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Activities by year: 2012

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Tunisia - meeting on electoral systems

18/12/2012 - 19/12/2012
Strasbourg - A delegation of the Commission of general legislation of the Tunisian Constituent Assembly visits the Council of Europe and meets experts of the Venice Commission to discuss the issue of electoral systems.

Opinion of the Venice Commission on Romania – Call for loyal cooperation of the state institutions in the interest of the State

18/12/2012
Early July 2012, the Romanian Government and Parliament adopted a series of measures in quick succession, which led to the removal from office of the Advocate of the People, the Presidents of both Houses of Parliament, a limitation of the competences of the Constitutional Court, changes on the conditions for a referendum on the suspension of the President of the Republic and the suspension of the President itself.

On 6 July 2012, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe has asked the Venice Commission to provide an opinion on the compatibility with constitutional principles ... read more

93rd plenary session of the Venice Commission (Venice)

14/12/2012 - 15/12/2012
The Commission
- Paid tribute to the late Mr Lluís Maria de Puig, former President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe;
- Held an exchange of views with Ms Valgerður Bjarnadóttir, Member of Parliament and Chair of the Constitutional and Supervisory Committee of Iceland on the process of constitutional reform in that country and on the preparation of the Commission’s opinion on the constitutional amendments;
- Held an exchange of views with Mr Ranko Krivokapić, Speaker of the Parliament of Montenegro, and adopted the opinion on draft constitutional amendments ... read more

Request for opinion - prohibition of so-called propaganda of homosexuality

07/12/2012
PACE’s Equality and Non-discrimination Committee requested an opinion from the Venice Commission on “the issue of the prohibition of so-called propaganda of homosexuality in the light of recent legislation in some Council of Europe member states, including Moldova, the Russian Federation and Ukraine”.

Ukraine - constitutional reform

06/12/2012 - 07/12/2012
Kyiv - a delegation of the Venice Commission is invited to exchange views with the Constitutional Assembly of Ukraine on the progress regarding the constitutional reform.

Kazakhstan - Conference on voters' lists

04/12/2012 - 06/12/2012
Astana - A Conference on "Voters' lists, establishment of electoral commissions and participation of political parties in elections" will take place in Astana, Kazakhstan on 4-6 December 2012.

This activity is aimed at judges, prosecutors, defence lawyers and members of electoral commissions. During a three day conference participants will look at a number of issues such as :
• standards on voters’ lists and the composition and functioning of electoral management bodies
• standards in the field of participation of political parties in elections
• different models of... read more

Request for opinion - Serbia

04/12/2012
The Serbian Minister for Justice and Public Administration requested an opinion from the Venice Commission on the draft laws on judges, on the organisation of courts and on the public prosecution.

Bosnia and Herzegovina - judiciary

03/12/2012
Sarajevo – a delegation of the Venice Commission will take part in a workshop organised by the EU within the context of the EU-BiH Structured Dialogue on Justice. The workshop’s aim is to facilitate the on-going dialogue on the revision of the Law on the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of BiH (HJPC), addressing notably the issue of professionalism and the independence of the judiciary in the light of this institution’s possible reform.

“The Arab season: from change to challenges” - Lisbon Forum 2012

03/12/2012
Lisbon – President of the Venice Commission is invited to attend the Lisbon Forum entitled “The Arab Season: from change to challenges”. It’s organised by the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe.

Ukraine - Request for opinion – Law on referendum

29/11/2012
Paris - the Monitoring Committee of the PACE decided on 13 November 2012 to request the Venice Commission’s opinion on the Law on referendum that was recently adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Seminar on preliminary requests to Constitutional Courts

29/11/2012 - 30/11/2012
Rabat - In cooperation with the Constitutional Rabat - The Constitutional Council of the Kingdom of Morocco, the Commission organised a seminar on preliminary requests to the Constitutional Court.

Seminar on preliminary requests to Constitutional Courts

29/11/2012 - 30/11/2012
Rabat - In cooperation with the Constitutional Council of the Kingdom of Morocco, the Commission organised a seminar on preliminary requests to the Constitutional Court.

Seminar on preliminary requests to Constitutional Courts

29/11/2012 - 30/11/2012
Rabat

Seminar on preliminary requests to Constitutional Courts

29/11/2012 - 30/11/2012

Russia - comparative constitutional law - moot court

22/11/2012 - 23/11/2012
St. Petersburg - In co-operation with the Venice Commission, the Institute for Public Law and Policy organised a workshop / moot court on the problem of the study and teaching of comparative constitutional law in the Russian universities.

Kazakhstan - Study visit to the Electoral Management Body of The Netherlands

21/11/2012 - 22/11/2012
The Hague - A study visit for staff of the Central and Regional electoral commissions of Kazakhstan to the Ministry for the Interior and Kingdom Relations as well as the Dutch Electoral Council will take place on 21-22 November 2012.

This visit will enable the participants to familiarise themselves with the work of the Dutch authorities in the electoral field.

This activity is organised in the framework of the joint project "Support to the election process in Kazakhstan" funded by the European Union and implemented by the Venice Commission.

Morocco – protection of the Amazigh language

21/11/2012
Rabat - A delegation of the Venice Commission will travel to Rabat to take part in a workshop organized by the Chamber of Councillors of Morocco in the context of the preparation of future organic law on the protection of the Amazigh language.

Uzbekistan - Conference

20/11/2012 - 21/12/2012
Tashkent - The Venice Commission will participate in the Conference on "The rule of law, strong protection of interests of the individual the most important goal of democratization and liberalization of the judicial system".

