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Activities by year: 2004

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Moldova - Training for electoral commissions

09/12/2004 - 10/12/2004
Chisinau - Upon the request of the Central Electoral Commission of Moldova the Venice Commission organised an electoral training workshop on parliamentary elections. The participants discussed different aspects of the organisation of elections such as the registration of candidates, the work of electoral commissions before and during the day of elections and the role of national and international observers. The main objective of this activity was to share the experience of organising and conducting elections between international experts and members of the electoral commissions, judges and re... read more

Ukraine – Preparation of the new elections scheduled for 26 December 2004

08/12/2004
A representative of the Venice Commission participates in the Council of Europe expert mission to Ukraine. The experts are meeting with the Ukrainian authorities, representatives of the two presidential candidates, the media and civil society.

61st Plenary session of the Commission (Venice)

03/12/2004 - 04/12/2004
The Commission has in particular adopted opinions on constitutional reform in Armenia and on President Putin’s proposal for a reform of federalism in Russia.

In addition, upon the recommendation of the Council of Democratic Elections, a tripartite body of the Council of Europe, the Commission has examined inter alia with the view to adoption the draft joint Venice Commission – OSCE/ODIHR opinion on the draft amendments to the Electoral Code of Armenia.

Constitutional Justice / ACCPUF

01/12/2004 - 03/12/2004
Paris - Seminar for national correspondents of the Association of Constitutional Court using the French Language (ACCPUF) on "the Status, Financing and the Role of Political Parties: Stakes for Democracy". The Secretariat of the Venice Commission presents the activities of the Commission in this field.

Opinion 317/2004 – Constitutional Reform in Montenegro

01/12/2004 - 03/12/2004
Podgorica - Expert meeting with the representatives of the institutions of Montenegro on the Preliminary report on alternatives of constitutional changes in Montenegro (prepared by the Council for Constitutional Matters of the Assembly of Montenegro)

South Ossetia, Georgia – Request for assistance

23/11/2004
Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has requested the Venice Commission to join the Georgian expert group drafting a document on the status of South Ossetia.

Serbia and Montenegro - Ombudsperson of Serbia

22/11/2004
Belgrade - Upon request by the Minister of Public Administration and Local authorities of Serbia, the Venice Commission, the Commissioner for Human Rights and the Directorate General of the Council of Europe prepre an joint opinion on the draft Law on the Ombudsman of Serbia. The Secretariat of the Venice Commisison and the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner present a preliminary version of the opinion at a round table organised by the Ministry, OSCE and the Council of Europe.

UniDem Campus Trieste Seminar on "Civil Service: The Authority serving the Public or the Public serving Authority" (Trieste)

22/11/2004 - 26/11/2004

Constitutional law and elections - Evaluation of 15 years of constitutional practice in Central and Eastern Europe

19/11/2004 - 20/11/2004
Warsaw, Royal Castle and Warsaw University - the Venice Commission organised a Seminar on Evaluation of 15 years of constitutional practice in Central and Eastern Europe.

Organised in the framework of the Polish Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the Seminar was mainly intended for judges of Constitutional courts and members of Central electoral commissions.

The Seminar focused on three main topics: role of the President of the Republic and interactions with other powers; constitutional revisions; and electoral systems and their influ... read more

Croatia - Round table on the Election Legislation Reform

18/11/2004 - 19/11/2004
Zagreb - On the invitation on the OSCE mission to Croatia, the Venice Commission will participate in the roundtable on Election legislation reform. Among the issues concerning the technical aspects of organisation of elections, the participants will discuss the possibility of establishment of a Permanent Electoral Commission in Croatia, different aspects of minorities' participation in electoral process, voters’ lists and out-of-country voting.

The Declaration on Criteria for Free and Fair Elections: Ten Years On - International Roundtable on Electoral Standards

18/11/2004 - 19/11/2004
Inter-Parliamentary Union, Geneva, Switzerland - The Venice Commission is invited by the Inter-Parliamentary Union to participate in a round table on Electoral standards. This conference will focus on such issues as the principle of free and fair elections, evaluation of the outcome and electoral practice.

