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Activities by year: 2021

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129th plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

09/12/2021 - 11/12/2021
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

73rd meeting of the Council for Democratic Elections

09/12/2021
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

Constitutional Justice - Southern Africa POSTPONED

2021
Arusha – The Venice Commission is invited to participate in the Conference of the Southern African Chief Justices Forum.

Hungary - Constitutional Court - 30th anniversary celebration

24/10/2021 - 26/10/2021
Budapest - On the occasion of its 30th anniversary, the Constitutional Court of Hungary will organise a conference on “Horizontal co-operation between the European Constitutional Courts”.

128th plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

14/10/2021 - 16/10/2021
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista (tbc)

72nd meeting of the Council for Democratic Elections

14/10/2021
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

19th meeting of the Joint Council on Constitutional Justice (JCCJ)

23/09/2021 - 24/09/2021
Sofia, Bulgaria – The Constitutional Court of Bulgaria will host the 19th meeting of the Joint Council on Constitutional Justice of the Venice Commission (JCCJ). On this occasion the JCCJ will hold a mini-conference entitled “Measures taken by States in response to the Covid-19 crisis and their impact on constitutional justice – constitutional case-law on emergency situations”.

Kazakhstan / Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions

27/08/2021
Nur-Sultan – The Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan and the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC) will organise a Symposium on “The Internet Era: the Rule of Law, the Values of the Person and the State Independence.” The Symposium will coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Independence of Kazakhstan.
Prior to the Symposium the AACC will hold a meeting of its Board of Members and a meeting of Secretaries General.

SERBIA – Constitutional reform, online meeting with the Working Group of the National Assembly

20/07/2021
In the context of the preparation of the assessment of the constitutional reform in Serbia and following two opinion requests by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Speaker of the National Assembly of Serbia, a delegation of the Venice Commission met (online) with the Working Group of the National Assembly of Serbia to discuss proposed amendments to the constitution.

TUNISIA - Strengthening of the legal framework governing referendums in Tunisia - virtual workshop

15/07/2021
Tunis - The Venice Commission and the Independent High Authority for Elections (ISIE) are organising an online workshop on referendums.

This event will allow for an exchange on the legal framework relating to referendums in Tunisia, both nationally and locally, in order to contribute to the process of the preparation of possible legislative changes. International standards as well as best practices will be presented by international experts.

GEORGIA - rights and responsibilities of the opposition in parliament - virtual conference

14/07/2021
The European Parliament and the Parliament of Georgia organised an online conference on the importance of ensuring the rights and responsibilities of the opposition in a modern and inclusive parliament.

The main speakers were prominent politicians with extensive experience in the European and national parliaments. They offered both normative framework as well as comparative analysis of best practices across Europe. A member of the Venice Commission presented its report on the “Role of the opposition in a democratic Parliament”.

The primary audience of the conference were... read more

ALBANIA – Request for amicus curiae brief

12/07/2021
On 9 July 2021 the President of the Constitutional Court of Albania requested an amicus curiae opinion to address in particular the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court over the constitutionality of the election process and the interrelation of the fundamental constitutional principles of periodicity of local elections and political pluralism, in relationship with the 2019 local elections.

The draft amicus curiae brief should be submitted for adoption by the 128th plenary session of the Venice Commission.

Request for opinion - UNITED KINGDOM

12/07/2021
By letter dated 14 May 2021, the Ombudsman and Chair of the Parliamentary and Health Service requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on the proposed exclusion of the Ombudsman from “safe space” investigations in the National Health Service.

The draft opinion will be delivered for discussion and adoption at the 128th Plenary session (14-16 October 2021).

BULGARIA – early parliamentary elections – legal assistance to the PACE election observation mission

10/07/2021 - 12/07/2021
Sofia - 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 scheduled on 11 July 2021 in Bulgaria.

The delegation held meetings with representatives of political parties and of the Central Election Commission.

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

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA – early parliamentary elections – legal assistance to the PACE election observation mission

08/07/2021 - 12/07/2021
Chisinau - 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 scheduled on 11 July 2021 in the Republic of Moldova.

The delegation held meetings with other international observers, representatives of the political parties, media and civil society.

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

SLOVAKIA - Request for opinion

07/07/2021
By letter dated 2 June 2021, the Minister of Justice of the Slovak Republic, Ms Mária Kolíková, requested a Venice Commission’s opinion on two questions regarding the organisation of the legal profession in the Slovak Republic and the role of the Supreme Administrative Court in the disciplinary proceedings against barristers.

The Commission will prepare a draft opinion with a view to adoption at the 128th Plenary Session of the Venice Commission.

UKRAINE – Request for opinion

07/07/2021
By letter dated 4 June 2021, the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine, Mr Oleksii Reznikov, requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law “On the principles of state policy of the transition period”.

The Commission will prepare a draft opinion with a view to adoption at the 128th Plenary Session of the Venice Commission.

Russian Federation - Role of Prosecutor’s Office in protection of individual rights and public interest in light of requirements of the ECHR – international conference

06/07/2021 - 09/07/2021
Saint–Petersburg - The Vice President of the Venice Commission, Ms Claire Bazy Malaurie, took part online in the opening session of the high level international conference co-organised by the Council of Europe and the office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation on the role of the prosecution service in the defence of individual rights and of the public interest.

Ms Bazy Malaurie also participated in a panel discussion on the functions of the prosecution service outside of the criminal law field.

127th plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

02/07/2021 - 03/07/2021
The plenary session was held in a hybrid form: on-line and at the Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista in Venice.
The Commission adopted the following opinions:

• an opinion on the draft Law on preventing conflict of interests in the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
• an opinion on the compatibility with international human rights standards of bills introduced late last year to the Russian State Duma, to amend laws affecting so-called “foreign agents”;
• an opinion on constitutional amendments adopted by the Hungarian parliament in December 2020;
• ... read more

KAZAKHSTAN - “Execution of the decisions of the Constitutionals Courts and equivalent bodies – theory and practice” - International online Seminar

25/06/2021
The Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan and the Venice Commission organised an international online seminar on the “Execution of decisions of constitutional courts and equivalent bodies – theory and practice”. The President of the Venice Commission, Mr Gianni Buquicchio, as well as several other members of the Commission participated in the seminar.

