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Recent and Current Events

4th Congress of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice

11/09/2017 - 14/09/2017
Vilnius - During the 4th Congress meetings of the 10 regional and linguistic groups of constitutional courts and equivalent bodies took place, as well as a meeting of the Bureau of the World Conference, its 2nd General Assembly and a special stocktaking exercise on the independence of the 111 Courts members of the World Conference.

CHISINAU - Follow-up Conference

14/09/2017 - 14/09/2017
The Venice Commission is represented at a Conference organized by the Security Committee of the Moldovan Parliament to discuss with all parties concerned, the conclusions and recommendations formulated by the Commission in its two opinions - adopted in December 2016 and March 2017 - on draft laws on the "Security Mandates" as a special investigative measure, and on protection against cyber crime.

Request for opinion – Republic of Moldova

14/09/2017
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 legal framework governing the funding of political parties and campaigns, as well as the recent amendments to the electoral legislation of the Republic of Moldova.

Ukraine – forthcoming opinion – country visit

06/09/2017 - 07/09/2017
Kyiv – A delegation of the Venice Commission met with the Ukrainian authorities and other stakeholders in the framework of the preparation of the Opinion on compliance with the Council of Europe standards of the draft laws on anti-corruption courts and on the specialisation of judges for corruption-related offences.

The delegation’s composition was as follows:

• Ms Aurela Anastas, Member, Albania,
• Mr George Papuashvili, former member, Georgia,
• Mr James Hamilton, former member, Ireland,
• Mr Thomas Markert, Director, Secretary of the Venice Commission,... read more

Bulgaria – forthcoming opinion – country visit

06/09/2017
Sofia – A delegation of the Venice Commission is going to Sofia 11-12 September 2017 to meet with the Bulgarian authorities, members of Parliament, judges and other stakeholders in the framework of the preparation of the Opinion on Judicial System Act of Bulgaria. The draft opinion is on the agenda of the October 2017 plenary session of the Venice Commission.

GEORGIA - Revision of the Constitution - Statement by the Venice Commission President Gianni BUQUICCHIO

01/09/2017
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – The revision of the Constitution of Georgia is a major reform meant to transform the current political system into a genuine parliamentary democracy.

In June this year, the Venice Commission issued a positive assessment of the draft revised Constitution, including the declared move towards the fully proportional system of the election of all the members of Parliament. Moreover, we specifically welcomed active co-operation and the commitment of the Georgian parliament not to adopt any amendments negat... read more

Hungary - Higher education law - Requirements for already operating universities “highly problematic”

11/08/2017
Strasbourg, - In a preliminary opinion issued today, the Venice Commission notes that in general the regulations of Hungary’s higher education law are in line with usual European practice but criticises that many requirements of the law are overly stringent or even unjustified if applied to already existing universities.

The Venice Commission does acknowledge the right of a state to regulate foreign universities on its territory, especially in the absence of unified European norms or models in the field, and that it is up to Hungarian authorities to assess when and whether this fr... read more

Asia - Constitutional Justice

09/08/2017 - 10/08/2017
Solo, Indonesia – The President of the Venice Commission participated in the International Symposium of the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions on “The Constitutional Court as the Guardian of Ideology and Democracy in a Pluralistic Society” (Solo, Indonesia, 9-10 August 2017).

  AACC

The World Conference on Constitutional Justice / WCCJ - a new member

07/08/2017
The Supreme Court of Kenya has joined the World Conference on Constitutional Justice, which now has 110 members.

Kyrgyz Republic - Assistance in the electoral field

04/08/2017 - 05/08/2017
Issyk-kul – Working Group under the Office of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, tasked with improving the Electoral System in the Kyrgyz Republic, and in particular, with developing a new comprehensive Electoral Reform Strategy, held their first meeting in Issyk-kul, Kyrgyzstan on 4-5 August 2017.

The meeting was organized with the support of the Venice Commission within the framework of the project “Support to Strengthening Democracy through Electoral Reform in the Kyrgyz Republic” funded by the European Union. A number of issues were discussed at the meeting, among them a pa... read more

Kyrgyz Republic - Assistance in the electoral field - media and electoral disputes

30/07/2017 - 05/08/2017
Bishkek – In the framework of the project “Support to Strengthening Democracy through Electoral Reform in the Kyrgyz Republic” the Venice Commission will organise 2 training sessions at the Issyk-Kul lake from 30 July to 5 August.

The first training session is held jointly with a local NGO “Media Development Centre”. It is aimed at journalists who will do media monitoring before the Presidential elections of 15 October. They will get to know media monitoring methodology, exchange views with experienced trainers and learn about technical aspects of media monitoring and the specific... read more

Venezuela – Constitutional crisis - Preliminary opinion released

21/07/2017
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – Today the Venice Commission has released its preliminary opinion on the legal aspects of the constitutional crisis in Venezuela.