Elections in Ukraine - Participation to the Observation Mission of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

12/11/2004 - 13/11/2004
Following the agreement of cooperation between the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Venice Commission, the experts of the Commission are invited to act as legal advisers in the observation of the Presidential Elections in Ukraine on 31 October 2004. Their task will be to assist the observers and advise them on legal aspects of electoral legislation and practice.

Moldova - request for opinion

04/11/2004 - 05/11/2004
The Constitutional Court of Moldova requested an amicus curiae opinion relating to a draft constitutional amendment introducing the individual complaint to the Constitutional Court.

Request for an opinion on Russian federalism

26/10/2004
At its meeting on 25-26 October 2004 the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly decided to ask the Venice Commission to give an opinion on the draft law establishing new procedures for the election and revocation of heads of the regional executive proposed by President Putin. The opinion of the Commission should be adopted at its 61st Plenary Session in Venice on 3 to 4 December 2004.

Seminar UniDem Campus

15/10/2004 - 16/10/2004
Trieste, Palazzo del Ferdinandeo - “Access to and protection of data in the era of e-government”

Armenia - Request for opinion and electoral reform

14/10/2004 - 15/10/2004
Yerevan - The Armenian Parliament requested the Venice Commission to give an opinion on the Electoral Code of Armenia, jointly with the OSCE-ODIHR. In this context, the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR are sending a delegation on 29-30 September 2004 to Armenia to follow the latest developments the electoral reform process.

60th Plenary session of the Commission (Venice)

07/10/2004 - 09/10/2004
The Commission adopted proposals for improving human rights protection in Kosovo, examined the constitutional situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the presence of the High Representative, Lord Ashdown, and started considerating two projects for amending the constitution of Armenia in the presence of the Vice-Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr T.Torosyan.

The Commission also adopted a number of opinions on laws of member states including: the law on public meetings of Armenia, draft law of Georgia on restitution of housing and property to the victims of the Georgian-Ossetian c... read more

Universities for Democracy (UniDem) Campus

04/10/2004 - 08/10/2004
Trieste, Palazzo del Ferdinandeo - 4ème réunion des coordinateurs nationaux d'UniDem Campus

Elections support - Achievements and Challenges

04/10/2004
Brussels - The Venice Commission took part in a Conference 'Election support: Achievements and Challenges' organised by the European Commission. This event brought together over 150 representatives of international organisations, NGOs and EU officials who exchanged their views on election observation and assistance programmes.

The participants focused on such issues as election observation methodology, including election assessment in conflict zones, election assistance and follow-up to election observation as well as regional and local actors.

4th Meeting of the National Co-ordinators of UniDem Campus (Trieste)

04/10/2004 - 04/10/2004

Ensuring the principle of rule of law in the practice of constitutional justice – IXth Yerevan International conference

01/10/2004

The Conference of Constitutional Control Organs of the Countries of Young Democracy (CCCOCYD), based at the Constitutional Court of Armenia, in cooperation with the Venice Commission organised an international conference on the “Ensuring the principle of rule of law in the practice of constitutional justice”. Presidents and judges from the courts participating in the CCCOCYD and from other European countries participated in the event.

Slovenia - Constitutional Justice

30/09/2004 - 02/10/2004

Bled - Conference on "The Position of Constitutional Courts following Integration into the European Union", in co-operation with the Constitutional Court of Slovenia

Budget of the Constitutional Court – a determining factor of its independence

28/09/2004 - 29/09/2004
Sarajevo, Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina - The budget of a constitutional court constitutes one of the guarantees of the independence of constitutional justice. The experience of old and newly established Constitutional Courts (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia) was presented and discussed.

Constitutional Justice - international round table

16/09/2004 - 17/09/2004

Aix-en-Provence - International round table on “Constitutional Justice, European Justice, Ordinary justice” , in co-operation with the Research and Studies Group, National Centre for Research and Science of France

XXe Table ronde internationale: Justice constitutionnelle, Justice ordinaire, Justice supra nationale "À qui revient la protection des droits fondamentaux en Europe ?" (Aix-en- Provence)

14/09/2004 - 16/09/2004

Electoral Training Workshops (Donezk and Kherson)

13/09/2004 - 14/09/2004

Ukraine - Electoral training workshops

13/09/2004 - 17/09/2004
Donetsk & Kherson - The Venice Commission organised an electoral training workshops in two regions of Ukraine, Donetsk and Kherson. These workshops target territorial election commissioners, representatives of NGOs and media, in view of the Presidential election, to be held on 31 October 2004.