The event was financed by the joint Council of Europe – European Union “Central Asia Rule of Law Programme”. The Venice Commission implements the third component of this programme, namely “Promoting Efficient Functioning of State Inst... read more

THE NETHERLANDS – forthcoming opinion - online visit

24/06/2021 - 25/06/2021
In the framework of the preparation of the draft opinion on the legal protection of citizens, in particular under administrative law and the system of checks and balances in theory and practice, including the Houses of the States General and the judiciary, the Venice Commission’s rapporteurs held online meetings with representatives of the following authorities and other interlocutors:

• Members of Parliament,
• Ministries of Social Affairs and Employment, of Justice and Security, of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and of Finance,
• the Supreme Court and the Council ... read more

UKRAINE - International conference

24/06/2021
Kiev - The Constitutional Court of Ukraine, on the occasion of its 25th anniversary as well as the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of Ukraine, organised an international conference on "The Constitution of 1996: Ukraine within the framework of European constitutionalism" in co-operation with the the IRZ-Foundation and the Venice Commission.

Obituary - Ms Irene Mambilima, Zambia’s first female Chief Justice

23/06/2021
It is with deep regret that we learn of the death of Zambia’s first female Chief Justice, Ms Irene Mambilima, who passed away on 20 June 2021 during an official visit to Egypt.

The Supreme Court of Zambia is a member of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice (WCCJ) since 2013. At the 4th Congress of the World Conference in 2017 in Lithuania, Chief Justice Mambilima co-chaired the joint meeting of the Southern African Chief Justices Forum and Commonwealth Courts.

We express our sincere condolences to the family and colleagues of the late Ms Mambilima.

ARMENIA – early parliamentary election – legal assistance to the PACE election observation mission

19/06/2021 - 21/06/2021
Yerevan - 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 20 June 2021 in Armenia.

The delegation held meetings with other international observers, representatives of the political parties, media and civil society.

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

GEORGIA – Urgent joint opinion on the revised draft amendments to the Election Code issued

18/06/2021
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - Today the Venice Commission jointly with the OSCE/ODIHR issued the Urgent opinion on the revised draft amendments to the Election Code of Georgia.

The revised draft amendments to the Election Code of Georgia have been prepared in close cooperation between the ruling party and several opposition parties, which is particularly noteworthy against the background of the parliamentary boycott by all elected opposition parties after the October 2020 parliamentary elections and of the fact that most of the opposition parties had therefore not participated in... read more

PACE - hearing on balanced gender representation in the Assembly

09/06/2021
The Equality Committee and the Rules of Procedure Committee held a joint hearing on gender representation in the Parliamentary Assembly on 3 June 2021.

A representative of the Venice Commission provided expert input showing that gender-balanced representation in elected bodies is on the way of becoming an international standard, and how it can effectively be promoted in practice through appropriate legislation.

GEORGIA – forthcoming joint urgent opinion - online visit

08/06/2021
In the framework of the preparation of the joint urgent opinion on the revised amendments to the Election Code of Georgia, the Venice Commission’s rapporteurs and OSCE/ODIHR expert held online meetings with representatives of the following authorities and other interlocutors:

• the Central Election Commission,
• the political parties which signed the 19 April 2021 agreement and several parties who did not,
• civil society and diplomatic community present in Georgia.

This urgent opinion is prepared under the Quick response Mechanism in the framework of the EU/C... read more

UKRAINE - ANTAC Zero Corruption Conference

07/06/2021 - 08/06/2021
Kyiv – The President of the Venice Commission, Mr Gianni Buquicchio, Honorary President of the Commission, Ms Hanna Suchocka, and the Secretary of the Venice Commission, Ms Simona Granata-Menghini, represented the Commission at the high-level “Zero Corruption Conference”, organised by the Anti-Corruption Action Centre of Ukraine.

The Hague Recommendations regarding the Education Rights of National Minorities

07/06/2021
The Hague - The Venice Commission participated in the online conference to mark the 25th anniversary of The Hague Recommendations regarding the Education Rights of National Minorities, which was first published in 1996.

UKRAINE - meetings with authorities

07/06/2021
Kyiv - The Venice Commission President, Mr Gianni Buquicchio, held an exchange of views with the President of Ukraine, Mr Volodymyr Zelensky, and with the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Mr Dmytro Razumkov, on the pending judicial reforms in Ukraine.

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA - Countering misuse of administrative resources in electoral period – Online awareness raising event with electoral stakeholders and media representatives

04/06/2021
The Electoral Assistance Division of the DG-II the Council of Europe, the Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Moldova and its Centre for Continuous Electoral Training co-organise an online awareness raising event with electoral stakeholders and media representatives on “Countering the misuse of administrative resources during electoral processes”.

Mr Richard Barrett, Irish member of the Venice Commission, will intervene on “The international framework on combating the misuse of administrative resources during electoral processes”.

Venice Commission takes part in the 1st Steering Committee of the Central Asia Rule of Law Programme

04/06/2021
The first Steering Committee meeting of the Central Asia Rule of Law Programme 2020-2023 took place online on 4 June 2021.

High level officials from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as well as representatives of the European Union and the Council of Europe took part in the meeting. Representatives of the Venice Commission in charge of the implementation of the Programme’s component entitled “Promote efficient functioning of state institutions and public administration in Central Asia” also participated in the event.

The participants o... read more

MALTA – urgent opinion issued

01/06/2021
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – Today the Venice Commission issued the urgent opinion on the Reform of Fair Trial Requirements relating to Substantial Administrative Fines in Malta.

This urgent opinion was requested by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Governance of Malta, Mr Edward Zammit Lewis.

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA - Election dispute resolution and use of administrative resources – Webinar for judges and election commissioners

28/05/2021
The Electoral Assistance Division of the Council of Europe, the Centre for Continuous Electoral Training of the Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Moldova and the National Institute of Justice of the Republic of Moldova co-organised a webinar for judges and election commissioners on “Election dispute resolution by the Moldovan courts – International and national framework on the use of administrative resources during electoral processes”.

Mr Eirik Holmøyvik, Norwegian substitute member of the Venice Commission, intervened on “Election dispute resolution – good Europea... read more

HUNGARY – forthcoming opinion – virtual meetings

28/05/2021
In the framework of the preparation of the draft opinion on the constitutional amendments adopted by the Hungarian parliament in December 2020, on 17, 18, 21 and 28 May 2021 the Commission’s rapporteurs held a series of online meetings with the representatives of the following authorities and other interlocutors:

• Minister of Justice;
• Minister of Family Affairs;
• Ministry of Human Resources;
• Supreme Court (Kuria);
• Political parties;
• Data Protection and Freedom of Information Authority, and
• NGOs.

The draft opinion will be submitte... read more

Modernisation of the civil service in the southern Mediterranean - UniDem Campus Med - 6th coordination meeting

27/05/2021
The 6th coordination meeting of the UniDem project for the southern Mediterranean took place via videoconference on 27 May 2021. This annual meeting gathers national coordinators representing Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine* and Tunisia. Participants took stock of the UniDem Med 2020 seminars and discussed their respective priorities as regards modernisation of public administration. During the meeting, the participants determined the topics, dates and venues of the next UniDem Med seminars in 2021.

