; allowing more than one structure for the “yes” and “no” votes, respectively.



852/2016 - Turkey - Opinion on the duties, competences and functioning of the criminal peace judgeships

Text(s) examined
CDL-REF(2017)004  English  08/02/2017 -  Public
Turkey - Criminal judgeships of peace - Memorandum of the Ministry of Justice 
Measures recommended
Peace judges are formally lawful judges and are appointed by a judicial council. However, upon close examination their jurisdiction and their practice give rise to numerous concerns. The official purpose of establishing peace judgeships was to enable peace judges to devote sufficient time to the drafting of the reasoning of human rights sensitive matters. However, this goal was not implemented properly and the peace judges are bogged down with work not related to ‘protective measures’. Another official purpose of establishing peace judgeships was to avoid that the same judge decide first on protective measures, then on the merits. According to this reason, it is difficult to understand why the criminal judgeships of peace are necessary at the investigation phase, while at the prosecution (trial) phase the same judge can take protective measures and then decide on the merits without being biased. The system of horizontal appeals among a small number of peace judges within each region or courthouse is problematic, prevents the unification of case-law, establishes a closed system and cannot be justified with the need for specialisation. There are numerous instances where peace judges did not sufficiently reason decisions which have a drastic impact on human rights of individuals. Their heavy workload does not leave them sufficient time to provide sufficiently individualised reasoning, notably in cases of detention and when shutting down Internet sites. Therefore, the Venice Commission recommends: 1. The competence of the criminal judgeships of peace on protective measures during the investigation phase (‘protective measures’) should be removed. Ordinary judges should be entrusted with the protective measures on personal liberties during the investigation and prosecutorial phases. 2. If the system of peace judgeships were retained, in order to live up to the goal of specialisation of the peace judges, they should be relieved of all duties that do not relate to ‘protective measures’, notably the blocking of Internet sites and traffic offenses which take up a considerable amount of their time. Consequently, they should no longer have any jurisdiction on the merits and real appeals should be introduced in these matters, including the blocking of Internet sites. 3. The horizontal system of appeals between the peace judges should be replaced by a vertical system of appeals to either the criminal courts of first instance or possibly to the courts of appeal. 4. For persons who have been detained on the basis of insufficiently reasoned decisions by peace judges prosecution should request their release as soon as possible, unless a trial court has taken over responsibility for their detention.

Measures taken by the State
The State did not take any measures to follow the opinion. On 22 December 2020, the European Court of Human Rights adopted its judgment in the case Selahattin Demirtaş v. Turkey (no. 2), no. 14305/17. The Court found violations of Article 5 § 3 (right to be brought promptly before a judge), Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 (right to free elections) and Article 18 (limitation on use of restrictions on rights) in conjunction with Article 5 § 3. In its judgment the Court referred to four opinions of the Venice Commission: 1. CDL-AD(2016)002, Opinion on articles 216, 299, 301 and 314 of the Penal Code of Turkey 2. CDL-AD(2016)027, Opinion on the suspension of the second paragraph of Article 83 of the Constitution of Turkey (parliamentary inviolability) 3. CDL-AD(2017)005, Turkey - Opinion on the amendments to the Constitution adopted by the Grand National Assembly on 21 January 2017 and to be submitted to a National Referendum on 16 April 2017 4. CDL-AD(2017)004, Turkey - Opinion on the duties, competences and functioning of the criminal peace judgeships The case concerned the arrest and pre-trial detention of Mr Selahattin Demirtaş, who at the time of the events was one of the co-chairs of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), a pro-Kurdish political party. The Court Court found that the judicial authorities had extended Mr Demirtaş’s detention on grounds that could not be regarded as “sufficient” to justify its duration. Although Mr Demirtaş had retained his status as a member of parliament throughout his term of office, the Court found that his inability to take part in the activities of the National Assembly as a result of his pre-trial detention constituted an unjustified interference with the free expression of the opinion of the people and with his right to be elected and to sit in Parliament. The Court found that it had been established beyond reasonable doubt that the extensions of Mr Demirtaş’s detention, especially during two crucial campaigns, namely the referendum and the presidential election, had pursued the predominant ulterior purpose of stifling pluralism and limiting freedom of political debate, which was at the very core of the concept of a democratic society. The Court supported the finding of the Venice Commission that the impugned unprecedented and once-off constitutional amendment had been aimed expressly at specific statements of MPs, particularly those of the opposition, and that it was thus a “misuse of the constitutional amendment procedure”. MPs could not reasonably have expected that such a procedure would be introduced during their term of office. The interference with the freedom of expression had not therefore been foreseeable, in violation of Article 10 of the Convention.