Sweden - Seminar on the Venice Commission

19/11/2012
Stockholm - Secretary of the Venice Commission T. Markert is invited to address a seminar devoted to the Venice Commission and democratic development in Europe.

The seminar is organized by the SIEPS - The Swedish Institute for European Political Studies – and chaired by the former Secretary General of the Council of Europe Daniel TARSCHYS. Swedish members of the Commission Mr Iain CAMERON, Professor, University of Uppsala, and Mr Johan HIRSCHFELDT, former President, Svea Court of Appeal, will also participate.

Iceland - Request for opinion

16/11/2012
Chair of the Constitutional and Supervisory Committee of the Parliament of Iceland Ms Valgerður Bjarnadóttir, formally requested Venice Commission’s opinion on “a proposal for a new constitution for the Republic of Iceland”.

Voluntary Contribution of Italy to the Venice Commission for the “Arab Spring”

15/11/2012
The Italian government made a voluntary contribution of 80,000 euros towards Venice Commission activities in the countries concerned by the “Arab spring”.

Croatia - Electoral righs of people with disabilities

15/11/2012 - 16/11/2012
Zagreb - At the invitation of the Council of Europe and the Croatian Ministry of Social Policy and Youth, a Venice Commission member takes part in a "Regional Seminar on the Participation of People with Disabilities in Political and Public Life".

The representative of the Venice Commission introduces the Interpretative Declaration to the Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters on the participation of people with disabilities in elections.

Republic of Moldova - Request for opinion

15/11/2012
The President of the Constitutional Court of Moldova requested the Venice Commission to prepare an amicus curiae opinion in relation to Law no. 192 of 12 July 2012, which prohibits the use by political parties of “symbols of the totalitarian communist regime”.
The opinion should be adopted by the Venice Commission at its 94th Plenary Session (March 2013).

Republic of Moldova - Request for opinion

15/11/2012
The President of the Constitutional Court of Moldova requested an amicus curiae opinion from the Venice Commission on the constitutionality of certain legal provisions referring to the immunity of judges. The issue arose with respect to Law no.153 of 5 July 2012 amending and supplementing certain legislative acts, which introduces a series of amendments to the legislative framework that governs the functioning of the judicial system, including the Law on the status of judges (no. 544-XIII, 20 July 1995).

The opinion should be adopted by the Venice Commission at its 94th Plenary S... read more

Security Services – Update of the Commission’s study

14/11/2012
The Chairperson of PACE Legal Affairs Committee requested the Commission to provide an update of the study on the democratic oversight of the security services (CDL-AD(2007)016)

"the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" - request for an opinion

13/11/2012
Paris - the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly decided to ask the opinion of the Venice Commission on the Electoral Code that was recently adopted by the Parliament of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”.

Central Asia - International Conference on women's rights

13/11/2012 - 14/11/2012
Dushanbe - An international Conference on "Guaranteeing women's rights and improving mechanisms of access to justice for vulnerable groups " will take place on 13-14 November 2012 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan

It is aimed both at legal professionals and the civil society of the five Central Asian states - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The Conference participants will look at the issues of access to justice for women and other vulnerable groups including victims of domestic violence. They will also discuss the socio-economic rights of women as well as t... read more

Libya – Working visit

12/11/2012 - 15/11/2012
Tripoli – Following the request of 27 September 2012 by the Vice President of the General National Congress of Libya Dr. Saleh Mohammed ALMKHOZOM for the Venice Commission’s support to the Congress in its work of developing a constitution for democratic Libya, a delegation of the Venice Commission, will travel to Tripoli. Meetings with the National Congress of Libya and with the Presidency of the country on the process of preparing and adopting the new Constitution are foreseen.

The delegation is composed as follows:

• Thomas MARKERT, Secretary of the Commission;
•... read more

Mexico - country visit - forthcoming opinion on the electoral legislation

12/11/2012 - 13/11/2012
Mexico City - A delegation of the Venice Commission will travel to Mexico to meet with different stakeholders in order to analyse the electoral legislation.

Morocco - seminar and official meetings

08/11/12
Rabat - Mr Scholsem, substitute member in respect of Belgium, participated in the Seminar on controls exerted by Parliaments on Governments’ actions Organised by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the invitation of the Parliament of Morocco.
The previous day the delegation held several meetings with Moroccan officials , namely Mrs Hakkaoui, Minister for Solidarity, Women, Family and Social Development, in order to discuss further cooperation.

Republic of Moldova - Request for opinion

06/11/2012
The Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR provide an opinion on draft amendments to the Electoral Code and the Law on Political Parties. This opinion was requested both by the Parliament and the Central Election Commission of Moldova.

Tunisia – progress in the reforms

30/10/2012
Tunis - The President of the Venice Commission joined a visit of the Presidents of the Parliamentary Assembly and the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to Tunisia. The delegation met with the President of the Republic, the President of the National Constituent Assembly and other Tunisian authorities to take stock of the progress made in the drafting of the new Constitution, in the preparation of the elections scheduled for 23 June 2013, and in putting in place of independent institutions for elections, the media and justice.

Countries of the former Yugoslavia and Albania – International conference on European integration

29/10/2012 - 30/10/2012
Sarajevo - the Constitutional and Legal Committees of the BiH Parlamentary Assembly, with the support of the OSCE Mission in BiH and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, organised the Conference of Constitutional and Legal Committees, and the Committees for European Integration, from the countries of the former Yugoslavia and Albania.
The topic of conference was “The Role of Parliaments in the European Integration Process: Constitutional and Legislative Changes”.