The UniDem seminars were established for the Southern Mediterra... read more

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA – opinion-related meetings

26/05/2021
In the framework of the preparation of the draft opinion on the draft law on the conflict of interests, on 25 and 26 May 2021 the Commission’s rapporteurs held a series of online meetings with the Minister of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as with the MPs in Parliament from the majority and opposition parties, Agency on the Prevention of Corruption, the Conflict of Interests Commission, representatives of the civil society and the international community.

The draft opinion will be submitted for adoption during the 127th plenary session (2-3 July 2021).

Just out! - e-Bulletin on Constitutional Case-Law: issue 3/2020

25/05/2021
The Venice Commission is pleased to announce the publication of the issue 3/2020 of the e-Bulletin on Constitutional Case-Law, including a number of cases relating to Covid-19.

The e-Bulletin reports three times a year on the case-law of constitutional courts and courts with equivalent jurisdiction, including case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, the Court of Justice of the European Union and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

The e-Bulletin is sent to liaison officers of these courts and to subscribers by e-mail three times a year, each mailing reports... read more

Association of Francophone Constitutional Courts (ACCF)

25/05/2021
The Venice Commission and the World Conference on Constitutional Justice participated in the 9th Conference of Head of Institutions of the Association of Francophone Constitutional Courts on "Collegiality" (online).

GEORGIA - Request for urgent opinion

21/05/2021
The Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia Mr Kakha Kuchava requested an urgent opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft (revised) amendments to the Election Code of Georgia.

On 25 May 2021, the Bureau of the Venice Commission authorised the preparation of this urgent opinion to be issued prior to the next Plenary Session of July 2021.

The opinion will be prepared under the Quick response Mechanism in the framework of the EU/CoE joint programme Partnership for Good Governance, co-funded by the Council of Europe and the European Union and implemented by the Council of... read more

BELGIUM - Hearing of the Institutional Affairs Committee of the Senate

21/05/2021
A member of the Venice Commission participated in a hearing of the Belgian Senate on three special bills amending the special law on the Belgian Constitutional Court. He contributed to the debate on the issue of the composition of Constitutional Courts from a viewpoint of comparative law.

RUSSIAN FEDERATION – forthcoming opinion – online meetings

19/05/2021
Following the request for an opinion by the PACE Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee dated 18 December 2020 on the compatibility with international human rights standards of a series of Bills introduced to the Russian State Duma between 9 and 23 November 2020, to amend laws affecting so-called "foreign agents", the Commission’s rapporteurs held a series of online meetings on 7 and 17 May 2021.

First, the rapporteurs exchanged views with the Chairman of the Committee of the Federation Council on Constitutional Legislation and State Construction and with the Chairman of the Inte... read more

ROMANIA – forthcoming opinion – virtual meetings

14/05/2021
In the framework of the preparation of the draft opinion on the draft law for dismantling the section for the investigation of offences committed within the judiciary, on 12 and 14 May 2021 the Commission’s rapporteurs held a series of online meetings with the representatives of the following authorities and other interlocutors:

• Minister of Justice
• Parliament
• High Court of Cassation and Justice – President and other representatives
• Superior Council of Magistracy
• Professional associations of judges and prosecutors
• Head of the Anti-Corruption Dire... read more

ARGENTINA – "Elections and risks of misinformation: Good practices in digital campaigns and social networks" – online training days

11/05/2021
The National Electoral Chamber of Argentina organised a two-day online training event on "Elections and risks of misinformation: Good practices in digital campaigns and social networks" held on 11 and 13 May 2021.

Ms Simona Granata-Menghini, Secretary of the Venice Commission, participated in the panel discussion of 13 May.

The event was opened by Mr Santiago Corcuera, President of the National Electoral Chamber of Argentina, and was closed by Mr Alberto Dalla Via, Judge at the National Electoral Chamber of Argentina and representative of this country on the Venice Comm... read more

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA – request for opinion

11/05/2021
On 27 April 2021, the Minister of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr Josip Grubesa, requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law on the prevention of conflicts of interest in the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The draft opinion will be submitted for adoption at the 127th plenary session of the Commission (2-3 July 2021).

The draft opinion will be prepared under the Expert Coordination Mechanism in the framework of the EU/CoE joint programme Horizontal Facility II, co-funded by the Council of Europe and the European Union and implemented by ... read more

Ibero-American Federation of Ombudsmen (FIO) - Venice Principles

11/05/2021 - 12/05/2021
The Venice Commission is organising in cooperation with the Ibero-American Federation of Ombudsmen (FIO) an online Conference on "The Venice Principles and Ombudsman Institutions in the protection of Human Rights in Latin America and Europe", on 11-12 May 2021.

The main objective is to raise awareness of the "Venice Principles" in Latin America and to strengthen a common tradition of democracy, human rights, rule of law and good governance in Latin America as well as to compare the regional experience with the European one. The Conference is an opportunity to make the "Venice Princ... read more

MONTENEGRO – urgent opinion issued

10/05/2021
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – Today the Venice Commission issued the Urgent opinion on the revised draft amendments to the Law on the State Prosecution Service of Montenegro.

This urgent opinion was requested on 26 April 2021 by Deputy Prime Minister Abazović and is a follow-up to the opinion adopted by the Venice Commission at its 126th Plenary Session (19-20 March 2021) on a previous version of these amendments (CDL-AD(2021)012).

MALTA – forthcoming urgent opinion – virtual meetings

09/05/2021
In the framework of the preparation of the urgent opinion on fair trial requirements in relation to substantial administrative fines in Malta, between 26 April – 3 May 2021 the rapporteurs held a series of online meetings with the following authorities and other interlocutors:

• Parliamentary majority
• Parliamentary opposition
• Ministry for Justice, Equality and Governance
• Attorney General
• Police Commissioner
• Ombudsman
• Malta Financial Services Authori... read more

UKRAINE – joint urgent opinion on the liability for inaccurate asset declarations by public officials issued

06/05/2021
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – Today the Venice Commission and the Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe issued the Urgent Opinion on the draft Law amending certain provisions of the Code of Administrative Offences and the Criminal Code of Ukraine regarding the liability of public officials for inaccurate asset declaration (no. 4651, of 27 January 2021).

The urgent opinion was requested by letter dated 12 March 2021 by the Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Mr Dmytro RAZUMKOV.