855/2016 - Bulgaria - Opinion on the Judicial System Act

Text(s) examined
CDL-REF(2017)034  English  04/09/2017 -  Public
Bulgaria - Judicial System Act 
Measures recommended
• judges elected by their peers should represent at least half of the members of the Judicial Chamber of the SJC; • a source of concern for the Venice Commission is that prosecutors, and the Prosecutor General (PG) in particular, are still significantly involved in the governance of judges. This could be remedied in various ways. For example, the Judicial Chamber could receive some of the powers of the Plenary in respect of judges (in particular the power to appoint/remove two chief judges and to remove elected judicial members); alternatively, these decisions could be taken by a “double majority” of the elected judicial members and all members of the SJC; • to increase the accountability of the Prosecutor General (PG), the JSA should develop a procedure allowing for effective and independent investigation into alleged misconduct of the PG; • functions and powers of the prosecution service outside of the criminal law sphere should be seriously curtailed; • suspension of judges under investigation should be subject to an effective control by the Judicial Chamber of the SJC; • the SJC should have the power to nominate candidates to the position of Inspectors, and remove them in cases of serious breaches. In addition, the Venice Commission invites the Bulgarian authorities to consider following measures: • well-established professional association of lawyers, law schools, etc. should be formally involved in the process of nomination of lay members of the SJC; • the composition of the standing commissions of the SJC should be regulated by the JSA; • general assemblies of courts should have the exclusive right to nominate candidates to the position of court president; • the powers which put presidents in a hierarchically superior position vis-à-vis their fellow judges should be reconsidered; in particular, powers in the disciplinary field (to impose reprimands and to initiate disciplinary proceeding) and inspection powers should be withdrawn from court presidents; • refusal of tenure should be accompanied by guarantees similar to those provided for removal from office; • the functions of the Inspectorate should be clearly separated from the functions of the SJC; the procedure of inspections should be regulated in more detail, to prevent unwarranted, lengthy, or invasive inspections; • appraisal criteria and indicators should be reviewed and better organised; the reversals rate should not be used as an important criterion; • the substantive grounds for disciplinary liability should be described more precisely; the law should specify the concept of acts “damaging the prestige of the judiciary” and stipulate clearly that honest judicial errors do not give rise to disciplinary liability.

Measures taken by the State
One recommendation was partially addressed by an amendment to Article 230 adopted in November 2017: while the SJC shall suspend a judge where the offence is committed in the course of performing official duties, it may suspend in other cases (i.e. in these cases it has discretion not to suspend). Otherwise, according to the information obtained in January 2018, the law examined stays in force with no relevant changes.