The Secretary of the Venice Commission Thomas Markert participated in the 2nd panel entitled “Constitutional and Legisla... read more

Ukraine - Elections - Legal assistance to the observation mission of the Parliamentary Assembly

25/10/2012 - 29/10/2012
Kyiv - At the request of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Venice Commission provided legal assistance to the election observation mission of the Parliamentary Assembly in the context of the legislative elections of 28 October 2012. A PACE delegation, headed by Mr. Andreas Gross (Switzerland, SOC), observed the conduct of these elections, alongside observers from the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the OSCE.

Lithuania - Constitutional justice - Conference on "Standards of Europe's Constitutional Heritage"

25/10/2012
Vilnius - Celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania in co-operation with the Constitutional Court and Vilnius University.

Ukraine - Seminar on the electoral complaints and appeals

19/10/2012
Kyiv - Participation of a Venice Commission expert in the training seminar for judges organised by the Council of Europe in co-operation with the High Administrative Court of Ukraine

Morocco - Request for assistance

17/10/2012 - 17/10/2012
Mrs Hakkaoui, Minister for Solidarity, Women, Family and Social Development, has requested the assistance of the Venice Commission in order to set up the Authority for Parity and Fight against Discrimination as well as the Consultative Council for Family and Childhood.

The secretary of the Commission addresses the plenary session of the Congress of the Council of Europe

16/10/2012
Council of Europe, Strasbourg – Secretary of the Venice Commission Thomas Markert addressed the plenary session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. He took part in the debate on the developments in the Arab countries and the Commission’s cooperation in the region.

Tunisian National Constituent Assembly discusses the first draft Constitution with the Venice Commission

12/10/2012
Venice - on the sidelines of the 92nd Plenary Session of the Venice Commission a meeting was held between a delegation of the latter and an important delegation of the National Constituent Assembly of Tunisia, composed as follows:

- Mr Larbi ABID, Vice-President;
- Mr Habib KHEDHER, General Rapporteur on the Constitution;
- Mr Najar ABDELMAJID, Rapporteur, Committee on the Preamble, the fundamental principles and the revision of the Constitution;
- Mr Amor CHETOUI, President of the Constitutional Committee on Legislative and Executive powers and the relations betwee... read more

Montenegro - Parliamentary elections - Legal assistance to the observation mission of the PACE

12/10/2012 - 15/10/2012
Podgorica - At the request of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Venice Commission ensures legal assistance to the Election Observation Mission of PACE in the context of the early parliamentary elections of 14 October 2012.

A 11-member delegation of the PACE, headed by Mr Christopher Chope (United Kingdom, GDE), observes the conduct of these elections, together with observers from the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the OSCE.

92nd plenary session of the Venice Commission (Venice)

12/10/2012 - 13/10/2012
The Commission

- Paid tribute to the late Vojin Dimitrijević, Director of the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights and member in respect of Serbia;

- Held an exchange of views with Mr Shahin Aliyev, Head of the Department of Legislation and Legal Expertise, Office of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and adopted the joint opinion by the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR, on the law on freedom of religious faith of Azerbaijan following its consideration by the Sub-Commission on Fundamental Rights on 11 October 2012;

- Adopted the opinion ... read more

World Forum for Democracy

08/10/2012
Council of Europe, Strasbourg – President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio chaired panel C of the Forum entitled “One size fits all? Democracy and globalisation"

The model of democracy founded on freely elected representation of the people, forged through the centuries, is increasingly confronted with new realities that dispute its foundations – and even legitimacy in some cases. The higher and higher rates of abstention in elections, the emergence of dissenting – and sometimes extremist – political forces bear witness to growing discredit of the traditional forms of demo... read more

Obituary – Professor Vojin Dimitrijevic, member of the Venice Commission in respect of Serbia

05/10/2012
Belgrade - Vojin Dimitrijevic, member of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe in respect of Serbia, Professor of Public International Law, Doctor of Law honoris causa, Director of the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, has passed away on 5 October 2012 at the age of 81.

Professor Dimitrievic was an active member of the Commission: he was one of the authors of several general studies issued by the Venice Commission; he was co-rapporteur of the Commission’s opinions relating to Georgia, Hungary and Russia. Kind and responsive, professor Dimitrijevic contributed to the Commi... read more

XVIIth Yerevan International Conference

05/10/2012 - 06/10/2012

Armenia - Constitutional Justice

05/10/2012 - 06/10/2012
Yerevan - International Conference in Co-operation with the Constitutional Court of Armenia on the "Interaction between the constitutional court and other institutions in ensuring the execution of constitutional judgments".

Monaco - request for an opinion on the constitution

02/10/2012
On 2 October 2012, the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe decided to ask the Venice Commission to prepare an opinion on the Constitution of Monaco, “in order to examine in particular the compatibility of the constitutional provisions on the Conseil National with democratic standards, taking into account the special features of the Principality of Monaco”. The opinion should be examined by the Venice Commission at its Plenary Session of June 2013.

Freedom of thought, conscience and religion - OSCE-ODHIR-HDIM

01/10/2012
Warsaw - Mrs Flanagan, Vice-President of the Venice Commission, is participating in the working session on freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Georgia - Parliamentary elections - Legal assistance to the observation mission of the Parliamentary Assembly

28/09/2012 - 02/10/2012
Tbilisi - At the request of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Venice Commission ensures legal assistance to the Election Observation Mission of PACE in the context of the parliamentary elections of 1 October 2012.

