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130th Plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

18/03/2022 - 19/03/2022

Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista / online - Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 130h Plenary Session was held in a hybrid form, in Venice and online.

The Venice Commission:

- was informed of the decision of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe that the Russian Federation has ceased to be a member of the Council of Europe as of 16 March 2022;
- was informed of the decision of the Committee of Ministers on 17 March 2022 to suspend Belarus from participating in the work of the Venice Commission;
- heard a message from Mr Serhiy Holovaty, member of the Venice Commission in respect of Ukraine, who was prevented from taking part in the Plenary Session on account of the war in Ukraine;
- made a public statement in support of Ukraine;

- held an exchange of views with Mr Karen Andreasyan, Minister of Justice of Armenia (online), and adopted the joint opinion of the Venice Commission and the Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law (DGI) of the Council of Europe on the draft laws on making amendments to the Constitutional Law on the Judicial Code and to the Constitutional Law on the Constitutional Court of Armenia;
- endorsed the Urgent Interim Opinion on Constitutional Reform in Belarus, which had been issued on 21 February 2022 issued pursuant to Article 14a of the Venice Commission's Rules of Procedure;
- held an exchange of views with Mr Juan Castro Prieto, Senator, Republic of Chile (on-line), and adopted the opinion on the drafting and adoption of a new Constitution in Chile;
- held an exchange of views with Mr Ivan Malenica, Minister of Justice and Public of Administration of Croatia, and adopted the opinion on the introduction of the procedure of renewal of security vetting through amendments to the Courts Act of Croatia;
- held an exchange of views with Ms Albulena Haxhiu, Minister of Justice of Kosovo, and adopted the opinion on the revised draft amendments to the Law on the Prosecutorial Council of Kosovo;
- postponed to its next session the examination of the draft opinion on the Concept Paper on the Vetting of Judges and Prosecutors and draft amendments to the Constitution of Kosovo, at the request of the Minister of Justice;
- held an exchange of views with Mr George Cătălin Șerban, State Secretary at the Ministry of Justice of Romania, and adopted the opinion on the draft law on the dismantling of the section for investigating criminal offences within the judiciary of Romania;

- adopted the Report on the Domestic Procedures of Ratification and Denunciation of International Treaties;
- adopted the Annual Report of Activities 2021;
- endorsed the compilation on legal certainty;

- held an exchange of views with Mr Henry Khoury, Minister of Justice of Lebanon (on-line), in view of the preparation by the Commission of an opinion on the draft Law on the Organisation of the Judiciary of Lebanon;

- was informed on follow-up to the following opinions:
• Albania: amicus curiae Brief on the competence of the Constitutional Court regarding the validity of the local elections (CDL-AD(2021)037);
• Kazakhstan: opinion on the draft law “on the Commissioner for Human Rights” (CDL-AD(2021)049);
• Republic of Moldova, amicus curiae Brief for the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova on the constitutional implications of the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence) (Istanbul Convention) (CDL-AD(2021)044);
• Serbia: Urgent Opinion on the revised draft constitutional amendments on the judiciary (CDL-AD(2021)048); and Urgent Opinion on the revised draft law on the referendum and the people’s initiative (CDL-AD(2021)052);

- was informed of the international round table on “Shaping Judicial Councils to meet contemporary challenges”, co-organised by the Venice Commission, the University La Sapienza of Rome and the University of Barcelona, to take place in Rome on 21-22 March 2022;

- appointed Mr Kaarlo Tuori as Honorary President of the Venice Commission, in recognition of his exceptional and long service to the Commission;
- was informed that the meeting of the Bureau of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice would take place in Venice and on-line on 19 March 2022;
- held an exchange of views with representatives of the Committee of Ministers, the Parliamentary Assembly (on-line and in presence) and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities (on-line) of the Council of Europe;
- held an exchange of views with Mr Cristiano Corazzari, Minister for Culture of the Regione Veneto;

- confirmed the dates of the next Plenary Sessions as follows: 17-18 June 2022; 21-22 October 2022, 16-17 December 2022. The next Plenary Sessions will be held in presence.
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