867/2016 - Bulgaria - Opinion on amendments to the Election Code

Text(s) examined
CDL-REF(2017)024  English  23/05/2017 -  Public
Bulgaria - Electoral Code - As of 28 October 2016 
Measures recommended
The series of amendments introduced to the Electoral Code during 2014-2016 improved a number of issues and some previous recommendations of the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR were taken into account; there remain, however, unaddressed recommendations from the 2011 and 2014 joint opinions and election observation reports as well as concerns raised following the amendments adopted in 2014-2016. Key recommendations: - Ensuring a broad public consultation process, which is necessary to encourage public trust and confidence in electoral legislation and processes; - Providing for electoral reform well in advance of election, especially with regard to fundamental elements of electoral legislation; this is of crucial importance for the stability of law and of electoral processes as a whole. Therefore, in line with good electoral practice, fundamental changes should not be made within one year before an election; - Ensuring the establishment of polling stations abroad in conformity with the principle of equal suffrage for all Bulgarian citizens; and - Providing for an effective system of appeal of all election-related decisions to a competent body and granting an effective mechanism for challenging election results to all electoral contestants as well as individual citizens based on irregularities in voting procedures.

Measures taken by the State
The Code examined stays in force with no relevant changes.



872/2016 - Turkey - Opinion on Measures provided in the recent emergency Decree-Laws with respect to Freedom of the Media

Text(s) examined
CDL-REF(2016)011  English  01/02/2016 -  Public
Penal Code of Turkey 
CDL-REF(2016)061  English  10/11/2016 -  Public
Turkey - Emergency Decree Laws of July-September 2016, Nos. 667 - 674 
Measures recommended
• supplement Decree Law no. 685 with a provision requiring that individuals and legal entities affected by the emergency measures (including the liquidated media outlets) be made aware of the specific reasons for those measures and the factual basis thereof, in order to enable them to make their case before the inquiry commission, and that decisions of the inquiry commission be individualised, reasoned and based on verifiable evidence; • ensure that the inquiry commission has the powers to restore the status quo ante and that it has the power to grant priority treatment to the most urgent applications, including those introduced by the media outlets; • ensure that the journalists are not prosecuted under the heading of “membership” of terrorist organisations (and alike), where the charges against them are essentially based on their writings; • ensure that where journalists are prosecuted essentially because of their publications, pre-trial detention is not imposed on the sole ground of the gravity of the charges which are derived from the content of their publications; the authorities should be able to demonstrate “relevant and sufficient” reasons for the detention of journalists, in line with the case-law of the ECtHR on the matter, and such detentions should remain an exception; • Repeal any measure taken by emergency decree laws which is not strictly necessitated by the state of emergency.

Measures taken by the State
The state of emergency has ended. During the state of emergency no measures were taken to follow the opinion, besides restoration of legal personality of few media outlets.



871/2017 - Kazakhstan - Opinion on draft law "On Administrative procedures"

Text(s) examined
CDL-REF(2017)009  English  22/02/2017 -  Public
Kazakhstan - Administrative Procedures 
Measures recommended
The text of the draft law followed a number of recommendations found in different international documents, including those of the Council of Europe in the field of administrative law. However, the terminology used in different parts of the text and the proposed timeframes for different procedures could be improved. The opinion recommended to include additional references to the procedures concerning appeals to courts. The draft law could be used by the national team of experts in charge of the preparation of the new Code of administrative procedure in 2018.

Measures taken by the State
According to information available, in 2018 the Ministry of Justice and experts from the Supreme Court have included parts of the draft in the draft Code of Administrative Procedure.



875/2017 - Turkey - Opinion on the amendments to the Constitution adopted by the Grand National Assembly on 21 January 2017 and to be submitted to a national referendum on 16 April 2017

Text(s) examined
CDL-REF(2017)005  English  06/02/2017 -  Public
Turkey - Unofficial translation of the amendments to the Constitution  
CDL-REF(2017)018  English  23/02/2017 -  Public
Turkey - Law No. 6771 amending the Constitution  
Measures recommended
The Commission found that the amendments represented a dangerous step backwards in the constitutional democratic tradition of Turkey. As such, they ought not to have been pursued.