Electoral questions - E-governance

13/09/2004 - 17/09/2004
Strasbourg – The Venice Commission is taking part in the Second meeting of the Group of Specialists on e-governance, in view of adoption of a draft Recommendation to member states on e-governance. This text will be submitted to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

Italy - request for opinion by the Parliamentary Assembly

09/09/2004 - 10/09/2004
In its Resolution 1387(2004), the Parliamentary Assembly of the CoE has requested the Venice Commission to provide an opinion on the compatibility of the Italian "Gasparri law" (on the media) and the "Frattini Law" (on conflicts between public duty and private interests of public officials) with the standards of the Council of Europe in the field of freedom of expression and media pluralism.

After preliminary discussions to be held in October 2004, the Commission plans to adopt an opinion on this matter at its Plenary Session of March 2005.

Electoral questions - ACEEEO conference

09/09/2004 - 11/09/2004

Tirana – The Venice Commission will take part in the annual ACEEEO (Association of Central and Eastern European Election Officials) conference on “Voter turnout with special regards to first time voters”. The Commission co-operates regularly with ACEEEO, namely in the framework of the Council for Democratic Elections; in addition, the commission contributed to the conference organised by the Council of Europe in November 2003 on electoral participation of young people.

International Scientific and Practical Conference "Constitutional control and development of a social state ruled by law" (Minsk)

09/09/2004 - 10/09/2004

Belarus - Constitutional Justice

09/09/2004 - 10/09/2004
Minsk - Conference in co-operation with the Constitutional Court of Belarus on "Social Rights / Freedom of Expression"

Azerbaijan - Constitutional Justice

03/09/2004 - 04/09/2004

Baku - Seminar on ‘The Value of Precedents (National, Foreign, International) for Constitutionals Courts’, in co-operation with the Constitutional Court of Azerbaijan

Bulgaria - New members

01/09/2004 - 03/09/2004
Appointment of Mr Anton STANKOV as member of the Commission and Mr Todor TODOROV as substitute member in respect of Bulgaria.

Georgia – request for opinion

02/08/2004
The Georgian authorities asked the Venice Commission for an opinion on the draft law on “Restitution of Property and Housing of Victims of Georgian-Ossetian Conflict” prepared by the Young Lawyers’ Association of Georgia.

Electoral standards

15/07/2004 - 16/07/2004
Vienna – The Venice Commission took part in the Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting on Electoral Standards and Commitments. This meeting aimed in particular to study the potential need for additional commitments. In this field, the Venice Commission drafted the Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters, which was approved by the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, and supported by the Committee of Ministers in a relevant Declaration.

Azerbaijan - training for electoral commissions

08/07/2004 - 10/07/2004

Baku - Upon the request of the Azeri authorities the Venice Commission organised , in co-operation with IFES office in Baku and the Central Electoral Commission of Azerbaijan, an electoral training workshop. The participants discussed different aspects of the organisation of elections such as the registration of candidates, the work of electoral commissions before and during the E- Day, including ballot counting. The main objective of this activity was to train the staff of the precinct and regional electoral commissions before the local elections which are to take place in December 200... read more

Romania - 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the European Convention on Human Rights

08/07/2004 - 09/07/2004

Bucharest, Human Rights Hall of the House of Parliament - Conference on "the European Convention on Human Rights in Romania: from integrating standards to shaping solutions", on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the European Convention on Human Rights in Romania. The activity was co-organised by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Venice Commission.

Electoral Training Workshop (Baku)

08/07/2004 - 10/07/2004

Decentralisation in Kosovo

06/07/2004 - 23/07/2004

Pristina - At the request of UNMIK (United Nations Mission in Kosovo) an official from the Venice Commission Secretariat assisted the Working Group on Local Government Reform set up in Kosovo. The Working Group has as its task to prepare proposals for decentralisation in Kosovo.