UKRAINE – joint urgent opinion on the High Council of Justice issued

05/05/2021
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – Today the Venice Commission and the Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe issued the Urgent opinion on the draft law on amendments to some laws of Ukraine on the procedure for electing (appointing) members of the High Council of Justice and on the activities of disciplinary inspectors of the High Council of Justice.

The urgent opinion was requested by letter dated 15 March 2021 by the Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Mr Dmytro RAZUMKOV.

TURKEY – forthcoming opinion – virtual meetings

04/05/2021 - 05/05/2021
At its meeting on 27 January 2021, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights decided to request a Venice Commission opinion on the compatibility with international human rights standards of Law no. 7262 on the Prevention of Financing of the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction recently passed by Turkey’s National Assembly, amending, inter alia, the Law on Associations (No. 2860) and Law on Aid Collection (No. 5253).

Following this request, the rapporteurs held virtual meetings with the five parliamentary groups.

The draft opinion will be submitted for adopt... read more

GEORGIA – Urgent Joint Opinion on the draft amendments to the Election Code issued

30/04/2021
Council of Europe, Strasbourg – Today the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR issued their urgent joint opinion on the draft amendments to the Election Code of Georgia, following an urgent request for assistance by the then Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, Mr Archil TALAKVADZE, addressed to the OSCE/ODIHR on 9 March 2021.

Proposed amendments to the Election Code include some positive changes but raise some new concerns which add to long-standing fundamental issues that remain unaddressed. A more comprehensive and systemic reform is still needed.

This urgent opinion ... read more

GEORGIA - Urgent Opinion on the amendments to the Organic law on Common Courts (appointment of Supreme Court judges) issued

29/04/2021
Strasbourg – The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe has issued the urgent opinion on the amendments to the Organic Law on Common Courts of Georgia.

The request for the urgent opinion came from the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, Mr Archil Talakvadze, by letter dated 8 April 2021.

The Venice Commission welcomes the amendments to the Organic Law on Common Courts, which are crucial for the selection and appointment of Supreme Court judges, currently taking place in Georgia. Having taken several of the Venice Commission’s previous recommendations into account, th... read more

MONTENEGRO – request for urgent opinion

28/04/2021
On 26 April 2021 the Deputy Prime Minister of Montenegro, M. Dritan Abazović, requested an urgent opinion of the Venice Commission on the revised draft amendments to the Law on the State Prosecution Service of Montenegro. This request follows up to the opinion issued by the Commission in March 2021 on the previous version of the amendments (see CDL-AD(2021)012).

The Venice Commission’s Bureau has accepted such request and the urgent opinion will be issued in due course.

ALBANIA – parliamentary election – legal assistance to the PACE election observation mission

24/04/2021 - 26/04/2021
Tirana - 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 parliamentary election held on 25 April 2021 in Albania.

The delegation held meetings with other international observers, representatives of the political parties, media and civil society.

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

CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS IN THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA – call for restraint and dialogue – Parliament should repeal today’s decision - statement by President Buquicchio

23/04/2021
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - "I am extremely alarmed by the present situation in the Republic of Moldova.

I call on all state institutions to exercise restraint, to enter into a dialogue and to de-escalate this worrying situation in order to ensure the operation of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, which is what the Moldovan people deserves especially when confronted with the current health and economic crisis.

Today’s declaration of the Parliament that it does not recognise the Opinion of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova of 15 April 2... read more

ARMENIA – Joint Urgent Opinion on electoral legislation published

22/04/2021
Strasbourg – The Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR have issued an joint urgent opinion on amendments to the Electoral Code and related legislation of Armenia. Having examined the conformity of the procedure of their elaboration, as well as the conformity of the amendments with international standards, the opinion concludes that the package is to be broadly welcomed, as it addresses the majority of previous recommendations. At the same time, the opinion suggests a series of key recommendations aimed at improving the draft amendments submitted.

The opinion was requested by the Spe... read more

“Tashkent Law Spring” International Legal Forum – Law 4.0.: the vision of law in the age of fourth industrial revolution

22/04/2021 - 23/04/2021
Tashkent – Following an invitation by the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Mr. Ruslanbek Davletov, the President of the Venice Commission’s President, Mr. Gianni Buquicchio, addressed the International Legal Forum “Tashkent Law Spring”.

The 2021 edition of this biennial Forum is entitled “Law 4.0. The vision of law in the age of fourth industrial revolution” and it was held as a video conference. The event was organised by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan. A number of high ranking officials from different countries, international organisation... read more

Conference of the Presidents of the Constitutional Courts of the Member States of the Council of Europe - CANCELLED

22/04/2021 - 23/04/2021
Berlin – The Venice Commission is invited to participate in the Conference of the Presidents of the Constitutional Courts of the Member States of the Council of Europe. The event is organised by the German Presidency of the Council of Europe (November – May 2021).

UKRAINE - Joint Opinion on the draft law on political parties - online roundtable discussion

21/04/2021
The OSCE/ODIHR, the Venice Commission and the Kyiv Office of the Council of Europe as well as the National Democratic Institute organised an online roundtable discussion of the Joint Opinion on the draft law on political parties in Ukraine, adopted last March by the Venice Commission.

The rapporteurs presented the conclusions of the opinion and the Working Group of the Verkhovna Rada informed the participants on the latest developments concerning the draft law.

UKRAINE – forthcoming urgent opinion – virtual visit

21/04/2021
Upon request of the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Mr Dmytro Razumkov to assess the draft law No 4561 amending provisions of the Code of Administrative Offenses and the Criminal Code of Ukraine regarding the liability of public officials for inaccurate asset declaration (reg. No. 4651 of 27 January 2021), the rapporteurs of the Venice Commission held a series of meetings with the representatives of the following Ukrainian authorities:

• The Office of the President of Ukraine,
• The Parliamentary Committee on Law Enforcement,
• The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine... read more

European Committee on Democracy and Governance (CDDG) - 13th meeting

15/04/2021 - 16/04/2021
The Venice Commission participated in the 13th meeting - via videoconference - of the European Committee on Democracy and Governance (CDDG). A representative of the Commission presented the Principles for a fundamental rights-compliant use of digital technologies in electoral processes, adopted in December 2021.

"The Venice Commission and Spain: a shared heritage" – online seminar

13/04/2021
The Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales and the Venice Commission organised a seminar to highlight the interaction between Spain and the Commission since the Commission’s origins, in Europe and in Latin America.

GEORGIA – forthcoming urgent joint opinion – series of online meetings

12/04/2021 - 13/04/2021
In the framework of the preparation of a joint Venice Commission – OSCE/ODIHR urgent opinion on the electoral reform in Georgia, the rapporteurs and experts met online with the representatives of the political parties and the Central Electoral Commission, as well as with of the civil society and international community present in Georgia.