Measures taken by the State
Turkey did not take any measures to follow the opinion. On 22 December 2020, the European Court of Human Rights adopted its judgment in the case Selahattin Demirtaş v. Turkey (no. 2), no. 14305/17. The Court found violations of Article 5 § 3 (right to be brought promptly before a judge), Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 (right to free elections) and Article 18 (limitation on use of restrictions on rights) in conjunction with Article 5 § 3. In its judgment the Court referred to four opinions of the Venice Commission: 1. CDL-AD(2016)002, Opinion on articles 216, 299, 301 and 314 of the Penal Code of Turkey 2. CDL-AD(2016)027, Opinion on the suspension of the second paragraph of Article 83 of the Constitution of Turkey (parliamentary inviolability) 3. CDL-AD(2017)005, Turkey - Opinion on the amendments to the Constitution adopted by the Grand National Assembly on 21 January 2017 and to be submitted to a National Referendum on 16 April 2017 4. CDL-AD(2017)004, Turkey - Opinion on the duties, competences and functioning of the criminal peace judgeships The case concerned the arrest and pre-trial detention of Mr Selahattin Demirtaş, who at the time of the events was one of the co-chairs of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), a pro-Kurdish political party. The Court Court found that the judicial authorities had extended Mr Demirtaş’s detention on grounds that could not be regarded as “sufficient” to justify its duration. Although Mr Demirtaş had retained his status as a member of parliament throughout his term of office, the Court found that his inability to take part in the activities of the National Assembly as a result of his pre-trial detention constituted an unjustified interference with the free expression of the opinion of the people and with his right to be elected and to sit in Parliament. The Court found that it had been established beyond reasonable doubt that the extensions of Mr Demirtaş’s detention, especially during two crucial campaigns, namely the referendum and the presidential election, had pursued the predominant ulterior purpose of stifling pluralism and limiting freedom of political debate, which was at the very core of the concept of a democratic society. The Court supported the finding of the Venice Commission that the impugned unprecedented and once-off constitutional amendment had been aimed expressly at specific statements of MPs, particularly those of the opposition, and that it was thus a “misuse of the constitutional amendment procedure”. MPs could not reasonably have expected that such a procedure would be introduced during their term of office. The interference with the freedom of expression had not therefore been foreseeable, in violation of Article 10 of the Convention.



876/2017 - Georgia - Opinion on the draft revised Constitution as adopted by the Parliament of Georgia at the second reading on 23 June 2017

Measures recommended
The Venice Commission considered that the constitutional reform process completes the evolution of Georgia’s political system towards a parliamentary system and constitutes a positive step towards the consolidation and improvement of the country’s constitutional order, based on the principles of democracy, the rule of law and the protection of fundamental rights. The Commission made the following recommendations: Fundamental Rights: - the legitimate aims of restrictions of the freedom of faith, confession and conscience should be redrafted in the light of the second paragraph of Article 9 ECHR; - the prohibition of “creation of political parties on territorial grounds” (draft Article 23(3) should be removed; Judiciary: - the requirement of full consensus of the plenum of the Constitutional Court when deciding on constitutionality of the conducted elections is problematic and should be replaced by a requirement of ordinary majority; - the appointment of Supreme Court judges directly by the High Council of Justice without the involvement of Parliament, or their appointment by the President upon proposal by the High Council of Justice, would better guarantee the independence of those judges.