E-voting

05/07/2004 - 06/07/2004
Strasbourg - The Council for Democratic Elections, of which the Venice Commission is a member, participated in the 4th meeting of the working Group of Specialists on Legal and Operational Standards for e-enabled voting, and took part in the drafting of a relevant recommendation. This text will be submitted to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

UniDem Campus - Legal training for civil servants

05/07/2004 - 09/07/2004

Trieste - Session on “State security, organised crime and illegal immigration”

Round table on combating extremism

01/07/2004 - 02/07/2004

Alma-Aty - An official from the Venice Commission participated in a roundtable on combating extremism organised by the OSCE/ODIHR and presented the Commission's "Guidelines on Prohibition and Dissolution of Political Parties and Analogous Measures".

Human Rights situation in Kosovo (Serbia and Montenegro) - Visit of a delegation of the Venice Commission

23/06/2004

Pristina & Mitrovica - A delegation of the Venice Commission visited Kosovo in relation with the preparation, at the request of the Parliamentary Assembly, of the opinion on the Human Rights situation in Kosovo.

Members of the Venice Commission Messrs Helgesen, Scholsem and Nolte met with the President of the Supreme Court of Kosovo, the Ombudsperson and representatives of UNMIK, KFOR, OSCE, UNHCR and UNICEF.

The opinion on the human rights situation in Kosovo will be discussed at the next Plenary Session of the Venice Commission, which will be held in Venice on 8... read more

59th Plenary session of the Commission (Venice)

17/06/2004 - 19/06/2004

The Commission has adopted an opinion on the draft constitutional law of Georgia on the status of the autonomous Republic of Adjara. Shortly after the session, the opinion was transmitted to the Georgian Parliament, which rescheduled its debates on the issue in order to study the conclusions of the Commission. The request for the opinion had been submitted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 26 May 2004.

Other opinions on the agenda concerned a number of laws in different member states, including:

• the law on public meetings in Armenia, read more

"the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" - New members

15/06/2004
Appointment of Ms Mirjana LAZAROVA TRAJKOVSKA as member of the Commission and Mr Borce DAVITKOVSKI as substitute member in respect of "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia".

Adjara, Georgia - elections

07/06/2004 - 23/06/2004

On the occasion of the regional elections, which took place on 20 June 2004 in the Autonomous Republic of Adjara, Georgia, and according to the request of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) of Georgia, the Venice Commission made available to the Supreme Electoral Commission (SEC) of Adjara an expert in the electoral law Bernard OWEN. Mr Owen assisted the electoral administration of the Republic in the legal and technical aspects of the preparation of the elections.

In addition, Gaël Martin-Micallef of the Secretariat of the Venice Commission took part in the Council of Eu... read more

"the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" - Constitutional justice

03/06/2004
Skopje - Conference on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Constitutional Court of "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" on "Constitutional protection - current state of affairs and perspectives"

International Conference on "Constitutional protection: current state of affairs and perspectives" on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the functioning of the Constitutional Court (Skopje)

02/06/2004 - 03/06/2004

Albania – request for opinion

02/06/2004
The Albanian Constitutional Court asked the Venice Commission for an amicus curiae opinion on the interpretation of constitutional provisions relating to the appointment of judges to the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court.

Southern African Judges Commission - Conference of the Presidents of highest courts of the Southern African Region

31/05/2004 - 01/06/2005

International Conference for the Chief Justices of the Arab countries

29/05/2004 - 31/05/2004

Cairo - The United Nation Environmental Programme (UNEP) Division of Policy Development and the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt convene a Regional Assessment Meeting for the Chief Justices of the Arab countries in Environmental Law and Sustainable Development.

The Secretary of the Venice Commission address this meeting.

