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Activities by year: 2020

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125th Plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

11/12/2020 - 12/12/2020
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

70th meeting of the Council for Democratic Elections

10/12/2020
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

Constitutional Justice - Southern Africa

2020
Arusha – The Venice Commission is invited to participate in the Conference of the Southern African Chief Justices Forum.

124th Plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

08/10/2020 - 09/10/2020
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

69th meeting of the Council for Democratic Elections (TBC)

07/10/2020
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

Austria - Constitutional Justice

01/10/2020 - 02/10/2020
Vienna - The Austrian Constitutional Court will celebrate its 100th anniversary.

Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC)

27/08/2020 - 28/08/2020
Nur-Sultan - IV Congress of the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC)

Joint Council on Constitutional Justice - CANCELLED

02/07/2020 - 04/07/2020
Zagreb – at the invitation of the Constitutional Court of Croatia, the 19th meeting of the Joint Council on Constitutional Justice of the Venice Commission will be held on 2-4 July 2020 in Zagreb.

123rd Plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

19/06/2020 - 20/06/2020
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

68th meeting of the Council for Democratic Elections

18/06/2020
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa

15/06/2020 - 16/06/2020
Maputo, Mozambique - 3rd International Symposium of the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa (CCJA)

Ibero-American Conference of Constitutional Justice

10/06/2020 - 12/06/2020
Cartagena, Colombia - XIII Congress of the Ibero-American Conference of Constitutional Justice.

Conference of European Constiutional Courts - POSTPONED

26/05/2020 - 29/05/2020
Prague - XVIIIth Congress of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts

HUNGARY - Constitutional Court - 30th anniversary celebration - CANCELLED

01/04/2020 - 03/04/2020
Budapest - celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Constitutional Court of Hungary.

122nd Plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe - Opinions adopted by written procedure

20/03/2020 - 21/03/2020
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - Following the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Enlarged Bureau of the Venice Commission decided not to hold the scheduled 20-21 March 2020 plenary session in Venice.
Instead, today, three opinions were adopted by a written procedure, as follows:

• Armenia: the Joint Opinion with the OSCE/ODIHR on draft amendments to the legislation concerning political parties;
• Kyrgyzstan: the Joint Opinion with the OSCE/ODIHR on the amendments to some legislative acts related to sanctions for violation of electoral legislation;
• Republic of M... read more

World Conference on Constitutional Justice (WCCJ)

20/03/2020
Strasbourg - Following the spread of COVID-19, the 15th meeting of the Bureau of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice was replaced by a written procedure.

Constitutional Justice - Latvia

20/03/2020 - 21/03/2020
Riga - Conference co-organised by the Court of Justice of the European Union and the Latvian Constitutional Court on the topic “EUnited in diversity: between common constitutional traditions and national identities”.

UKRAINE - The President of the Venice Commission Buquicchio welcomes the judgment of the Constitutional Court

12/03/2020
Council of Europe, Strasbourg – Today the President of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe Mr Gianni Buquicchio made the following statement:

“I welcome that the judgment of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine of 11 March declares unconstitutional the amendment to the Law on the Judiciary and the Status of Judges which reduced the maximum number of judges in the Supreme Court from 200 to 100. In its Opinion of December 2019 the Venice Commission asked for this provision to be removed.

The Commission was deeply worried that this amendment would have led to ma... read more

4th General Assembly of the Arab EMBs and international conference –“Role of the media in election”

04/03/2020 - 06/03/2020
Nouakchott, Mauritania - the Organisation of Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) of Arab countries, assisted by the UN Development Programme’s Regional Electoral Support Project (UNDP), the National Independent Election Commission of Mauritania and the Venice Commission, organised the 4th General Assembly of Arab EMBs and the international conference on the role of media in elections.