At its 126th Plenary Session (online, 19-20 March 2021), the Venice Commission authorised the preparation of this urgent opinion to be issued prior to the next Plenary Session. This opinion is prepared under the Quick response Mechanism in the fra... read more

MALTA – Request for urgent opinion

08/04/2021
On 1 April 2021, the Venice Commission’s Bureau authorised the preparation of an urgent opinion on the planned reform – either through an amendment of the Constitution or through a legislative amendment of the Interpretation Act - of fair trial requirements related to substantial administrative penalties in Malta.

This urgent opinion was requested on 29 March 2021 by the Minister of Justice of Malta.

The opinion will be published before the 127th Plenary Session.

BULGARIA - request for opinion

08/04/2021
By letter dated 23 February 2021 the President of the National Assembly of Bulgaria requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the “Law supplementing the Criminal Procedure Code” on the creation of special mechanism for investigation of the Prosecutor General or his/her deputy.

The draft opinion will be submitted for adoption at the 127th plenary session of the Commission.

ARMENIA – Forthcoming joint urgent opinion on the on-going electoral reform - Online meetings

08/04/2021 - 09/04/2021
In the framework of the preparation of a joint Venice Commission – OSCE/ODIHR urgent opinion on draft amendments to the Electoral Code and related legislation of Armenia, the rapporteurs and experts met online with the representatives of the following stakeholders:

• Prime Minister’s Office,
• Deputy Minister of Justice,
• Central Electoral Commission,
• Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs of the National Assembly,
• political parties seated in parliament and extra-parliamentary parties, and
• Corruption Prevention Commission.

The... read more

ROMANIA – Request for opinion

07/04/2021
By letter dated 29 March 2021 the Minister of Justice Mr Stelian-Christian ION requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law for dismantling the Section for the Investigation of Offences committed within the Judiciary.

The draft opinion will be submitted for adoption at the 127th plenary session of the Commission.

ARMENIA – Request for opinion

07/04/2021
By letter dated 17 March 2021 the Human Rights Defender of Armenia requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the compatibility of the Armenian legislation related to the independence of the Ombudsman institution staff with the applicable international standards.

The draft opinion will be submitted for adoption at the 127th plenary session of the Commission.

MOROCCO - UN resolution on mediators and Council of Europe standards

07/04/2021
The Ombudsman of the Kingdom of Morocco, in cooperation with the Venice Commission, is organising an international webinar on "The UN Resolution of 16 December 2020 "The role of ombudsman institutions in the promotion and protection of human rights, good governance and the rule of law" - and the Council of Europe standards".

The aim of the webinar is to present the UN Resolution that established the Venice Principles as the new global standard for ombudsmen, as well as to present the Council of Europe's standards in this field.

KYRGYZ REPUBLIC - Joint OSCE/ODIHR-Venice Commission Opinion on the draft constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic - meeting of the Donors’ Partners Coordination Council

06/04/2021
The Venice Commission experts participated in the Donors’ Partners Coordination Council Working Group for Rule of Law and Human Rights for Kyrgyz Republic. Representatives of the Kyrgyz NGOs and national legal experts also attended the event.

Following a presentation of the Joint Opinion of the Venice Commission and ODIHR on the Draft Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic, the rapporteurs of the Commission and ODIHR experts had an exchange of views with members of the Working Group and Kyrgyz participants on the constitutional reform process and up-coming referendum organized on 11 A... read more

UKRAINE – request for urgent opinion - liability for inaccurate asset declarations by public officials

06/04/2021
By letter dated 12 March 2021 the Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Mr Dmytro RAZUMKOV requested an urgent opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law amending provisions of the Code of Administrative Offenses and the Criminal Code of Ukraine regarding the liability of public officials for inaccurate asset declaration (reg. No. 4651, of 27 January 2021).

At its 126th Plenary Session (online, 19-20 March 2021), the Venice Commission authorised the preparation of this urgent opinion to be issued prior to the next Plenary Session.

UKRAINE – forthcoming opinion – virtual meetings

01/04/2021
Following an urgent request for opinion dated 15 March 2021 by the Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Mr Dmytro RAZUMKOV on the draft law on amendments to some laws of Ukraine on the procedure for electing (appointing) members of the High Council of Justice and on the activities of disciplinary inspectors of the High Council of Justice, the rapporteurs met with the following interlocutors:

• Chairperson and members of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Policy;
• Deputy Head of the President’s Office of Ukraine, chairperson of the working group on the judiciary ref... read more

THE NETHERLANDS – Request for opinion on the rule of law

31/03/2021
By letter dated 25 February 2021 the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands Ms Khadija ARIB requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the rule of law in the Netherlands, i.e. on the legal protection of citizens, in particular under administrative law (including scope, legal protection, test of reasonableness and the role of the Council of State) and on the system of checks and balances in theory and practice, including the Houses of the States General and the judiciary.

BULGARIA – parliamentary election – legal assistance to the PACE election observation mission

31/03/2021 - 05/04/2021
Sofia - 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 parliamentary election scheduled on 4 April 2021 in Bulgaria.

The delegation held meetings with other international observers, representatives of the political parties, media and civil society.

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

GEORGIA - Request for urgent opinion

26/03/2021
The OSCE/ODIHR and the Venice Commission are preparing jointly an opinion on the draft amendments to the Election Code of Georgia, following an urgent request for assistance by the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, Mr Archil TALAKVADZE, addressed to the OSCE/ODIHR on 9 March 2021.

Republic of North Macedonia – Request for opinion

26/03/2021
By letter dated 15 March 2021 the Minister of Labor and Social Policy of Republic of North Macedonia requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law on gender equality.

The draft opinion will be submitted for adoption at the 127th plenary session of the Commission in July 2021.

UKRAINE - Request for urgent opinion

26/03/2021
By letter dated 15 March 2021 the Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Mr Dmytro RAZUMKOV requested an urgent opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law on amendments to some laws of Ukraine on the procedure for electing (appointing) members of the High Council of Justice and on the activities of disciplinary inspectors of the High Council of Justice.

World Conference on Constitutional Justice - 16th meeting of the Bureau

20/03/2021
Strasbourg - The Bureau of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice held its 16th meeting online. The Bureau discussed inter alia the preparation of the 5th Congress to be held in Indonesia on 4-7 October 2022 on the theme “Constitutional Justice and Peace”.