A delegation of the PACE, headed by Mr Luca Volontè (Italy, EPP/CD), observes the conduct of these elections, together with observers from the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the OSCE.

The delegation meets with heads of political parties concurring in the elections or their representatives, the Chair... read more

Uzbekistan - request for opinion

28/09/2012
Vice President of Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan requested the Venice Commission’s and the OSCE / ODIHR’s opinion on the amendments to the Law on elections of deputies of the Mejlis Oliy and the Act on regional, local and municipal (Kengash) elections of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Libya - Request for cooperation

27/09/2012
The Vice President of the General National Congress of Libya Dr. Saleh Mohammed Almkhozom has asked for the Venice Commission’s support to the Congress in its work of developing a constitution for democratic Libya. A delegation of the Venice Commission is planning a working visit to Tripoli after the forthcoming plenary session.

This activity will be carried out jointly with the International Management Group (IMG) and within the framework of the co-operation of the country with the European Union. IMG and the EU Delegation suggested to the Libyan authorities to ask for the assista... read more

Russian Federation - Conference on political parties

27/09/2012 - 28/09/2012
Saint Petersbourg - Conference co-organised by the Venice Commission and the Constitutional Court of Russia on "Political parties in a democratic society: legal basis for organisation and activities", held on the premises of the Constitutional Court, St. Petersburg, Russia.

President of the Russian Federation address to the conference:
(unofficial translation from Russian)

Moscow, Kremlin

To organizers and participants of the International Conference on
"Political Parties in a Democratic Society: Legal Basis of Organization and Activities"... read more

Conference on "Political Parties in a Democratic Society: legal basis of the organisation and activities" (St Petersburg)

27/09/2012 - 28/09/2012

Hungary - Judiciary

20/09/2012
Budapest - A delegation of the Commission visited Budapest in preparation of an opinion on the amendments to the Cardinal Acts on the Judiciary that were adopted by the Hungarian Parliament following the adoption of opinion CDL-AD(2012)001.

Request for assistance - Azerbaijan

19/09/2012
Azeri authorities requested Venice Commission’s assistance in drafting a Law on Defamation, as part of the National Programme for Action to Raise Effectiveness of Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms in the Republic of Azerbaijan. This programme was approved by Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan on 27 December 2011.

Rome - Hearing at the Committee of Human Rights of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Parliament

18/09/2012 - 18/09/2012
Rome, Italy - The President of the Venice Commission will participate in a Hearing at the Committee of Human Rights of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Parliament. He will make an intervention on the situation in Hungary and Romania as well as a follow-up on the Arab Spring.

Annual report of activities 2011

12/09/2012
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - the President of the Venice Commission Gianni BUQUICCHIO presented the Commission's 2011 annual report to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

Romania

10/09/2012 - 11/09/2012
Bucharest - A delegation of the Venice Commission visited Bucharest in the framework of the preparation of an Opinion on the Constitutional situation in Romania and on Government Emergency Ordinances on amendments to the Law on the Constitutional Court and on the Law on Referendums of Romania.

Conference of European Constitutional Courts

10/09/2012 - 11/09/2012
Vienna - The Venice Commission participated in the preparatory meeting for the XVIth Conference of European Constitutional Courts

Austria - conference on "Comparative Constitutional Law and Legislation"

07/09/2012
Vienna - The Venice Commission participated in a conference on "Comparative Constitutional Law and Legislation", organised by the ICL Journal (Vienna University for Economics and Business).

Request for opinion - “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”

07/09/2012
By a letter of 7 September 2012, the President of the Constitutional Court of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” requested an amicus curiae opinion of the Venice Commission on the so-called Lustration Law, enacted in July 2012.

Georgia - Parliamentary elections - Mission of legal assistance to the Central Election Commission of Georgia

06/09/2012 - 17/10/2012
Tbilisi - At the request of the Central Election Commission of Georgia (the CEC) in the context of the forthcoming parliamentary elections (1 October 2012), a Venice Commission election expert assists the CEC in preparing the elections. The expert advises the CEC on legal and technical issues, notably for the preparation of CEC instructions.

ROMANIA - STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE VENICE COMMISSION

07/08/2012
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - On 4 July 2012 I made a statement expressing concern about attempts to exercise pressure on the Constitutional Court of Romania and to undermine its independence. Yesterday I received additional information from the Court about continuing pressure and threats against individual judges.

It is a general principle of the rule of law that pressure on any court, whether constitutional or ordinary, in order to influence its decisions is inadmissible. In recent years the Venice Commission has sometimes had to intervene in order to protect the independence o... read more

Hearing of the Venice Commission by the National Constituent Assembly of Tunisia on "Political Systems: Mechanisms, Advantages, Disadvantages" (Tunis)

26/07/2012 - 26/07/2012

Southern African Chief Justices Forum

26/07/2012 - 28/07/2012
Maputo, Mozambique - The Venice Commission participated in the Conference of the Southern African Chief Justices Forum

Tunisia - Hearing of the Venice Commission by the National Constituent Assembly

26/07/2012
Tunis - On 26 July 2012 a delegation of the Venice Commission exchanges views with the National Constituent Assembly of Tunisia in the hemicycle of the Palais Bardo in Tunis. The main topic of discussion is the advantages and disadvantages of different constitutional systems.

This activity was possible thanks to the voluntary contribution of France.

