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Recent and Current Events

Ukraine - Constitutional reform

28/08/2015
Kyiv, Ukraine - A Venice Commission delegation and the SG's Special advisor for Ukraine will attend a session of the Constitutional Commission at which the constitutional amendments on the judiciary will be discussed.

Kazakhstan – 20th anniversary of the Constitution

28/08/2015 - 29/08/2015
Astana - les représentants de la Commission de Venise, dirigée par le vice-président de la Commission professeur E. Tanchev, a participé à une conférence internationale à l'occasion du 20e anniversaire du référendum sur la Constitution de la République du Kazakhstan. Le titre de l'événement était "Constitution - l'unité, de la stabilité, de la prospérité". Le président du Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbaev a participé dans l’évènement.

Southern African Chief Justices Forum

27/08/2015 - 30/08/2015
Zimbabwe - The Southern African Chief Justices Forum will hold its annual Conference and the Annual General Meeting.

Armenia - Constitutional reform

24/08/2015 - 25/08/2015
A Delegation of the Venice Commission will visit Armenia on 24 and 25 August. The Delegation will meet members of the Professional Commission on constitutional reform in order to continue discussions on the draft amendments to the Constitution of Armenia. On 25 August, at 10 a.m., a public meeting will be held at the Faculty of Law of Yerevan State University. Finally, the President of the Republic will receive the delegation.

Ukraine - Transitional Provisions of the Constitution

24/08/2015
The Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the Council of Europe asked the Venice Commission to provide an opinion on the temporal validity of draft Article 18 of the Transitional Provisions of the Ukrainian Constitution providing for the possibility of specific arrangements in some parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

Request for opinion – Montenegro

24/08/2015
The Montenegrin authorities requested the Venice Commission’s opinion on the compatibility with international standards of the Draft law on Freedom of Religion of Montenegro.

Albanie - Reform of the Judiciary

21/08/2015 - 22/08/2015
21 and 22 August 2015 - A group of Albanian experts will meet an expert and former member of the Commission, Mr James Hamilton, in order to discuss the progress of the judicial reform in Albania. The meeting will take place in Dublin.

Armenia – Request for an opinion on the draft amendments to the law on Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman)

21/08/2015
On 25 May 2015, the Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Armenia, Mr Karen Andreasyan, requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law amending the law on ombudsman. A request in similar terms was later received by the DGI. A group of rapporteurs of the Venice Commission and DGI will prepare a joint opinion which will be examined at the 103rd Plenary Session of the Commission on 23-24 October 2015.

Peru - Human Rights Conference

20/08/2015 - 21/08/2015
Lima – The Venice Commission participated in the International Conference on Human Rights and Public Policy organised by the Ministry of Justice of Peru.

Audit project of the institution of the Administrative Mediator of Tunisia

19/08/2015 - 20/08/2015
Evaluation of legislation on administrative Ombudsman of Tunisia vis-a-vis the "Paris Principles" and other European and international legislation as well as evaluation of the organisational structure of the institution (internal procedures, management, public relations, training needs).

Dominican Republic- 2nd Assembly of the Association of World Electoral Management Bodies (A-WEB)

17/08/2015 - 18/08/2015
Punta Cana.- The Venice Commission takes part in the 2nd Assembly of the Association of World Electoral Management Bodies (A-WEB), which will take place in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Indonesia - Constitutional Complaint

15/08/2015 - 16/08/2015
Jakarta – the President of the Venice Commission participated in the International Symposium on the “Constitutional Complaint as an Instrument for Protecting Fundamental Rights of Citizen”, in Celebration of the 12th Anniversary of the Constitutional Court of Indonesia. The proceedings of the Symposium are available at the site of the Constitutional Court of Indonesia.

Asia - Constitutional Justice

14/08/2015
Jakarta – The Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC) will hold the meeting of its Board.
  AACC

Tunisia - Preliminary Opinion on the Draft Organic law on the Constitutional Court of Tunisia

14/08/2015
Strasbourg - Following a request by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tunisia, the Venice Commission transmitted to the Tunisian authorities the Preliminary Opinion on the Draft Organic law on the Constitutional Court of Tunisia.