71st meeting of the Council for Democratic Elections (online)

18/03/2021
The Council for Democratic Elections reviewed the following draft opinions prior to their adoption by the Venice Commission:

• Georgia - Draft joint opinion of the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR on draft amendments to the Election Code, the Organic Law on the Political Associations of Citizens and the Rules of Procedure of Parliament;
• Georgia - Draft joint opinion of the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR on draft Article 79.1 of the Electoral Code (revocation of party registration);
• Ukraine - Draft joint opinion of the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR on... read more

126th plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

18/03/2021 - 20/03/2021
Due to continued COVID-19 restrictions, the first plenary session of the Venice Commission in 2021 took place virtually.

Unprecedented number of opinions -14 - were adopted including opinions on the Citizens’ security law in Spain, on constitutional amendments and the procedure for their adoption in Russia, on the compatibility with European standards of criminal law provisions in Belarus used to prosecute peaceful demonstrators.

A joint opinion of the Venice Commission and Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe (DGI) on recent amendme... read more

5th European Symposium on the Comprehensibility of Legal Provisions – German Presidency of the Council of Europe

11/03/2021
The President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio represented the Commission at the 5th European Symposium on the Comprehensibility of Legal Provisions, organised by the German Presidency of the Council of Europe.

POSTPONED - Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa

08/03/2021 - 09/03/2021
Libreville - The Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa (CCJA) and the Constitutional Court of Gabon are co-organising on 8 and 9 March 2021 the 1st "Meeting of women chief justices and African judges" . The Venice Commission is invited to attend this event.

This Meeting is devoted to the celebration of the International Women's Day.

KYRGYZ REPUBLIC - forthcoming Joint Venice Commission – OSCE/ODIHR opinion on the draft Constitution - virtual meetings

04/03/2021
In the framework of the preparation of the draft joint Venice Commission - OSCE/ODIHR opinion on the draft Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic, representatives of the two institutions held online meetings with the Ombudsman of Kyrgyzstan and representatives of civil society organisations.

The opinion is prepared in the framework of the Central Asia Rule of Law Programme 2020-2023, which is co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.

ARMENIA – request for opinion

04/03/2021
By letter dated 4 March 2021 the President of the National Assembly of Armenia requested an opinion of the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR on draft amendments to the Electoral Code and related laws.

UKRAINE - Forum "Ukraine 30" - Justice Development

03/03/2021
Mr Gianni Buquicchio, the President of the Venice Commission, opened Day 3 of Forum "Ukraine 30” on “Justice Development”.

The event was organised by the Office of the President of Ukraine as part of the platform “Forum Ukraine 30”, launched to mark the 30th Anniversary of Ukraine’s independence, with the aim to highlight the progress achieved and on-going challenges in the key areas of reforms.

Participants from all layers of the Ukrainian society as well as international organisations took part in the Forum.

Obituary - Silvano Longhin, warden of the Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

02/03/2021
The Venice Commission learned with deep sadness of the death of Mr Silvano Longhin, the warden of its seat in Venice, the Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista.

For more than 20 years the members of the Commission have been able to appreciate his generous availability and effective collaboration. For this reason, he had received the medal of honour from the Venice Commission.

Silvano was known by all the members of the Commission and many of them were bound by a sincere friendship.
We will miss his smile and good humor.
Silvano was a great brav’uomo!

MONTENEGRO – forthcoming opinion – virtual meetings

01/03/2021 - 02/03/2021
In the framework of the preparation of the draft opinion on the draft amendments to the Law on State Prosecution and the draft law on Prosecutor’s Office for organised crime and corruption, Venice Commission rapporteurs exchanged views with the Ministry of Justice, Supreme State Prosecution Office, Special State Prosecution Office, Prosecutorial Council, Ombudsman, judges of the Supreme Court, members of Parliament, and the representatives of the civil society.

The adoption of this opinion is foreseen for the upcoming plenary session to be held online from 19 to 20 March 2021.

Obituary – Franz MATSCHER, former member of the Venice Commission in respect of Austria

26/02/2021
It is with deep regret that the Venice Commission announces the death of its founding member from Austria, Prof. Franz Matscher.

Born in South Tyrol / Alto Adige, Franz Matscher studied law in Graz and Paris and joined the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he served inter alia at the Austrian Embassies in Madrid, Paris and Bonn. Following a position as assistant professor in Innsbruck, he became Professor of civil procedural law at the University of Salzburg, where he founded the Austrian Institute for Human Rights. From 1977 to 1998 he was the Austrian Judge at the Europ... read more

KAZAKHSTAN – Referral of the decisions to the Constitutional Council by ordinary courts – international online roundtable

26/02/2021
Nur-sultan - The Venice Commission organised on 26th February 2021 in cooperation with the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan an international roundtable on the question of referral of the decisions to the Constitutional Council by ordinary courts. The roundtable brought together representatives from various national institutions of Kazakhstan (Presidential administration, Parliament, members and staff of the Constitutional Council, scientific institutions, and representatives from non-governmental bodies).

This roundtable was organised at the request of the Cons... read more

“Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms: the Relationship of International, Supranational and National Catalogues in the 21st Century” - XVIIIth Congress of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts (online)

24/02/2021 - 25/02/2021
Prague – The Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic hosted the XVIIIth Congress of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts (CECC). The Congress, initially planned in Prague in 2020, took place online on 24–25 February 2021. The President of the Commission, Mr Gianni Buquicchio, addressed the Congress at the opening session.

In its Resolution no. II of 2018, the Circle of Presidents asked the Venice Commission to cooperate in the organisation of the XVIIIth Congress and to prepare a special issue of the Commission’s electronic Bulletin on Constitutional Case-Law on the... read more

MONTENEGRO – request for an opinion

23/02/2021
On 16 February 2021 Minister of Justice of Montenegro, V. Leposavić, requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on the State Prosecutor’s Office and the Draft Law on the Prosecutor’s Office for organised crime and corruption.

The opinion on these two draft laws will be prepared with a view of adoption at the next Plenary Session of the Venice Commission, which will be held online from 19 to 20 March 2021.

Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova - anniversary

23/02/2021
Chisinau – The President of the Venice Commission sent a congratulatory message to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova, which celebrates its 26th anniversary. The message is included in a video clip prepared by the Judges of the Court explaining the mission and activity of the Constitutional Court and its impact on daily life.

Ukraine – forthcoming opinion - virtual visit

22/02/2021
In the framework of the preparation of the draft opinion on the draft law no. 4533 on constitutional procedure and an alternative draft law no. 4533-1 on procedure for consideration of cases and execution of judgements of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, the Venice Commission rapporteurs held online meetings with the following interlocutors:

• Chair of the Working Group on the judiciary reform under the President’s Commission on Legal Reform;
• Chair and members of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Policy of the Verkhovna Rada;
• Deputy Head of the President’s Off... read more

Request for opinion - PACE / TURKEY

22/02/2021
At its meeting on 27 January 2021, the PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, on proposal of its Rapporteur on “Restrictions on NGO activities in Council of Europe member States”, Ms Alexandra Louis (France, ALDE), decided to ask the Venice Commission for an opinion on the compatibility with international human rights standards of Law no. 7262 on the Prevention of Financing of the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction recently passed by Turkey’s National Assembly, amending, inter alia, the Law on Associations (No. 2860) and Law on Aid Collection (No. 5253).

