(adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 10 May 1990 at its 86th Session)
The representatives in the Committee of Ministers of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey,
Having regard to the Resolution adopted by the Conference for the constitution of the Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice, 19-20 January 1990) which created the European Commission for Democracy through Law for a transitional period of two years;
Considering that the participants in the Conference invited the competent bodies of the Council of Europe to examine, in consultation with the Commission, proposals aimed at specifying and developing institutional links between the latter and the Council of Europe;
Welcoming the fact that a large number of member States has already expressed the intention to participate in the work of the Commission;
Considering that the Commission will constitute a fundamental instrument for the development of democracy in Europe;
Having regard to the decision of 23 April 1990 whereby the Committee of Ministers unanimously authorised the member States who so wish to pursue these objectives within the Council of Europe by means of a Partial Agreement;
Resolve to establish the European Commission for Democracy through Law, governed by the Statute appended hereto;
Agree to re-examine before 31 December 1992 the institutional links between the Commission and the Council of Europe in the light of the experience acquired, in particular with a view to strengthening them, if appropriate by the incorporation of the activities of the Commission into the intergovernmental programme of activities of the Council of Europe.
Statute of the European Commission for Democracy through Law
1. The European Commission for Democracy through Law shall be a consultative body which co-operates with the member States of the Council of Europe and with non-member States, in particular those of Central and Eastern Europe. Its own specific field of action shall be the guarantees offered by law in the service of democracy. It shall fulfill the following objectives :
- the knowledge of their legal systems, notably with a view to bringing these systems closer;
- the understanding of their legal culture;
- the examination of the problems raised by the working of democratic institutions and their reinforcement and development.
2. The Commission shall give priority to work concerning:
a. the constitutional, legislative and administrative principles and technique which serve the efficiency of democratic institutions and their strengthening, as well as the principle of the rule of law;
b. the public rights and freedoms, notably those that involve the participation of citizens in the life of the institutions;
c. the contribution of local and regional self-government to the development of democracy.
1. Without prejudice to the competence of the organs of the Council of Europe, the Commission may carry out research on its own initiative and, where required, may outline laws, recommendations and international agreements. Any proposal of the Commission can be discussed and adopted by the statutory organs of the Council of Europe.
2. The Commission shall supply opinions upon request submitted through the Committee of Ministers in its composition limited to the member States of the Partial Agreement (hereafter referred to as the Committee of Ministers) by the Parliamentary Assembly, by the Secretary General or by any member State of the Council of Europe.
3. Any non-member State as well as any intergovernmental organisation may benefit from the activities of the Commission by making a request to the Committee of Ministers with a view to obtaining its consent.
4. In the course of its work, the Commission shall co-operate with the International Institute for Democracy created under the auspices of the Strasbourg Conference on Parliamentary Democracy.
5. Furthermore, the Commission may establish links with documentation, study and research institutes and centres.