The conference gave the EMBs from Arab counties an opportunity to exchange views on international principles and standards in the field of media coverage of elections and identify key challenges facin... read more

122nd Plenary session of the Venice Commission cancelled

03/03/2020
Strasbourg - Following the spread of the COVID-19 in the north of Italy, the Enlarged Bureau of the Venice Commission decided not to hold the plenary session or the other usual meetings in Venice but instead, the most urgent opinions requested by states and uncontroversial texts will be adopted by a written procedure to be established by the Bureau.

ARMENIA – forthcoming opinion – country visit

02/03/2020 - 03/03/2020
Yerevan – a delegation of the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR representatives is in Armenia in the framework of the preparation of the joint opinion on draft amendments to the legislation concerning political parties.

Russian Federation – forthcoming opinion – country visit

02/03/2020 - 03/03/2020
Moscow – A delegation of the Venice Commission, within the framework of the preparation of the Opinion on some draft Amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation (as proposed by the President of the Russian Federation on 15 January 2020) relating to the execution of decisions by international bodies, travelled to Moscow on 2 and 3 March 2020.

The members of the delegation held meetings with representatives of the authorities of the Russian Federation, with representatives of the Russian academic community and with members of the civil society.

“The legal limits of direct democracy” – International workshop

28/02/2020
Zurich - A Venice Commission delegation participated in an international workshop entitled “The legal limits of direct democracy” by presenting the Code of good practice on referendums and its revision process.

The event was organised by the Institute for International and Comparative Constitutional Law of the University of Zurich with the support of the European Research Council.

EGYPT - National Human Rights Council

25/02/2020 - 26/02/2020
Cairo - The Venice Commission, in co-operation with the National Human Rights Council of Egypt, organised a conference on “Open government”; The general principles of open government, civic participation and the role of the judiciary, the administration and the Ombudsman were on the agenda.

This is the first time that the Venice Commission and the National Human Rights Council of Egypt have co-organised an event.

Global Judicial Integrity Network - High Level Meeting

25/02/2020 - 27/02/2020
Doha, Qatar – The Venice Commission participated in the High-level Meeting of the UN Global Judicial Integrity Network, organised with the assistance of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

ALGERIA – Constitutional Council

23/02/2020 - 24/02/2020
Algiers - A Venice Commission delegation participated in the Conference on "the protection of rights and freedoms by the Constitutional Council" on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Constitutional Council of Algeria.

LATVIA – forthcoming opinion concerning education in minority languages – country visit

20/02/2020 - 21/02/2020
Riga - In the framework of the preparation of the opinion on the recent amendments to the legislation on education in minority languages, the Venice Commission delegation participated in a series of meetings in Riga on 20-21 February 2020.

The exchanges of views with the following interlocutors have been scheduled: the President of the Republic, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Speaker of Parliament, the President of the Constitutional Court and other relevant authorities as well as the civil society including the representatives of the national minorities.

This op... read more

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA – forthcoming opinion – country visit

19/02/2020 - 20/02/2020
Chisinau – Chisinau – In the framework of the preparation of the joint opinion on the draft law on amending the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, a Venice Commission delegation held a series of meetings in Chisinau.

ARMENIA - Request for opinion

19/02/2020
On 17 February 2020 the Speaker of Parliament of the Republic of Armenia requested a Venice Commission opinion on draft amendments to the legislation concerning political parties.

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA - Constitutional Court

19/02/2020 - 21/02/2020
Chisinau - The Venice Commission participated in the International conference on “Constitutional justice and the society’s reaction: When the solutions of the Constitutional Courts are in disagreement with the majority opinion of the society”.

ALBANIA - forthcoming opinion on the appointment of judges – country visit

13/02/2020 - 14/02/2020
Tirana - In the framework of the preparation of the opinion on the appointment of judges of the Constitutional Court, the Venice Commission delegation held a series of meetings in Tirana, on 13 and 14 February 2020.

KYRGYZSTAN – forthcoming opinion concerning sanctions for electoral violations – country visit

11/02/2020 - 12/02/2020
Bishkek - In the framework of the preparation of the opinion on the amendments to some legislative acts of the Kyrgyz Republic related to sanctions for violation of electoral legislation, the Venice Commission delegation participated in a series of meetings with the Kyrgyz authorities and national experts in Bishkek, on 11 - 12 February 2020.