The dr... read more

GEORGIA - 100th Anniversary of the First Constitution – online conference

19/02/2021
Mr Philip Dimitrov, Vice-President of the Venice Commission, represented the Commission at the conference celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the First Constitution of Georgia entitled “First Constitution of Georgia Legal and Political Aspects”. This online event was organised by the Ilia State University, Georgia.

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA – forthcoming opinion – virtual meetings

18/02/2021 - 19/02/2021
Within the framework of the opinion on the draft amendments to the law introducing a "People's Advocate for the rights of entrepreneurs", the working group of the Commission held an online exchange of views with the Speaker of Parliament, the Minister of Justice, representatives of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Economy, the People's Advocate Institution as well as representatives of the civil society.

The draft opinion will be submitted for adoption at the March 2021 plenary session.

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA – post-electoral review conference

18/02/2021 - 19/02/2021
A member of the Venice Commission took part in the post-electoral review conference, entitled “Presidential Elections from the Republic of Moldova: analysis, conclusions, recommendations and steps ahead“.

”Rule of Law under pressure?“ - Videoconference in the framework of Weimar Triangle

18/02/2021
The Vice-President of the Venice Commission, Ms Claire Bazy Malaurie, participated on behalf of the Commission in a videoconference on the topic “Rule of Law under pressure?”. The event was organised in the framework of Weimar Triangle by the German Bundesrat, the French Senate and the Polish Senate.

3rd Scientific Electoral Experts Debates - Accessibility of the electoral process

16/02/2021
Bucharest - The Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania, in cooperation with the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, organised the 3rd Scientific Electoral Experts Debates on “Accessibility of the electoral process”. The event took place on 16 February 2021, via Microsoft Teams, 14:00 -18:00 (Bucharest time – UTC+2).

The 3rd Scientific Electoral Experts Debates addressed accessibility of the electoral process, which is essential for the implementation of the universal suffrage - one of the main principles of electoral law. The online event approached accessibility from a ... read more

UKRAINE – forthcoming opinion – online meetings

16/02/2021 - 17/02/2021
In the framework of the preparation of the draft opinion on the draft law on political parties of Ukraine, joint on-line consultations of the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR rapporteurs and experts took place on 16 and 17 February 2021.

The rapporteurs met with:
• the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Policy and members of the Committee and MPs-members of the working group, established at the Parliament to develop the given draft Law,
• representatives of Ukrainian political parties,
• the Deputy Minister of Justice,
• the Head and staff o... read more

Roundtable on Regulation in the 21st Century - Videoconference

15/02/2021
Under the auspices of the German Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, a roundtable on “Regulation in the 21st Century“ was jointly organised by the Delegation of the European Union to the Council of Europe and the Permanent Representation of Switzerland to the Council of Europe.

The purpose of this event was to foster a better understanding of how international regulation works in the 21st century while launching a first international discussion on the development and impact of soft law in particular.

Mr Martin Kuijer, the substitute member of the Venice Commis... read more

SPAIN – meeting with the Centre for Constitutional and Political Studies of the Kingdom of Spain (CEPC)

12/02/2021
On 9 February 2021 the President of the Venice Commission, Mr Gianni Buquicchio and the Director, Secretary of the Commission, Ms Simona Granata-Menghini met with the Director of the Centre for Constitutional and Political Studies of the Kingdom of Spain (CEPC), Ms Yolanda Gómez Sanchez and the Permanent Representative of Spain at the Council of Europe, Ambassador Manuel Montobbio.

During the meeting the participants discussed the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the CEPC and the Venice Commission signed on 19 December 2020 and had a fruitful exchange on t... read more

GEORGIA - forthcoming opinion – virtual meetings

12/02/2021
By letter of 17 November 2020, the Venice Commission received a request of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for an opinion on the “recent amendments to the Law on Electronic Communications and the law on Broadcasting in Georgia”.

As part of the preparation of the opinion, a delegation of the Venice Commission held a series of video-conferences from 8 to 12 February 2021, exchanging with representatives of civil society organisations, business community, the EU Commission, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Georgian National Co... read more

GEORGIA - Forthcoming opinions on draft amendments to the electoral and political parties legislation - virtual visit

11/02/2021 - 12/02/2021
Following the request of the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament on 24 December 2020, the Venice Commission in cooperation with the OSCE/ODIHR, is preparing two draft opinions on:

• the draft amendments to the Election Code, the Organic Law on the Political Associations of Citizens and the Rules of Procedure of Parliament;
• the draft Article 79.1 of the Electoral Code (revocation of party registration).

In the framework of the preparation of these two draft opinions, the rapporteurs of the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR met online with the represen... read more

Request for opinion – PACE/SERBIA

11/02/2021
By letter dated 5 February 2021 the Chair of the Monitoring Committee of the PACE requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on the constitutional and legal framework governing the functioning of democratic institutions in Serbia.
The draft opinion will be submitted for adoption to the October 2021 plenary session.

Request for opinion – PACE/HUNGARY

11/02/2021
By letter dated 5 February 2021 the Chair of the Monitoring Committee of the PACE requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on the legislative and constitutional package adopted by the Hungarian parliament in December 2020.
The draft opinion will be submitted for adoption to the June 2021 plenary session.

PACE Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy

04/02/2021
The Venice Commission participated in the meeting of the PACE Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy.

As part of discussions on the follow up to Resolution 2326 (2020) “Democracy hacked: how to respond?”, the Committee exchanged views with a member of the Venice Commission on recently adopted “Principles for a fundamental rights-compliant use of digital technologies in electoral processes”.

In addition, a member of the Venice Commission presented its “Parameters on the relationship between the parliamentary majority and the opposition in a democracy: a Checklist” ... read more

NEW DIRECTOR/SECRETARY OF THE VENICE COMMISSION

01/02/2021
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - Ms Simona Granata-Menghini is the new Director/Secretary of the Venice Commission, upon appointment by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

She has previously exercised the function of Deputy Secretary of the Commission for ten years.

Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales – Memorandum of Understanding

29/01/2021
On 19 December 2020 the Director of the Centre for Constitutional and Political Studies of the Kingdom of Spain (CEPC), Ms Yolanda Gómez Sanchez, and the Director, Secretary of the Venice Commission (a.i.), Ms Simona Granata-Menghini, signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at establishing the terms for co-operation and technical assistance on issues related of the rule of law and the separation of powers, as well as fundamental rights, constitutional justice, political systems and representative democracy.

