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Recent and Current Events

Armenia – preparation of the preliminary opinion on the draft electoral code

03/05/2016
Council of Europe, Strasbourg – At the request of the Armenian authorities, a meeting with representatives of the Venice Commission to discuss the latest version of the draft electoral Code will take place at the Council of Europe’s premises, in the framework of the preparation of the joint opinion of the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR on this draft. The joint preliminary opinion will be released after the meeting.

Poland – forthcoming opinion - country visit

28/04/2016 - 29/04/2016
Warsaw – a delegation of the Venice Commission will travel to Warsaw to discuss the recent amendments to the Law on the Police. It will have discussions with the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of the Interior, Prosecutor’s Office, Chancellery of the Sejm and the Senate, Bar Council, Commissioner for Human Rights, Special Services Coordinator and NGOs.

The delegation is composed of Venice Commission members from the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland and 2 Secretariat officials.

The opinion of the Venice Commission on this issue has been requested by the Parliamentary As... read more

Russia – forthcoming opinion - country visit

27/04/2016 - 28/04/2016
Moscow - a delegation of the Venice Commission will travel to Moscow and Saint-Petersburg to exchange views with the Russian authorities in the framework of the preparation of the final opinion on the amendments to the Federal Law on the Constitutional Court. The delegation will hold meetings with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, the Constitutional court.

The adoption of the final opinion is planned for the next Plenary session which will take place on 10-11 June 2016 In Venice.

Turkey – forthcoming opinion on the legal framework for the imposition of curfews – visit to the country

26/04/2016 - 27/04/2016
Ankara - In the framework of a recent request of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly, the Venice Commission is preparing an opinion, to be adopted in June 2016, on the legal framework for the imposition of curfews in Turkey. The rapporteurs will visit Ankara on 26-27 April to exchange views with the relevant authorities - Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior, under Secretariat of Public Order and Security, the Constitutional Court – as well as with the representatives of political parties and of the civil society.

The delegation of the Commission is as fol... read more

Turkey - Constitutional Justice

25/04/2016 - 26/04/2016
Ankara - The President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio will participate in the event marking the 54th anniversary of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Turkey.

Spain – forthcoming opinion - country visit

25/04/2016
Madrid – In the framework of the preparation of an opinion on amendments to the organic Law on the Constitutional Court of Spain, a delegation of the Venice Commission composed by Vice-President Grabenwarter and Mr Neppi Modona, will have meetings with the Constitutional Council, the Constitutional Commission of the Congress of Deputies, the General Council of the Judiciary, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice and with academics.

Serbia - Early parliamentary elections - Legal assistance to PACE

22/04/2016 - 25/04/2016
Belgrade - A delegation of the Venice Commission will provide legal advice to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe delegation observing the early parliamentary elections in Serbia scheduled on 24 April. The PACE delegation is to observe the opening, voting and counting processes of the early parliamentary elections. The team will meet with the representatives of political parties, NGOs and international community.

Financing of political parties - international conference organised by IFES

22/04/2016
Prague - IFES will organise a meeting of the platform "Community action on political financing," which brings together representatives of many international organisations active in the field of funding of political parties and election campaigns. A representative of the Venice Commission will take part in a mapping exercise whereby current gaps and opportunities in the field will be identified.

Bulgaria – Independence and impartiality of the judiciary

21/04/2016 - 22/04/2016
Sofia – The President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio is invited to participate in a High-Level Conference of Ministers of Justice and representatives of the judiciary on the "Strengthening the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, a prerequisite for the rule of law in member states of the Council of Europe".

This conference is organised by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Bulgaria in cooperation with the Council of Europe, in the framework of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

Turkey – forthcoming opinion on the "Internet Law" – visit to the country

19/04/2016 - 20/04/2016
Ankara – In the framework of the preparation of an opinion on the regulation of publications on the internet and combating crimes committed by means of such publication, a delegation of the Venice Commission visited Turkey on 19-20 April 2016.