Ukraine – Request for opinion

20/07/2017
Mr Andrii Parubiy, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, has requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on compliance with the Council of Europe standards of the draft law on anti-corruption courts and the draft law on the specialisation of judges for corruption-related offences.

Poland - Statement by the Venice Commission's President Gianni Buquicchio

18/07/2017
Strasbourg - I have been informed that the Polish parliament is adopting a number of laws on the judicial system affecting inter alia the National Council of the Judiciary and the Supreme Court. The Venice Commission has not examined these texts but I would like to recall that the independence of the judiciary is a basic element of the rule of law, guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. The fact that judges may not be dismissed before the end of their term of office, except on the basis of proper disciplinary proceedings, ... read more

Armenia – forthcoming opinion – a country visit

11/07/2017 - 12/07/2017
Yerevan – on 10 and 11 July 2017 a delegation of the Venice Commission visited Armenia, at the invitation of the Minister of Justice, and discussed the draft judicial code developed by the Ministry, with a view of preparation of an opinion on the draft code.
The draft opinion is scheduled for adoption by October 2017 plenary session of the Venice Commission.

Morocco - 13th Forum on the Modernisation of Public Administration and State Institutions

05/07/2017 - 06/07/2017
Rabat - The Vice-president of the Venice Commission, Mrs Herdis Kjerulf Thorgeirsdottir, is attending the 13th Forum on the Modernisation of Public Administration and State Institutions on "Fight against corruption in public services in Africa as an operational element of a responsible governance”.
She will present the "Rule of Law Check List" of the Venice Commission.

European Parliament - Exchange of views on constitutional reform in Georgia

05/07/2017
Strasbourg - Thomas Markert, Secretary General of the Venice Commission, took part in an exchange of views on constitutional reform in Georgia with the Delegation for relations with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia of the European Parliament, in the presence of the President of Parliament of Georgia, Mr. Irakli Kobakhidze.

International Society of Public Law (ICON·S) – "Courts, Power, Public Law" – 2017 Annual Conference

05/07/2017 - 07/07/2017
Copenhagen - The Venice Commission is attending the ICON·S conference on "Courts, Power, Public Law".
A representative of the Commission intervenes in panel 84 on "New Trends in Electoral Matters: The Role of Courts and the Venice Commission".

Hungary – forthcoming opinion – country visit

30/06/2017 - 01/07/2017
Budapest - a delegation of the Venice Commission travels to Hungary to exchange views with the Hungarian authorities and other relevant stakeholders, in the framework of the preparation of an opinion on the recent amendments to the Higher Education Act adopted by the Hungarian Parliament.

Conference of European Constitutional Courts - XVIIth Congress

28/06/2017 - 01/07/2017
Batumi - The Conference of European Constitutional Courts will hold its XVIIth Congress on the topic "Role of Constitutional Courts in upholding and applying Constitutional Principles".

Georgia – working meetings on constitutional reform

28/06/2017 - 29/08/2017
Batumi – The President of the Venice Commission Mr Buquicchio met with the President of Georgia, the Prime Minister, the Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, representatives of the opposition and the civil society.

The meetings were held on the sidelines of the XVIIth Congress of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts.

Assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic in the electoral field

27/06/2017 - 30/06/2017
Bishkek – In the framework of the project “Support to Strengthening Democracy through Electoral Reform in the Kyrgyz Republic” experts of the Venice Commission will participate in several activities from 27 to 30 June 2017. The first activity for political parties will deal with campaigning and electoral dispute resolution co-organised with IFES in light of the Presidential elections on 15 October 2017.

Together with OSCE Programme office a needs assessment visit on data protection will be held to meet with a wide range of stakeholders in this area and to discuss possible co-oper... read more

Organisation of American States - Request for opinion

27/06/2017
Mr Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organisation of American States, has requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on legal issues related to the Decree of the President of Venezuela on calling elections of the National Constituent Assembly.

Ukraine – visit of the President of the Venice Commission

26/06/2017
Kyiv – The President of the Venice Commission Mr Buquicchio exchanged views with the Speaker of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Mr Parubiy on the recent cooperation between the Commission and Ukraine.

Albania - parliamentary elections - Legal assistance to the PACE observation mission

24/06/2017 - 26/06/2017
Tirana - A delegation of the Venice Commission accompanies the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) delegation to advise on the legal framework of the parliamentary elections of 25 June 2017 in Albania. The PACE delegation is to observe the opening, voting and counting processes of the early parliamentary elections.

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