OSCE Human Dimension Meeting

12/07/2012 - 13/07/2012
Vienna - The Venice Commission takes part in the 2012 OSCE Human Dimension Meeting, inter alia on the observation of elections.

Electronic voting - International Conference

11/07/2012 - 14/07/2012
Bregenz, Austria - The Venice Commission took part in the 5th International Conference on Electronic Voting (EVOTE2012), preceded by the 4th Council of Europe Review Meeting on Electronic Voting. It then be followed by an IFES workshop dedicated to the development of an e-voting manual.

THE PRIME MINISTER OF ROMANIA, MR PONTA, REQUESTS AN OPINION

09/07/2012
The Prime Minister of Romania, Mr Ponta, requested an opinion from the Venice Commission on the Government Emergency Ordinance on amendment to the Law no. 47/1992 regarding the Organisation and Functioning of the Constitutional Court and on the Government Emergency Ordinance on amending and completing the Law no. 3/2000 regarding the Organisation of a referendum.

ROMANIA - THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE REQUESTS THE OPINION OF THE VENICE COMMISSION

06/07/2012
Romania - The Secretary General of the Council of Europe has asked the Venice Commission to provide an opinion on the compatibility with constitutional principles and the rule of law of actions taken by the Government and the Parliament of Romania in respect of other state institutions.

Tunisia – decentralisation - exchange of views with the Committee on Regional and Local self-government bodies of the National Constituent Assembly and the Ministry of Interior

05/07/2012
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - During a working visit to France, a delegation of the Committee on Regional and Local self-government bodies of the National Constituent Assembly and of the Ministry of the Interior of Tunisia has exchanged views with the Venice Commission and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe. The questions of the manner of election of representatives at the local and gouvernoral levels, the control of the acts of the local self-government bodies and the respect of the principle of autonomy of self-government bodies were discussed among others. The excha... read more

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE VENICE COMMISSION IN SUPPORT OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF ROMANIA

04/07/2012
I have learnt with deep concern of various attempts to exercise pressure on the Constitutional Court of Romania and to undermine its independence. The Constitutional Court has sought the Venice Commission’s support in this respect.

The Venice Commission has repeatedly stressed the fundamental role of the constitutional court as a guarantor of the state’s constitutional order and of fundamental rights. A constitutional court which takes this role seriously sometimes has to make decisions which are not welcome to the majority of the day. Its legitimacy to do so is directly derived fr... read more

Association of Constitutional Courts using the French Language (ACCPUF)

04/07/2012 - 06/07/2012
Marrakech - The Venice Commission participated in the 6th Congress of the Association of Constitutional Courts using the French Language (ACCPUF) on "The Citizen and the Constitutional Judge".

Kazakhstan - Study visit of the electoral officials to Austria

03/07/2012 - 05/07/2012
Vienna - A study visit for staff of the Central and Regional electoral commissions of Kazakhstan to the Department on electoral affairs of the Federal Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Austria will take place on 3-5 July 2012.

The participants will have an opportunity to learn about the work of the Austrian authorities in the electoral field as well as to visit a municipal electoral authority in Vienna and the Parliament.

This activity is organised in the framework of a joint project "Support to the election process in Kazakhstan" funded by the European Union ... read more

Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters - Ten years anniversary

02/07/2012 - 03/07/2012
Tirana - The Venice Commission organised a conference entitled: "The European Electoral Heritage - Ten Years of the Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters", under the auspices of the Albanian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, in co-operation with the the National Assembly and the Central Election Commission of Albania. The Conference called the member states to implement the Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters.

Conference on "the European electoral heritage : ten years of the code of good practice in electoral matters" - Tirana, Albania- Hotel Tirana International, Skanderbeg Square, Build. 8, Entr.1

02/07/2012 - 03/07/2012

Hungary - opinion request -Judiciary

28/06/2012
The Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe requested an opinion on the amendments to the cardinal acts on the judiciary that were adopted by the Hungarian Parliament following the adoption of opinion CDL-AD(2012)001 by the Venice Commission.

PACE request for a study - Keeping political and criminal responsibility separate

28/06/2012
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - In the framework of the report under preparation on "Keeping political and criminal responsibility separate", the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe asked the Venice Commission for "an opinion on the topic of the report from a comparative constitutional perspective".

Russia - Request for Venice Commission opinion on amendments to the law on assemblies

27/06/2012
Strasbourg - the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on the recent amendments to the law on assemblies of the Russian Federation.

Kazakhstan - Conference of electoral complaints and appeals

26/06/2012 - 28/06/2012
Almaty - A conference on "Electoral complaints and appeals. Comparative analysis of international standards and national practices" will take place in Almaty, Kazakhstan on 26-28 June 2012.

This activity is aimed at judges, prosecutors, defence lawyers and members of electoral commissions from both Astana and Almaty. During 3 days the conference participants will look at a number of issues such as
- the standards in the field of electoral complaints and appeals,
- different models of complaints and appeals system,
- sanctions, complaints by different actors,
read more

Romania - Constitutional Justice

21/06/2012 - 22/06/2012
Bucharest – The Venice Commission will participate in the Conference at the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Constitutional Court and of 100 years of constitutional review in Romania.