This opinion is on the agenda of the March 2020 Plenary session of the Commission (20-21 March 2020).

ALBANIA – forthcoming opinion concerning the Audiovisual Media Service – country visit

10/02/2020 - 11/02/2020
Tirana - In the framework of the preparation of the opinion on the draft amendments to the Law no 97/2013 on the Audiovisual Media Service, the Venice Commission delegation participated in a series of meetings in Tirana, on 10 and 11 February 2020.

This opinion is on the agenda of the March 2020 Plenary session of the Commission (20-21 March 2020).

AZERBAIJAN - Early parliamentary elections – legal assistance to the PACE election observation delegation

09/02/2020
Baku - A delegation of the Venice Commission accompanied the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) election observation delegation to advise on the legal framework of the early parliamentary elections held on 9 February 2020 in Azerbaijan.

The delegation observed the opening, voting and counting processes of the elections.

ROMANIA - request for opinion by PACE

07/02/2020
Strasbourg - At its meeting on 29 January 2020, the Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly) decided to request an opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft laws of Romania amending:

- Law No. 115/2015 on the Elections of the Authorities of the Local Public Administration,
- Law No. 215/2001 on Local Public Administration and
- Law No. 393/2004 on the Status of Local Elections.

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA - request for opinion

07/02/2020
On 5 February 2020, the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Moldova, Mr Fadei Nagacevschi, requested the Opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law on amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova as to the Supreme Council of Magistracy.

Summaries of key constitutional courts judgments – e-Bulletin’s 2/2019 issue released

07/02/2020
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - Today the Venice Commission published Issue 2019/2 of its e-Bulletin on Constitutional Case-Law, sharing the summaries of key judgments delivered by constitutional courts and courts with equivalent jurisdiction with the world-wide legal community.

BELGIUM - Voluntary Contribution

06/02/2020
Council of Europe, Strasbourg – On 22 January 2020 the government of the Kingdom of Belgium has generously allocated 1.000.000 Euros to the Venice Commission’s budget for the period of four years (2020-2023).

The funds are destined for the modernisation of the Commission’s database on the constitutional case law CODICES and the website as well as the preparation of opinions.

Modernisation of the civil service in the southern Mediterranean - UniDem Campus Med - 5th coordination meeting

06/02/2020
Rabat - The 5th coordination meeting of the UniDem project for the southern Mediterranean took place in Rabat of the 6th February 2020. This annual meeting gathers the national coordinators of the following partner countries: Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine* and Tunisia. The participants took stock of the 2019 UniDem Med seminars and discussed the priorities as regards the modernisation of the public administration in their respective countries. During the meeting the participants determined the topics, dates and venues of 2020 UniDem Med seminars.

The UniDem seminars were est... read more

TURKEY - Opinion on replacement of elected candidates and mayors - country visit

06/02/2020 - 07/02/2020
Ankara - In the framework of the preparation of the opinion regarding the replacement of elected candidates and mayors, the Venice Commission delegation participated in a series of meetings in Ankara, on 6 and 7 February 2020.

This opinion will be discussed at the March 2020 Plenary session of the Commission (20-21 March 2020).

Stop “worrying trend” of election winners abusing power - the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe endorses the Commission's Checklist

05/02/2020
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - Today the Committee of Ministers has endorsed the Venice Commission's checklist aimed at ensuring that election winners uphold democratic practices.

The Checklist gives governments guidelines on how to maintain the checks and balances of democracy, no matter what kind of system is used in that country.

It follows a warning by the Commission, echoed by former Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland in his 2016 report, that some governments, on gaining power in an election, are trying to dismantle democratic safeguards, rushing... read more

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA - Request for opinion

05/02/2020
On 5 February 2020, the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Moldova, Mr Fadei Nagacevschi, requested the Opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law on amending and supplementing the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova.