Obituary – Mr Hubert Haenel, member of the Venice Commission in respect of France

11/08/2015
Paris - The Venice Commission has the sad duty to announce the death of Mr. Hubert Haenel, its member in respect of France.
Mr Hubert Haenel has been active in the Venice Commission, which benefitted from his experience and skills both as a Senator and as a member of the French Constitutional Council .
He actively contributed to the work of the Commission, particularly in the preparation of opinions relating to Armenia, Moldova, "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", Russia and Ukraine. In terms of studies and opinions, he covered the following themes: democratic control of ar... read more

Request for opinion – Bulgaria

29/07/2015
The President of the National Assembly of Bulgaria requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on draft amendments to the Constitution of Bulgaria elaborated as part of the ongoing reform of the Bulgarian judiciary.

Network of Constitutional Courts and Councils of West- and Central Africa

25/07/2015
Rabat - The Constitutional Courts and Councils from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central Africa, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo - Democratic Republic (Kinshasa), Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal and Togo have established the “Network of Constitutional Courts and Councils of West- and Central Africa”.

Ukraine - Judiciary - preliminary opinion

24/07/2015
Upon urgent request by the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada and of the Constitutional Commission of Ukraine, Mr Volodymyr Groysman, the Venice Commission has prepared a preliminary opinion on the amendments to the Constitution relating to the Judiciary, proposed by the competent Working Group of the Constitutional Commission. This preliminary opinion has been sent to the Ukrainian authorities and is available to the public.

Peru withdraws its request for an opinion

23/07/2015
By a letter sent on 23 July 2015, the Ministry of Justice of Peru has withdrawn its request for an opinion on the draft anti-discrimination legislation and the draft reform of the Criminal Code concerning hate crimes. The government informed the Commission that the draft reform has been postponed and the draft legislation will not be submitted to the Parliament.

Tunis- Instance Vérité et Dignité

22/07/2015 - 22/07/2015
L'instance Vérité et Dignité de la République Tunisienne a saisi la Commission de Venise d'une demande d'avis sur le projet de loi organique relative aux procédures spéciales concernant la réconciliation dans les domianes économiques et financiers

Ukraine – urgent request for opinion

21/07/2015
The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada and of the Constitutional Commission of Ukraine, Mr Volodymyr Groysman, has requested the urgent opinion of the Venice Commission on the amendments to the Constitution relating to the Judiciary, proposed by the competent Working Group of the Constitutional Commission. This preliminary opinion is expected to be sent to the Ukrainian authorities and made public before the end of this week.

OSCE - Election Seminar

20/07/2015
Vienna - The Venice Commission participates in an election seminar following an invitation from the Serbian Chairmanship of the OSCE and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE (the OSCE/ODIHR). The Venice Commission representatives intervene more particularly on the issue of misuse of administrative resources during elections.

Kyiv, Ukraine - Constitutional Reform

16/07/2015
Kyiv, 16 July 2015 - ‎A Venice Commission delegation and the SG's Special advisor for Ukraine attended a sitting of the Verkhovna Rada at which the constitutional reform was discussed.

Ukraine - Political Party Expert Workshop

14/07/2015 - 15/07/2015
Kyiv – An expert of the Venice Commission participates in a Political Party Expert Workshop organised by the OSCE/ODIHR, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the Agency for Legislative Initiatives in cooperation with the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Two major themes to be discussed by the participants:

• international trends and challenges in political party regulation;
• key aspects of political party legislation reform in Ukraine.

Seminar on Strategic Litigation - study visit to the Council of Europe from the Kyrgyz Republic

08/07/2015 - 10/07/2015
Strasbourg – Representatives of NGOs, academia and journalists of the Kyrgyz Republic will learn about the experience from several European countries on strategic litigation as well as about the Venice Commission’s practice of amicus curiae briefs. Strategic litigation is bringing carefully-selected public interest cases - often human rights cases - to a court on behalf of an individual, where the goal is to promote the interests of a wider group.
This seminar is part of a study visit to the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights, which will enable the participants to f... read more

Request for opinion – PACE – Russia

02/07/2015
The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly requested the Venice Commission’s opinion on the compatibility with international standards and human rights and fundamental freedoms, of the Law of 19 May 2015 “on undesirable foreign and international organisations” of the Russian Federation (Federal Law No. 129-F3 on Amending Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation).