Ukraine - Request for opinion

28/05/2004
The Commission has received a request for an opinion on the draft law on the status of indigenous (autochthonous) peoples of Ukraine

Estonia - New members

28/05/2004
Appointment of Mr Taavi ANNUS as member of the Commission and Mr Oliver KASK as substitute member in respect of Estonia

Non-citizens and minority rights - International brainstorming on minority protection

28/05/2004

Strasbourg - Upon the initiative of the Venice Commission, an international brainstorming on minority protection took place at the Council of Europe. Representatives of the following main international bodies, dealing with minorities’ protection, participated in the meeting:

- Office of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities;

- UN Sub Commission on Human Rights - Working Group on Minorities;

- Council of Europe:
* Advisory Committee of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities;
* Committee of ... read more

Bulgaria - electoral issues

28/05/2004 - 29/05/2004

Sofia - The seminar on "European standards of electoral law in the contemporary constitutionalism" was organised in cooperation with the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria. It was attended by the representatives of Constitutional courts and specialists in the field of electoral law.

UniDem (Universities for Democracy) Campus

24/05/2004 - 28/05/2004

Trieste - Legal training for civil servants on "Harmonisation of national legislation with the acquis communautaire and good law-making principles"

Romania – request for opinion

21/05/2004
The Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly asked the Venice Commission to give an opinion on the conformity of principles set by Romania’s Law on local elections with the Council of Europe’s basic legal instruments such as the European Convention on Human Rights, the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Local Self-Government.

Georgia - conference on the current constitutional issues

18/05/2004 - 19/05/2004

Tbilisi - Conference on “The Constitutional Organisation of the State”, organised in co-operation with the Constitutional Court of Georgia.

The conference in particular addressed issues of the separation of powers in the light of the recent constitutional amendments in Georgia as well as territorial organisation following the restoration of Georgian government authority in the Autonomous Republic of Adjara.

OSCE Contact Group and Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation

14/05/2004

Vienna - The Secretary of the Venice Commission addressed the meeting of the OSCE Contact Group with the Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation.

Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopts a declaration on the Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters

13/05/2004

Strasbourg, Council of Europe - At the 114th session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the Ministers (of Foreign Affairs) adopted a Declaration on the Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters drawn up by the Venice Commission. They reaffirmed the importance they attached to ensuring that elections are held in conformity with the principles of the European electoral heritage: universal, equal, free, secret and direct suffrage. They underlined that the principles of Europe's electoral heritage may be implemented only if certain conditions are fulfilled, in particul... read more

Albania - revision of the electoral legislation and voter registers

04/05/2004 - 07/05/2004

Tirana - The Venice Commission, the Directorate General of Social Cohesion of the Council of Europe and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE (ODIHR) take part in meetings with the Albanian authorities on the revision of electoral law and voter registers in Albania. The aim of this activity is to ensure the full conformity of Albanian electoral law and administration with the principles of the European electoral heritage. The joint recommendations of the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR on the electoral law and the electoral administration in Albania serve ... read more

Poland - Reappointment of the Member

26/04/2004

Reappointment of Ms Hanna SUCHOCKA as member of the Commission in respect of Poland

Turkey - Constitutional justice

26/04/2004 - 27/04/2004

Ankara - Symposium on "The organisation of the court and the introduction of the individual complaint", on the occasion of the 42nd anniversary of the Constitutional Court of Turkey.

Restructuring Ombudsman institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina

19/04/2004

Strasbourg, Council of Europe - Working meeting of representatives of the Venice Commission and of the working group set up within the Bosnia and Herzegovina Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees.

United Kingdom - Membres

15/04/2004

Reappointment of Mr Jeffrey JOWELL as member and Mr Anthony BRADLEY as subsitute member of the Commission in respect of the United Kingdom

Annual address by the Venice Commission to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe

13/04/2004

Strasbourg, Council of Europe - Professor Jeffrey Jowell, Vice-President of the Venice Commission, addressed the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on behalf of the Commission. Professor Jowell presented the activities conducted by the Commission in 2003.