UKRAINE - Request for opinion

28/01/2021
By letter dated 26 January 2021 the Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Mr Dmytro RAZUMKOV, requested the Venice Commission’s opinion on the draft Law “On Constitutional Procedure” and on the draft Law “On the Procedure for Consideration of Cases and Execution of Decisions of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine”.

This request is a follow-up to the recommendations of the Commission expressed in its two urgent opinions of December 2020 on the legislative situation regarding anti-corruption mechanisms and the reform of the Constitutional Court following judgment no.13-r/202... read more

GEORGIA - Meeting with PACE Parliament delegation

28/01/2021
The President of the Venice Commission, Mr Gianni Buquicchio, the Secretary of the Commission (a.i.), Ms Simona Granata-Menghini, and the Head of the elections and political parties division, Mr Pierre Garrone, met a delegation of Georgian PACE members led by Mr Irakli Kobakhidze, President of the majority Georgian Dream party.

The discussion focused in particular on the preparation of the three opinions relating to Georgia which will be submitted to the next plenary session in March 2021, relating to legislation on elections, political parties as well as electronic communication a... read more

Bosnia and Herzegovina – forthcoming opinion – series of online meetings

28/01/2021 - 29/01/2021
Following the request of the Minister of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Venice Commission is preparing an opinion on the draft law on amendments to the Law on the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council.

In this context, the Venice Commission organised a series of virtual meetings with the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina which took place on 28-29 January 2021.

The rapporteurs of the Venice Commission virtually met with the Ministers of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina and of the two entities, representatives of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council, ... read more

KAZAKHSTAN – Request for opinion

26/01/2021
By letter dated 20 January 2021 the Chair of the Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan Mr K. Mami requested the Venice Commission’s opinion on the Concept Paper regarding the referral of the decisions to the Constitutional Council by ordinary courts as well as effectiveness of the Council’s decisions.

The draft opinion will be submitted for adoption at the March 2021 plenary session of the Commission.

All activities linked to the preparation of the opinion will be organised within the framework of the joint Council of Europe – European Union project for Central Asia “Prom... read more

Request for opinion - ODIHR/Ukraine

19/01/2021
The OSCE/ODIHR and the Venice Commission will be preparing jointly an opinion on the Draft Law on Political Parties of Ukraine, following a request for assistance by the Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Policy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, addressed to the ODIHR on 30 December 2020.

The draft joint opinion will be submitted for adoption to the 126th plenary session of the Venice Commission.

Just out! - e-Bulletin on Constitutional Case-Law: issue 2/2020

19/01/2021
The Venice Commission is pleased to announce the publication of the issue 2/2020 of the e-Bulletin on Constitutional Case-Law, including a number of interesting cases relating to Covid-19.

The e-Bulletin reports three times a year on the case-law of constitutional courts and courts with equivalent jurisdiction, including case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, the Court of Justice of the European Union and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

The e-Bulletin is sent to liaison officers of these courts and to subscribers by e-mail three times a year, each mai... read more

Media Environment and Reform - 2nd meeting of the Council of Europe Committee of Experts (MSI-REF)

19/01/2021 - 20/01/2021
Council of Europe, Strasbourg – The Venice Commission participated in the 2nd meeting of the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on Media Environment and Reform. The elaboration of the Draft recommendation by the Committee of Ministers to member States on electoral communication and media coverage of election campaigns was one of the main points on the agenda of the meeting.

The representative of the Venice Commission contributed to the discussions by outlining the Commission’s “Principles for fundamental rights - compliant use of digital technologies in electoral processes”, a... read more

Republic of Moldova – request for amicus curiae opinion

11/01/2021
By letter dated 12 December 2020 the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova requested an amicus curiae brief of the Venice Commission on three questions concerning constitutional review of the law-making procedures in Parliament.

The draft amicus curiae is planned to be submitted for adoption to the 126th Plenary Session in March 2021.

Request for opinion - GEORGIA

08/01/2021
On 24 December 2020 the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia requested two opinions of the Venice Commission on the following legislative texts:

- the draft amendments to the Election Code, the Organic Law on the Political Association of Citizens and the Rules of Procedure of Parliament;
- draft Article 791 of the Electoral Code (revocation of party registration).

The draft opinions will be submitted for adoption at the March 2021 plenary session.

Request for opinion – PACE / Russia

08/01/2021
By letter dated 18 December 2020, the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe requested the Venice Commission to prepare an opinion concerning the Russian Federation on the compatibility with international human rights standards of a series of Bills introduced by the Russian State Duma between 10 and 23 November 2020, to amend Laws affecting so-called “foreign agents”.

The draft opinion is planned to be submitted for adoption to the 126th Plenary Session in March 2021.

Request for opinion – PACE / Belarus

08/01/2021
On 8 December 2020 the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the PACE requested the Venice Commission’s opinion on the compatibility with European standards of certain criminal law provisions used to prosecute peaceful demonstrators and Members of the Belarusian “Coordination Council”.

The draft opinion will be prepared for adoption at March 2021 plenary session.

European Parliament – Rule of Law situation in Bulgaria

08/01/2021
A representative of the Venice Commission took part in the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) exchange of views on the Rule of Law situation in Bulgaria.

The event was organised by the Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Monitoring Group (DRFMG) of the LIBE Committee.

United Nations – endorsement of the Venice Principles

07/01/2021
On 16 December 2020 United Nations General Assembly adopted the Resolution A/RES/75/186 on “The role of Ombudsman and mediator institutions in the promotion and protection of human rights, good governance and the rule of law”.

The resolution provides strong endorsement of the Principles developed by the Venice Commission on the Protection and Promotion of the Ombudsman Institution – “the Venice Principles”. It establishes these principles as the new global standard for the ombudsmen institutions.

The Venice Principles are the 25 principles that protect and promote the Om... read more

Obituary – Mr Alain LANCELOT, former substitute member of the Venice Commission in respect of France

07/01/2021
The Venice Commission is saddened by the death after a long illness of its former substitute member in respect of France Mr Alain LANCELOT.

He was a widely recognised expert in constitutional law at home and abroad and an extremely appreciated proponent of the Venice Commission, he sat on the Commission in the capacity of substitute member in respect of France from 2002 to 2006.

The Director of the Sciences-Po (1987-1996) Mr Alain LANCELOT was a member of the French Constitutional Council (1996-2001), a member of the Board of Directors (2002-2005) and the Chairman of th... read more

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