Central Asia - Study visit on women’s rights

18/06/2012 - 20/06/2012
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - A study visit to the Council of Europe on "The Council of Europe standards and recent developments related to the case law of the European Court of Human Rights on women's rights" will take place on 18-20 June 2012. It is aimed at judges, prosecutors, defence lawyers as well as NGO members from the five Central Asian states: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The participants will be able to follow closely on the work of the Venice Commission and other bodies and services of the Council of Europe in the field of women... read more

World Conference on Constitutional Justice

16/06/2012
Venice - The WCCJ Bureau met on 16 June 2012 in Venice to discuss, inter alia, the report on the membership of the WCCJ, the financial report regarding contributions to the WCCJ, the relationship between WCCJ and bilateral agreements concluded between regional and linguistic groups and the Venice Commission and the choice of its logo.

The Bureau appointed Schnutz Dürr, Head of the Constitutional Justice Division of the Venice Commission, as Secretary of the WCCJ.

Delegation of the National Constituent Assembly of Tunisia participates in the Venice Commission’s plenary

15/06/2012 - 16/06/2012
Venice – a joint meeting between the delegation of the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly and a delegation of the Venice Commission took place in Venice on 15 June 2012. The delegation was composed of

• Mr Larbi ABID, First Vice-President ;
• Mr Habib KHEDHER, General Rapporteur on the Constitution;
• Ms Farida LABIDI, President of the Constitutional Committee on Rights and Liberties;
• Mr Amor CHETOUI, President of the Constitutional Committee on Legislative and Executive powers and the relations between the two;
• Mr Mohamed Elarbi Fadhel MOUSSA, President... read more

91st plenary session of the Venice Commission (Venice)

15/06/2012 - 16/06/2012
The Commission

- Held an exchange of views with Mr Verherstraeten and Mr Wathelet, State Secretaries for Institutional Reforms of Belgium, and adopted the opinion on the revision of the Constitution of Belgium;

- Adopted the opinion on Legal certainty and the independence of the judiciary in Bosnia and Herzegovina, previously examined by the Sub-Commission on the Judiciary on 14 June 2012;

- Adopted the amicus curiae brief on amendments to the Act on Primary Education of the Sarajevo Canton of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina;

- Held an exch... read more

Ombudsman Institutions - 6th Meeting of the Association of Mediterranean Ombudsmen

11/06/2012 - 12/06/2012
Paris - Mr Sorensen, Parliamentary Ombudsman, Member of the Venice Commission on behalf of Denmark, will give a presentation on " The value of Ombudsman institutions and the work of the Venice Commission".
(Photo © David DELAPORTE)

Albania - Constitutional Justice

07/06/2012 - 08/06/2012
Tirana - The Constitutional Court of Albania, in co-operation with the Venice Commission, will organise an international conference on the "Separation and balancing of powers - role of constitutional review" on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Court.

9th European Conference of Electoral Management Bodies "Innovative solutions for elections" - Riigikogu Conference Centre, Lossi plats 1a, Tallinn, Estonia

04/06/2012 - 05/06/2012

Electoral issues - 9th European Conference of the EMBs

04/06/2012 - 05/06/2012
Tallinn – The Venice Commission, jointly with the Central Election Commission of Estonia, organises the 9th European Conference of Electoral Management Bodies.

Mini-Conference on "The Rule of Law" (11th meeting of the Joint Council on Constitutional Justice - Brno, Czech Republic)

01/06/2012 - 01/06/2012

Kazakhstan - Training of Trainers’ for electoral commissions of Kazakhstan  

01/06/2012 - 02/06/2012
Astana - A training of Trainers’ workshop for lower level electoral commissions of Kazakhstan takes place in Astana on 1-2 June 2012.

This training session is aimed at staff of four regional electoral commissions of Kazakhstan with the overall objective to enhance their knowledge in training of others, strengthen their abilities to speak in public as well as to learn the main trainings techniques and methods and the main rules of visual presentation of materials.

This activity is organised in the framework of a joint project "Support to the election process in Kazakhst... read more

Joint Council on Constitutional Justice - Mini-conference on the Rule of Law

30/05/2012 - 01/06/2012
Brno - 11th meeting of the Joint Council on Constitutional Justice

Montenegro - Visit of the President of the Venice Commission to the Constitutional Court

29/05/2012 - 31/05/2012
Podgorica - The President of the Venice Commission will visit Montenegro at the invitation of the President of the Constitutional Court. During this visit, Mr Buquicchio will also meet with the President of Montenegro, the Minister of Justice and with the Speaker of the Parliament, as well as with the opposition parties.

Kyrgyzstan - Roundtable on Election Dispute Resolution

29/05/2012 - 29/05/2012
Bishkek - The Venice Commission takes part in a roundtable on Election Dispute Resolution organised by the ODIHR in close coordination with the OSCE Center in Bishkek. This activity is aimed at all relevant stakeholders involved in the adjudication of electoral disputes. It provides a platform for discussion to the Kyrgyz authorities and civil society to reach conclusions and propose recommendations to enhance the EDRS on the basis of relevant standards and commitments in this field.

Jordan - Constitutional justice

28/05/2012
Amman - The Venice Commission organises a workshop on the Constitutional court. MPs will be among the participants.This workshop is organised in the framework of the programme funded by the EU "Strengthening democratic reform in the Southern Neighbourhood".

Hungary - forthcoming opinion on the Cardinal Law on Elections of Members of Parliament of Hungary - country visit

24/05/2012 - 25/05/2012
Budapest - A delegation of the Venice Commission visits Budapest in preparation of an opinion on the Cardinal Law on Elections of Members of Parliament of Hungary, requested by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary.
The delegation, accompanied by representatives of the OSCE/ODIHR, is meeting inter alia members of the Hungarian Parliament, Consitutional Court, political parties, civil society and the international community.

The adoption of the opinion is on the agenda of the June plenary of the Venice Commission.