ARMENIA – All sides need to exercise restraint, mutual respect and constructive institutional co-operation - Statement by President Buquicchio

03/02/2020
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - "Following my statement of 29 October 2019, I remain preoccupied about the open conflict involving the Constitutional Court of Armenia. I share the concerns of the rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in this respect.

I would like to recall the recommendations made in the opinion of the Venice Commission adopted in October 2019 that any early retirement scheme at the Constitutional Court has to remain truly voluntary, exclude any undue political or personal pressure on the judges concerned and must be designed not to inf... read more

WCCJ - Supreme Court of Somalia becomes 117th member

31/01/2020
The Supreme Court of Somalia joined the World Conference on Constitutional Justice, which now has 117 members.

PACE session - Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy

30/01/2020
Strasbourg - Mr Michael Frendo, member of the Bureau of the Venice Commission, took part on behalf of the Commission in a hearing of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the topic «Countering ill democracies in Europe».

UKRAINE – visit of the Supreme Court Chair

30/01/2020
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - The Secretary of the Venice Commission, Director Thomas Markert met with the President of the Supreme Court of Ukraine Ms Valentyna Danishevska.

UKRAINE – visit of the Constitutional Court judges

30/01/2020
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - The President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio and the Commission’s Secretary, Director Thomas Markert met with a delegation of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine led by its President Oleksandr Tupytskyi.

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA – Meeting with President Dodon

29/01/2020
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - President Buquicchio exchanged views with Mr Igor Dodon, President of the Republic of Moldova in the presence of Mr Fadei Nagacevschi, Minister of Justice, and Ambassador Ms Corina Calugaru, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Moldova to the Council of Europe. The Venice Commission’s Urgent Opinion on the Superior Council of Magistracy ( prepared jointly with the Directorate of Human Rights of the DG-I), the constitutional reform, the strategy for the judicial reform and the electoral legislation were discussed.

RUSSIAN FEDERATION – request for an opinion

29/01/2020
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights requested the Venice Commission’s opinion on the draft amendment to
the Constitution of the Russian Federation (as proposed by the President of the Russian Federation on 15 January 2020) according to which, international agreements and treaties, as well as decisions by international bodies may apply only to the extent that they do not entail restrictions on the rights and freedoms of people and citizens, and do not contradict the Constitution.

EU TAIEX Workshop on Political party financing

27/01/2020 - 28/01/2020
Sarajevo - A representative of the Venice Commission took part in the TAIEX Workshop on “Political party financing – experience so far and next steps”, organised by the European Commission in co-operation with Bosnia and Herzegovina Election Commission, which took place in Sarajevo on 27 and 28 January 2020.

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA – Urgent opinion published

22/01/2020
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - The Minister of Justice of Moldova requested a Venice Commission urgent opinion on the draft amendments to the Law of the Republic of Moldova No. 947/196 on Superior Council of Magistracy.

The urgent opinion was made public on 22 January 2020.

ALBANIA - Request for opinion

21/01/2020
The President of Albania requested a Venice Commission opinion on the appointment of judges to the Constitutional Court.

ALBANIA - request for opinion by PACE

20/01/2020
The Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly requested a Venice Commission opinion on Albanian Law no. 97/2013 “on Audiovisual Media Service”.

Urgent request for opinion / country visit - POLAND

09/01/2020 - 10/01/2020
The Marshal of the Senate of Poland, Mr Tomasz Grodzki, requested a Venice Commission opinion on the amendments to the Law on Organisation of Common Courts, the Act on the Supreme Court and some other acts, adopted by the Polish Sejm on 20 December 2019.
These amendments were to be examined by the Senate at the upcoming January Session. For this reason, the Bureau of the Venice Commission authorised the preparation of an urgent opinion by the rapporteurs.

A Venice Commission delegation visited Warsaw on 9 and 10 January 2020 and met with the requesting authority and other in... read more

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