The delegation met with the representatives of the following Turkish authorities: the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications, the Telecommunication Communication Presidency, the Union of Access Providers, the Court of Cassation, the Union of Turkish Bar Associations, the Ministry of Justice, the Prosecutor’s Office, Peace... read more

Jordan - Women’s participation in elections – international workshop

19/04/2016 - 21/04/2016
Dead Sea – a delegation of the Venice Commission participate in a workshop entitled «The role of electoral management bodies in enhancing women’s participation in elections», which will take place at the Dead Sea in Jordan, on 19-21 April 2016.
The Commission’s participation in the event will be funded through the South Programme "Towards strengthened democratic governance in the Southern Mediterranean", a joint programme funded by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe.

Request for opinion - Moldova

18/04/2016
Moldovan authorities requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law on the amendment and completion of the electoral code regarding direct elections of the President.

Electoral issues - 13th European Conference of the Electoral Management Bodies

14/04/2016 - 15/04/2016
Bucharest - The Venice Commission in cooperation with the Permanent Electoral Authority organised the thirteenth European Conference of the Electoral Management Bodies. All details are available on the Conference's dedicated webpage (link below).

Spain: Seminar on political parties and referendums

14/04/2016 - 14/04/2016
Valladolid.- The Venice Commission is invited to attend a seminar organised on 14 April at the University of Valladolid, to discuss on the relationship between forms of direct democracy, such as the organisation of referendums, and the role played by mechanisms of representative democracy through political parties.

Romania - Electoral matters – 1st scientific “Electoral Expert” debates

12/04/2016 - 13/04/2016
Bucharest - The Venice Commission organised, in co-operation with the Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania, the 1st “Electoral Expert” debates on “Electoral Law and New Technologies: Legal Challenges”. This conference aims in particular to address the implications of constitutional and international law principles in the field. The reports delivered at this occasion will appear in the "Electoral Expert" review published by the Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania, the only review dedicated to electoral law in Europe.

Freedom of assembly - guidelines

11/04/2016 - 12/04/2016
Warsaw - Representatives of the Venice Commission participate in the Panel meeting of the OSCE-ODIHR on the revision of the joint guidelines on freedom of assembly.

Portuguese-Speaking Countries - Constitutional Justice

07/04/2016 - 08/04/2016
Brasilia - The President of the Venice Commission will participate in the IVth General Assembly of the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of the Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CJCPLP).

Ukraine - Media and elections in Ukraine: challenges and possible solutions - conference

05/04/2016
Kyiv - National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine, Central Election Commission, Verkhovna Rada and the Council of Europe have organized a conference on «Media and elections in Ukraine: challenges and possible solutions», which will take place on 5 April 2016.

An expert of the Venice Commission will present a report on the following subject: "Media coverage of elections: international experience and Ukrainian context".

The conference is organised with the financial support of the Council of Europe projects “Strengthening freedom of media and establishi... read more

South Mediterranean - Regional UniDem Campus seminar for high-level civil servants

04/04/2016 - 07/04/2016
Rabat, Morocco - The Venice Commission, in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Service and Modernisation of the Administration of the Kingdom of Morocco, organised the second UniDem Campus seminar for high-level civil servants of the MENA region (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, the Palestinian National Authority and Tunisia).

The seminar focused on “Open government”. The topics discussed were as follows:
• Open government: principles and implementation;
• Citizen participation;
• Transparency and budgetary transparency, accountabi... read more

Kazakhstan - forthcoming opinion on draft Code of Judicial Ethics - visit to the country

04/04/2016 - 05/04/2016
Astana - At the request of the Kazakh authorities dated 20 January 2016, a delegation of the Venice Commission visited Astana on 4 and 5 April 2016 with a view of preparing an opinion on the draft Code of Judicial Ethics of Kazakhstan.
The opinion will be presented at the June 2016 plenary session in Venice.

“Blasphemy and other limitations of freedom of expression” - mini-publication

02/04/2016
Following the Joint Council on Constitutional Justice’s very successful mini-conference on “Blasphemy and other limitations of freedom of expression” held in Bucharest on 12 June 2015, the Secretariat of the Venice Commission produced a mini-publication of the presentations made at that event in order to broaden the access to these concrete examples and highlight the work of the Liaison Officers to the Venice Commission.

