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70th Plenary Session of the Commission (Venice)

16/03/2007 - 17/03/2007

The Council of Europe’s European Commission for Democracy through Law (the “Venice Commission”) has met in Venice (Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista). This was its 70th session since it was set up in 1990.

The Commission adopted a report on blasphemy, religious insults and inciting religious hatred. Another point on the agenda concerned the extent to which video surveillance is compatible with respect for human rights. These questions were submitted to the Venice Commission by the Parliamentary Assembly.

Terry Davis, Council of Europe Secretary General, and Fiorenzo Stolfi, Foreign Minister of San Marino and Chairman-in-office of the Committee of Ministers, have both spoken at the opening of the session on Friday 16 March.

The session also included:
- an exchange of views with Gia Kavtaradze, Georgian Minister for Justice, and the adoption of an opinion on the disciplinary responsibility of judges of common courts;
- adoption of an opinion on the new Serbian constitution;
- a discussion, attended by the Speaker of the Montenegro Parliament, Ranko Krivokapic, on developments concerning the adoption of a new constitution in Montenegro;
- adoption of opinions relating to the “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, in the presence of Justice Minister Mihajlo Manevski, on:
o the legal status of churches, religious communities and religious groups;
o the office of the Public Prosecutor and the Council of Public Prosecutors;
o the draft revision of the electoral code.
- adoption of opinions relating to Ukraine on parliamentary opposition, the imperative mandate for members of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and of local councils, and on the judicial system and the status of judges;
- adoption of a joint opinion with the OSCE/ODIHR on the revision of the electoral code in Armenia.

The Venice Commission has also adopted the Code of good practice in referendums.
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