E-voting

25/03/2004 - 26/03/2004

Las Palmas, Spain - The Council for Democratic Elections, of which the Venice Commission is a member, participates in the third meeting of the working Group of Specialists on Legal and Operational Standards for e-enabled voting, and takes part in the drafting of a relevant recommendation. This text will be submitted to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

Georgia - adoption of an opinion

13/03/2004

Venice - Adoption of the amicus curiae opinion on the relationship between the freedom of expression and defamation with respect to unproven defamatory allegations of fact as requested by the Constitutional Court of Georgia

Legislation on political parties in Europe

13/03/2004

Venice - Adoption of the guidelines on the legislation on political parties

58th Plenary session of the Commission

11/03/2004 - 13/03/2004

Venice - The Commission adopted an opinion on recent constitutional amendments in Georgia and exchanged views with the Speaker of the Georgian parliament, Ms Burjanadze, on future co-operation with this country.

The Commission discussed the constitutional reforms in Armenia, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro and examined the electoral legislation of Armenia and Moldova. The Commission also adopted guidelines on legislation on political parties.

The President of the Parliamentary Assembly, Mr Schieder, took part in the session and the... read more

3rd meeting of the Joint Council on Constitutional Justice

10/03/2004

Venice - The Joint Council, composed of members of the Venice Commission and representatives of constitutional courts and equivalent bodies discusses the co-operation between the courts and with similar bodies in other regions as well as the development of the Bulletin on Constitutional Case-Law and the database CODICES.

Georgia parliamentary elections - Long-term deployment of a Venice Commission expert

01/03/2004 - 30/03/2004

On 28 March 2004, the proportional part of the Georgian parliamentary elections will be repeated. Mr Bernard OWEN, expert of the Venice Commission, co-operates with the Central Election Commission on legal issues, in particular on voter registration/voters lists, the voting procedure and results tabulation.

In addition, Mr Owen participates in negotiations with the authorities of the Adjarian Autonomy in order to make the holding of the fair and free elections in this region fo Georgia possible.

(Tbilissi - Batumi )

Constitutional justice - Russian Federation

27/02/2004 - 28/02/2004

In co-operation with the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and with the assistance of the Institute of Law and Public Policy, the Commission organised a conference on "the Role of the Constitutional Court in the Maintenance of the Stability and Development of the Constitution".

(Moscow)

International legal training workshop: Improving examinations methods of individual complaints - Effective case management - Effective decision drafting.

26/02/2004 - 27/02/2004

The recently adopted new law on the Constitutional Court of Azerbaijan has introduced the possibility of lodging individual complaints before the Constitutional Court.

At the request of the Constitutional Court of Azerbaijan, the Venice Commission has organised a training session for lawyers of the Constitutional Court to in order for the Court to be as efficient as possible. There were presentations on case management by representatives of the constitutional courts of Belgium, Germany, Russia, Slovakia and Slovenia as well as on the experience of the Constitutional Court of... read more

Seminar on electoral reform in Armenia

24/02/2004 - 27/02/2004

Following the joint recommendations of the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR on the electoral law and the electoral administration in Armenia, the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR organise, in co-operation with the Erevan offices of the Council of Europe and of the OSCE, a seminar on electoral reform in Armenia. This seminar aims at underlining the points which should be changed in order to ensure that electoral law and electoral administration is in the future in conformity with the European standards. Co-operation with the Armenian authorities in the field of elections is linked to... read more

Electoral issues - e-Democracy

12/02/2004 - 13/02/2004

The DG INFSO – e-Government Unit of the European Commission organises a seminar on e-Democracy, which is intended at taking stock of e-Democracy experiments and exchanging opinions on the role of information computer technology (ICT) for reinforcing participation in democratic decision-making. This is also an opportunity to highlight achievements and landmark national projects, as well as look forward to challenges and priorities for future e-Democracy research. The seminar focuses on two aspects: e-Voting and e-Participation. The Venice Commission contributes principally to the discuss... read more

Romania - Kin-States' involvement in minority protection: lessons learned

12/02/2004

Organised by the Romanian Association for international law and international relations, the seminar aims to debate the lessons learned from the involvement of the Hungarian state in the protection of its kin-minorities in the neighbouring countries. The Venice Commission’s Austrian member Professor Franz Matscher and members of the Secretariat are invited to participate in the discussions. The seminar is also attended by, inter alia, representatives of the Council of Europe's Directorate General of Human Rights, and the Office of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities.
... read more

UniDem Campus - the annual meeting of co-ordinators

09/02/2004

The national co-ordinators of the 11 countries participating in the Venice Commissions’ UNIDEM Campus Trieste programme meet in Paris. They will work on the programme of the UniDem Campus for the coming year, and will decide on how to improve the procedure of nomination of participants.