Measures taken by the State
On 26 September 2017, the Parliament of Georgia adopted at the third reading the draft revised Constitution. On 10 October 2017, the President of the Republic vetoed the constitutional bill and asked for the introduction of a fully proportional election system in 2020 and not in 2024, the abolition of the bonus system and to allow election blocks. On 13 October, Parliament overrode the presidential veto by 117 votes from the majority and adopted the constitutional amendments. - Draft Article 16 concerning the Freedom of Faith, Confession and Conscience has been amended and the legitimate grounds for restriction mentioned in the previous version of the draft provision such as “national security”, “preventing crime” and “administering justice” which are not legitimate aims in the sense of the second paragraph of Article 9 ECHR have been deleted. - The requirement of full consensus of the Plenum of the Constitutional Court when delivering judgment on the unconstitutionality of conducted elections has been repealed. However, - the draft amendments maintained the election of Supreme Court judges by Parliament upon their nomination by the High Council of Justice. - The prohibition of the creation of political parties on territorial principle is maintained. Additional constitutional amendments initiated by 116 members of the Parliament of Georgia were adopted at the second hearing by the Parliament on 15 December 2015. According to an explanatory note on the draft constitutional law, the purpose of these amendments was to reflect the previous recommendations made by the Venice Commission in the new edition of the Constitution of Georgia. Those additional amendments were examined by the Commission in the Opinion 918/2018 which is a follow-up to Opinion 876/2017. The constitutional revision adopted on 29 June 2020 as well as the legislative reform which followed provide that the parliament elected in the next parliamentary elections (31 October 2020) shall consist of 30 members elected under the majoritarian system and 120 members elected under the proportional system at national level, with a threshold of 1% for political parties, and, for electoral blocks, 1% multiplied by the number of political parties included in the electoral block. Moreover, the percentage of seats (proportional and majoritarian) a party can receive shall not exceed 1,25 times its share in the proportional votes.



877/2017 - Slovakia - Opinion on questions relating to the appointment of judges of the Constitutional Court

Measures recommended
While the President of the Slovak Republic has an essential position and considerable powers under the Constitution, only the Constitutional Court can ultimately decide constitutional disputes in a manner that binds all parties. The Venice Commission recommends that all parties respect the future finding of the Constitutional Court in the case of the complaints which are currently pending. The President did not ask the Venice Commission to make proposals pro futuro, when examining the situation of the appointment of judges of the Constitutional Court but the Venice Commission encountered several issues in the appointment procedure. In order to avoid similar situations in the future, the Venice Commission recommends considering the following proposals in a future reform of the Constitutional Court procedure: 1. Introducing a qualified majority for the election of candidates for judges of the Constitutional Court together with appropriate anti-deadlock mechanisms (constitutional amendment required). 2. Enabling a senate of the Constitutional Court to refer cases of major constitutional importance to the Plenary. The plenary session should be able to reject such a request (constitutional amendment required). 3. The President of the Slovak Republic or his representatives should participate actively in the parliamentary vetting procedure for candidates in order to avoid a second vetting procedure. 4. The Constitutional Court should announce its decisions only when their written version is available (amendment of the Act on the Constitutional Court).

Measures taken by the State
Following the Opinion, the First Senate of the Constitutional Court had decided that by not appointing candidates elected by parliament to the Constitutional Court the President of Slovakia had violated the fundamental right of access to elected office of the rejected applicants. The President of Slovakia subsequently appointed three judges to the Constitutional Court and the Court is once again complete. In January 2018, the President of the Venice Commission wrote a letter to the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Prime Minister expressing his satisfaction that the vacancies had been filled. In his letter, the President also offered the assistance of the Venice Commission to support legislative and constitutional reforms in the light of the opinion. The opinion had not only recommended that the President follow the judgment of the Constitutional Court but it had also proposed constitutional and legislative changes to avoid similar situations in the future.



878/2017 - Moldova, Republic of - Joint Opinion of the Venice Commission, the Directorate of Information Society and action against crime and of the Directorate of Human Rights (DHR) of the directorate general of Human Rights and Rule of Law (DGI) of the Council of Europe on the Draft Law N° 281 amending and completing moldovan legislation on the so-called “Mandate of Security”

Measures recommended
To evaluate the existing system of oversight of the Service and consider ways to improve it and make it more effective, including by considering supplementing, or replacing the present system of parliamentary oversight with some form of independent expert oversight/complaints body.

Measures taken by the State
According to information available, the draft has not yet been adopted



880/2017 - Republic of Moldova - Amicus Curiae Brief for the Constitutional Court on the Criminal liability of judges

Measures taken by the State
The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova rendered a judgment on 28 March 2017. The judgment refers to the opinion.

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