New publication - Judicial systems of Central Asia: a comparative overview

23/03/2016
Council of Europe, Strasbourg – The Venice Commission has published an overview of the judicial systems of Central Asia. It aims to be a short guide for lawyers and academics wishing to familiarise themselves with the judiciary of the following five Central Asian States: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The idea of the publication was not to assess and evaluate, but to provide an overview of the judiciary in the region, contributing to a better understanding of the typical features, setting out the different national characteristics and helping the... read more

PACE – Request for opinion - Ukraine

18/03/2016
Paris – During its meeting in Paris on 9 March 2016, the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly decided to request the opinion of the Venice Commission on the amendments to the Law on the election of the people’s deputies of Ukraine (law n˚ 3700).

Rule of Law - The Venice Commission adopts the Rule of Law Checklist

18/03/2016
The Rule of Law is a topical theme. Far from being confined to the discussion of specialists, it has become a subject of political discussion and assessment. It is essential for these discussions and assessments to fully understand their subject. The Venice Commission did this by adopting the Rule of Law Checklist. The Checklist aims at enabling an objective, thorough, transparent and equal assessment. Various actors wishing to assess the respect of the Rule of Law in a country now have therefore a reliable tool for doing so. This applies, for example, to parliaments and other State authoriti... read more

Declaration by the Venice Commission on undue interference in the work of Constitutional Courts in its member States

16/03/2016
At its 106th plenary session (Venice, 11-12 March 2016), the Venice Commission had to discuss several cases of undue interference in the work of Constitutional Courts in its member States, a topic which will also be a focus of the 4th Congress of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice (Vilnius, 10-13 September 2017).

A specific opinion, adopted at the 106th plenary session, dealt with amendments to the Law on the Constitutional Tribunal of Poland.

The Venice Commission expresses serious concern over statements made by the President of Turkey who has declared tha... read more

Kazakhstan - request for opinion and visit to the country - draft Code of Judicial Ethics

15/03/2016
At the request of the Kazakh authorities dated 20 January 2016, a delegation of the Venice Commission will visit Astana on 4 and 5 April 2016 with a view of preparing an opinion on the draft Code of Judicial Ethics of Kazakhstan.
The opinion will be presented at the June 2016 Plenary Session in Venice.

France - the framework of the constitutional reform to be improved to comply fully with European standards

15/03/2016
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – The Venice Commission has published today an opinion in which it states that the framework of the current constitutional reform in France could be improved. In particular, any decision to deprive persons of their nationality must fully respect the right to a fair trial and the principle of proportionality.

In the Commission’s opinion, the introduction of a system for the deprivation of nationality or the rights attached to nationality, applying to all French nationals, whether of French origin or naturalised, or mono-, bi- or multinational, does no... read more

PACE – Request for opinion – Turkey

15/03/2016
Paris – During its meeting in Paris on 9 March 2016, the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly decided to request the opinion of the Venice Commission on the compatibility of the legal framework governing curfews in Turkey with Council of Europe standards.

Armenia - Electoral reform - country visit

14/03/2016 - 16/03/2016
Yerevan - From 14 to 16 March 2016, a delegation of the Venice Commission visited Armenia to discuss the ongoing draft electoral reform with the national authorities.

World Conference on Constitutional Justice - Bureau

12/03/2016
Venice - The World Conference on Constitutional Justice will hold a meeting of its Bureau.

106th Plenary Session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

11/03/2016 - 12/03/2016
Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista, Venice - The Commission

- Held an exchange of views with Mr Kristaq Traja, Chair of the High Level Expert Group on the Amendment of the Constitution of Albania, and adopted the final opinion on the draft constitutional amendments on the judiciary of Albania;

- Held an exchange of views with Mr Thomas Campeaux, Director of Public Liberties and Legal Affairs, Ministry of the Interior, and adopted the opinion on the draft constitutional law “on protection of the Nation” of France, previously examined by the Sub-Commission on Fundam... read more

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