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90th plenary session of the Venice Commission (Venice)

16/03/2012 - 17/03/2012

The Commission:

- adopted the joint opinion by the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR on the compatibility with universal Human Rights standards of the amended law on mass events in the Republic of Belarus;

- held an exchange of views with Mr Robert Repassy, Minister of State for Justice of Hungary, and adopted the opinion on the laws on the status and remuneration of judges and on the organisation and administration of Courts in Hungary, with amendments;

- held an exchange of views with Mr Csaba Latorcai, Deputy State Secretary for Minority and Non-govermmental Relations of Hungary, and adopted the opinion on Act CCVI of 2011 on Freedom of Conscience and Religion and the Legal Status of Churches, Denominations and Religious Communities of Hungary, with amendments;

- held a preliminary discussion on the draft Law on Free access to information and on the draft Law on amendments to the law on classified information of Montenegro;

- held an exchange of views with Mr Igor Kapyrin, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the Council of Europe, with Ms Natalia Ityguilova Chief Counsellor, Section of public associations and political parties, Department of non-profit organisations of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, Ms Yulia Manakhova, Chief of Section, Constitutional Legislation Department of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, and adopted the opinions on
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o the Federal Law on Election of the Deputies of the State Duma, with amendments;
o the Federal Law on Political Parties of the Russian Federation, previously adopted by the Council for Democratic Elections on 15 March 2012, with amendments;
o the Federal Law of the Russian Federation on meetings, rallies, marches and pickets, with amendments;

- Held an exchange of views with Mr Kapyrin, Ms Manakhova and Mr Maxim Musikhin, Chief of Section, Legal Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, and decided to postpone the examination of the draft opinions on the Federal Law of the Russian Federation on the Federal Security Service (FSB) and on the Federal Law of the Russian Federation on Combating Extremist Activity until the June 2012 session, in order to clarify certain legal issues with the Russian authorities;

- Adopted the report on measures to improve the democratic character of elections in the Council of Europe member states, previously adopted by the Council for Democratic Elections on 15 March 2012;

- Noted that Mr Ciril Ribicic and Ms Dragica Wedam Lukic had been appointed as member and substitute member of Slovenia respectively, for a term of four years;

- Was informed on follow-up to the joint opinion by the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR on the draft law on amendments and additions to the organic law of Georgia on political unions of citizens (CDL-AD(2011)044rev), to the joint opinion by the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR on the draft election code of Georgia (CDL-AD(2011)043) and to the opinion on the concept paper on the establishment and functioning of a constitutional assembly of Ukraine (CDL-AD(2011)002);

- Was informed by
o Mr Hanafy Gebaly, Secretary General of the Union of Arab Constitutional Courts and Councils, on the reform process taking place in Egypt;
o Mr Malek Twal, Secretary General, Ministry of Political Development of Jordan, on the political reform process in that country and on possible co-operation with the Council of Europe and the Venice Commission;

- Heard an address by
o Mr Issam Sleiman, President of the Constitutional Council of Lebanon, on the constitutional situation in that country;
o Mr Rui Moura Ramos, President of the Constitutional Tribunal of Portugal, on recent constitutional developments in that country;

- Was informed on
o recent constitutional developments in Tunisia;
o the Meeting of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee (Istanbul, 24 February 2012);
o the results and conclusions of the Conference on “the Rule of Law as a practical concept” (London, 2 March 2012);

- Adopted the annual report of activities for 2011;

- held an exchange of views with representatives of the Committee of Ministers, the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe;

- fixed the dates of the next sessions as follows: 15-16 June 2012; 12-13 October 2012 and 14-15 December 2012.
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