Morocco - Mediator/Ombudsman Institution

22/05/2012 - 24/05/2012
Rabat - Contribution to the 9th training session for collaborators of members of the Association of Ombudsmen and Mediators of the Mediterranean. This activity is financed by the EU/ Council of Europe Southern Neighbourhood Programme.

Korea, Republic - meetings.

21/05/2012
Seoul - The President of the Venice Commission met with the Minister of Justice of Korea Mr Kwon Jae-jin, who expressed his satisfaction with the work of the Commission and informed Mr Buquicchio that his Ministry systematically translated the annual reports of the Commission into the Korean language.

President Buquicchio also held bilateral meetings with the Presidents of Constitutional Courts presenta at the Inaugural Congress of the AACC.

Finland – Seminar on "Constitutional Design"

21/05/2012 - 22/05/2012
Helsinki - The Venice Commission, the Helsinki Faculty of Law and the International Association of Constitutional Lawyers (IACL) organise a seminar on "Constitutional Design"

Asia - Constitutional Justice

20/05/2012 - 24/05/2012
Seoul - Inaugural Congress of the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions on Present and Future of Constitutional Justice in Asia".

President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio and the Head of the Constitutional Justice Division Schnutz Durr participated in the event.

OSCE/ ODIHR – Political parties

17/05/2012
Warsaw - Representatives of the Venice Commission participate in the annual meeting of the OSCE/ ODIHR in the field of political parties

Ibero-American Conference of Constitutional Justice

16/05/2012 - 19/05/2012
Cadiz, Spain - IXth Ibero-American Conference of Constitutional Justice on "Presidentialism and parliamentarism in constitutional jurisprudence".

Countries of Portuguese Language - Constitutional Justice

15/05/2012 - 16/05/2012
Maputo, Mozambique - Conference of Constitutional Courts of Countries of Portuguese Language.

Hungary – forthcoming opinion on the Act on the rights of nationalities – country visit

16/05/2012
Budapest - A delegation of the Venice Commission went to Budapest as part of preparation of a legal opinion on the Act on the rights of nationalities, requested by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The delegation met with representatives of competent authorities within the executive and legislative branches as well as with the representatives of national minorities in Hungary.

The adoption of the opinion by the Venice Commission is on the agenda of the June plenary session (Venice, 15-16.06.2012).

International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL) - Round Table

04/05/2012
Belgrade - The President of the Venice Commission takes part in a Round Table at the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL) on "main developments in constitutionalism and constitutional law between 1981 and 2011".

Armenia - Parliamentary elections - Legal assistance to the observation mission of the Parliamentary Assembly

03/05/2012 - 07/05/2012
Yerevan - At the request of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Venice Commission ensures legal assistance to the Election Observation Mission of PACE in the context of the parliamentary elections of 6 May 2012.

A 24-member delegation of the PACE, headed by Baroness Nicholson (United Kingdom, ADLE), observes the conduct of these elections, together with observers from the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the OSCE.

The delegation meets with heads of political parties concurring in the elections or their representa... read more

Serbia - Parliamentary, presidential and regional elections - Legal assistance to the observation mission of the Parliamentary Assembly

03/05/2012 - 07/05/2012
Belgrade - At the request of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Venice Commission ensures legal assistance to the Election Observation Mission of PACE in the context of the parliamentary and presidential elections of 6 May 2012.


A 20-member delegation of the PACE, headed by M. Jean-Charles Gardetto (Monaco), observes the conduct of these elections.

Russia - Consultation meeting of the Venice Commission Rapporteurs with representatives of the authorities of the Russian Federation with regard to the Federal Law on the Federal Security Service and the Federal Law on Extremism of the Russian Federation.

27/04/2012
Paris - At the request of the Chair of the Monitoring Committee of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, the Venice Commission is currently finalising its legal assessment of the above-mentioned laws. The two draft opinions will be submitted for adoption to the Venice Commission’s 91st plenary meeting in June 2012.

Turkey - Constitutional Justice

25/04/2012 - 26/04/2012
Ankara - The Venice Commission will participate in the Symposium on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Constitutional Court of Turkey.

Azerbaijan - Presentation of the opinion of the Venice Commission on the Law on the NGOs of Azerbaijan

19/04/2012 - 20/04/2012
Baku - A conference is organised in order to present the Opinion prepared by the Venice Commission and the Expert Council of OING on the Law on the NGOs in Azerbaijan.

Morocco - Visit of the President of the Venice Commission

17/04/2012 - 18/04/2012
Rabat - The President of the Venice Commission will be on an official visit. Mr Buquicchio is meeting with the Secretary general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and several high officials to discuss future cooperation activities.

Constitutional Justice - Conference of Secretaries General of Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Bodies

13/04/2012 - 14/04/2012
Yerevan - Conference of Secretaries General of Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Bodies, organised by the Constitutional Court of Armenia and by the Venice Commission, on two themes:
(1) Procedural time-limits and
(2) the reaction to the negative critique of court judgments

5th Conference of secretaries general of constitutional courts or courts with equivalent jurisdiction

13/04/2012 - 14/04/2012

5th Conference of secretaries general of constitutional courts or courts with equivalent jurisdiction

13/04/2012 - 14/04/2012

Hungary - forthcoming opinion on the legislation on the prosecution service - country visit

04/04/2012
Budapest – A delegation of the Venice Commission visited Budapest in preparation of an opinion on the legislation on the prosecution service, requested by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The opinion is expected to be adopted at the 91st plenary session of the Venice Commission (15-16 June 2012).