The UniDem Campus is aimed at the officials from the following countries of the South East Europe: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, Moldova, Romania, Slovenia, and Serbia and Montenegro. In 2003 the Campus was enlarged to include ... read more

3rd Meeting of the National Co-ordinators of the UniDem Campus Seminars (Paris)

09/02/2004 - 09/02/2004

Georgia - Opinion on the Constitution

06/02/2004

On 28.01.2004 the newly elected President of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili, announced before the Parliamentary Assembly the request of Georgia to the Venice Commission to urgently examine the proposed amendments to the Constitution of Georgia. The relevant text was transmitted to the Commission on 29 January. The Venice Commission provided its opinion on 6 February.

International legal training workshops: Effective case management / Effective decision drafting / Understanding the ECHR

05/02/2004 - 13/02/2004

The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina deals as of 1 January 2004 with human rights complaints, since the mandate of the Human Rights Chamber (a quasi international body provided for by the Dayton Agreement) ended last year.

At the request of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina the Venice Commission has organised two trainings sessions for lawyers of the Constitutional Court in order for the Court to be operational as soon as possible. Lectures on the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Strasbourg Court case-law and various... read more

Ukraine - Follow-up to the Venice Commission opinion

30/01/2004 - 03/02/2004

In the course of its January 2004 session, the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) said it may challenge the credentials of the Ukrainian parliamentary delegation – and subsequently recommend the suspension of Ukraine from the Organisation – if further attempts are made to push through political reforms “by amending the Constitution in a manner which is not prescribed by law and by unconstitutional means”, or if Ukraine should fail to guarantee free and fair elections on 31 October 2004.

Following an urgent debate on the issue on 29 January, while adopting a re... read more

25 Years of the Spanish Constitution

23/01/2004 - 24/01/2004

International seminar on "25 Years of the Spanish Constitution: 1978 - 2003" is organized in co-operation with the Center of Political and Constitutional studies and the Constitutional Tribunal of Spain.

The event will focus on two main issues: basic human rights and the territorial organisation, and the role that the Constitutional tribunal played with respect to these two questions.
(Madrid)

Electoral matters - Armenia

23/01/2004

The OSCE/ODIHR and the Venice Commission officially transmit their recommendations on the electoral law and the electoral administration in Armenia to the Armenian authorities. This is an opportunity to discuss a calendar for the reform of the Armenian Electoral Code and the necessary improvement of electoral law and practice in Armenia.
(Yerevan)

E-voting

21/01/2004 - 23/01/2004

The Venice Commission and the Council for Democratic Elections participate in the fourth meeting of the Group of Specialists on Legal and Operational Standards for e-enabled voting, and take part in the drafting of a relevant recommendation to be submitted to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. The Group should discuss a draft opinion by the Venice Commission on the compatibility of remote and electronic voting with the Council of Europe standards.
(Strasbourg)

Conference on "Constitutional Reforms in Armenia" (Yerevan)

20/01/2004 - 21/01/2004

Georgia - New substitute member

19/01/2004
Appointment of Mr Levan BODZASHVILI, Head of the International Relations Department of the Constitutional Court, as substitute member of the Commission in respect of Georgia

Andorra - Member

14/01/2004

Reappointment of Mr François LUCHAIRE as member of the Commission in respect of Andorra.

New member of the Venice Commission - Kyrgyzstan

01/01/2004

As of 1 January 2004 Venice Commission counts 46 member states: the application by Kyrgyzstan to become full member of the Commission has been accepted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. This is the first time that a non member state of the Council of Europe has become full member of the Venice Commission. The enlargement of the geopolitical scope of the Commission has been made possible by the revision of the Commission's statute in 2002. Hitherto non-European states could only apply for observer states with the Commission.

Ms Cholpon Baekova, the Presid... read more

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