Armenia - Constitutional reform

01/07/2015 - 02/07/2015
Vienna, Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs - Members of the Professional Commission on constitutional reform in Armenia and members of the Venice Commission meet to continue discussions on the draft amendments to the Constitution of the Armenia.

Publication on the judicial systems in Central Asia

29/06/2015 - 14/07/2015
Central Asia - the Working Group on the preparation of the publication on “The efficiency and quality of justice systems in Central Asia” will undertake visits to Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan in June and July 2015.

The authorities of the five Central Asian States were invited to fill in a detailed questionnaire on the judicial systems of their respective countries. The Venice Commission’s experts will visit countries to meet the representatives of the Supreme Courts, Ministries of Justice, Associations of judges and other relevant national bodies in order to r... read more

Ukraine - Statement by the President of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe Gianni Buquicchio

29/06/2015
“I very much welcome that the Constitutional Commission of Ukraine approved on Friday draft amendments to the Constitution regarding decentralisation. The text approved integrates most of the recommendations made by the Venice Commission and I would like to thank the President of the Constitutional Commission and Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Mr Volodymyr Groysman, for the excellent co-operation with the Venice Commission and congratulate him on the results of this co-operation.

Decentralisation is one of the key reforms required for the democratic development of the country in l... read more

5th Black Sea International Conference

27/06/2015 - 28/06/2015
Batumi, Georgia – Conference on “Liberty and security: increasing the effectiveness of the constitutional complaint”, organised by the Constitutional Court of Georgia and co-organised by the Venice Commission under the Council of Europe/European Union Eastern Partnership Programmatic Co-operation Framework, the GIZ and Human Dynamics Consortium.

Ukraine - Constitutional reform

26/06/2015
Kyiv, Ukraine - The Secretary of the Venice Commission, Thomas Markert, and one of the rapporteurs of the Venice Commission and expert of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Alain Delcamp, took part in the meeting of the working group on decentralisation and in the session of the Constitutional Commission of Ukraine. At the session the Constitutional Commission approved the draft amendments on decentralisation, taking fully into account the preliminary opinion of the Venice Commission of 24 June 2015. In a meeting with the delegation President Poroshenko t... read more

Kyrgyzstan – Dismissal of a Judge of the Constitutional Chamber - Statement by the President of the Venice Commission

25/06/2015
I have learned that recently Judge Sooronkulova of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan was dismissed from the Chamber, allegedly because she complained about pressure on her in the adjudication of a case. It seems that a request for dismissal of another judge is under way.
By the very nature of Constitutional Justice, which requires defending the Constitution against its violation by other State powers, Constitutional Judges are in danger of displeasing these very powers. Therefore, Constitutional Judges need specific guarantees in order to be able to take thei... read more

Legal Personality of Religious or Belief Communities – joint with the OSCE/ODIHR guidelines

25/06/2015 - 27/06/2015
Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium) - The Venice Commission took part in an Expert meeting on the Joint Guidelines of the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR on the Legal Personality of Religious or Belief Communities, organised by the Catholic University of Louvain in cooperation with the Venice Commission, OSCE/ODIHR and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies with the Support of the Belgian National Research Fund.

Preliminary opinion on proposed decentralisation in Ukraine

24/06/2015
Strasbourg - Following the request made by the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada at the 103rd session of the Venice Commission, the preliminary opinion on the proposed constitutional amendments regarding the territorial structure and local administration of Ukraine was sent to the Ukrainian authorities today.

Declaration on Interference with Judicial Independence in Turkey

20/06/2015
On 20 June 2015, the Venice Commission adopted the enclosed "Declaration on Interference with Judicial Independence in Turkey".

103rd Plenary Session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

19/06/2015 - 20/06/2015
Venice- The Commission

- Was informed on progress in the preparation of amendments to the constitution of Armenia and authorised the rapporteurs to send their preliminary opinion on these draft amendments to the Armenian authorities before its adoption at the October session;

- Was informed of the request by the Armenian Ombudsman for an opinion on the draft amendments to the Ombudsman law of Armenia;

- Adopted the amicus curiae brief for the Constitutional Court of Georgia on the non ultra petita rule in criminal cases, previously examined by the Sub-Commissi... read more
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