Kazakhstan - Study visit for staff of the Central and Regional Electoral Commissions of Kazakhstan to the Council of Europe

03/04/2012 - 05/04/2012
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - A study visit for staff of the Central and Regional Electoral Commissions of Kazakhstan to the Council of Europe on "The Council of Europe standards in the field of elections and recent developments related to the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights on elections", organised by the Venice Commission.

The participants will follow closely the work of the Venice Commission, the Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and other bodies and services of the Council of Europe in the field of electoral standards.
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Morocco - Intercultural Workshop on Democracy

29/03/2012 - 30/03/2012
Marrakech - 1st Intercultural Workshop on Democracy with the Moroccan Association of Constitutional Law, the International Association of Constitutional Law and the Constitutional Council of Morrocco on "Constitutional Processes and Democratic Processes, Experiences and Perspectives".

1st Inter-cultural Workshop on democracy "Constitutional procedures and democratic procedures, experiences and perspectives

29/03/2012 - 30/03/2012

Tunisia – study visit by members of the NCA

29/03/2012 - 30/03/2012
Strasbourg / Karlsruhe - A delegation of 12 Tunisians from the National Constituent Assembly came to Strasbourg for discussions at the Council of Europe, followed by meetings in Karlsruhe, Germany, at the Federal Supreme Court and the Federal Constitutional Court.

This study visit took place within the framework of Tunisia’s constitutional reform.

Albania - Roundtable on Election Administration

26/03/2012 - 27/03/2012
Tirana - The Venice Commission takes part in a Round Table on Election Administration organised by the Special Committee on Electoral Reform, which addresses the two following topics: New Voting Technologies and Election Administration.

Kazakhstan - Mission of assistance to the Central Electoral Commission of Kazakhstan

26/03/2012 - 29/03/2012
Astana - In the framework of a joint project "Support to the election process in Kazakhstan" funded by the European Union and implemented by the Venice Commission, an expert will take part in a meeting with the project partner, Central Electoral Commission of Kazakhstan, to prepare the proposals for the programmes of training of trainers’ seminars as well as a draft plan of the report on problems encountered during the early parliamentary elections of 2012.

Electoral issues – assistance to the Central Electoral Commissions – 3d Eastern Partnership Facility meeting

26/03/2012 - 27/03/2012
Kyiv - The Venice Commission co-organises with the Central Election Commission of Ukraine the third Eastern Partnership Facility meeting, financed by the European Commission.

The meeting is devoted to the voters' lists and registers management.

Third Eastern Partnership Facility Programme meeting "Voters' lists and registers" - Hotel "Salute", Kyiv

26/03/2012 - 27/03/2012

Seminar on the independence of Justice

21/03/2012 - 22/03/2012

Tunisia - Seminar on the independence of the judiciary

21/03/2012 - 22/03/2012
Tunis - The Venice Commission and the Department for the independence and efficiency of Justice of the Council of Europe organised in cooperation with the Trade union of the Tunisian judges and the Union of the administrative judges, a seminar on the independence of the judiciary.

The participants had an opportunity to have in-depth discussions, in particular about
• the constitutional guarantees of the independence of the judiciary,
• the judiciary councils,
• the judges' career and
• statutory guarantees.

This seminar was organised in the fram... read more

Hungary – SG Jagland meets PM Orban – follow-up to the Venice Commission opinions

21/03/2012
Budapest - Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland is in Budapest for talks with the Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán. The Secretary General will also be meeting Tibor Navracsics, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Administration and Justice, and János Martonyi, Minister of Foreign Affairs. Secretary of the Venice Commission Thomas Markert will also participate in the visit.

The talks will focus primarily on the Venice Commission reports on the independence of the judiciary and religious freedom, and the Council of Europe assessment of media freedom in H... read more

Hungary - Request for opinion – Transitional Provisions of the Constitution

20/03/2012
Paris - the Monitoring Committee of the PACE decided on 13 March 2012 to request the Venice Commission’s opinion on the Transitional Provisions of the Fundamental Law of Hungary as adopted by the Hungarian Parliament on 31 December 2011.

Kyrgyzstan - Judiciary

19/03/2012 - 20/03/2012
Bishkek - A member of the Venice Commission participated in the Judiciary Dialogue and discussions with the Parliament's judiciary working group organised by the EU-UNDP Parliament project.

Ukraine - electoral issues - new law on parliamentary elections

19/03/2012 - 20/03/2012
Kiev - The Venice Commission and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine organised a roundtable on the implementation of the new law on parliamentary elections in Ukraine. MPs, members of the Central Election Commission, the administrative court judges and NGOs met on this occasion. The participants discussed various issues including the organisation of territorial electoral commissions, constituencies, the election campaign and disputes.

90th plenary session of the Venice Commission (Venice)

16/03/2012 - 17/03/2012
The Commission:

- adopted the joint opinion by the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR on the compatibility with universal Human Rights standards of the amended law on mass events in the Republic of Belarus;

- held an exchange of views with Mr Robert Repassy, Minister of State for Justice of Hungary, and adopted the opinion on the laws on the status and remuneration of judges and on the organisation and administration of Courts in Hungary, with amendments;

- held an exchange of views with Mr Csaba Latorcai, Deputy State Secretary fo... read more

Ukraine – Electoral issues – Round Table on 2012 Parliamentary Elections

14/03/2012
Kiev – Following an invitation from the International Foundation for Elections Systems (IFES), the Venice Commission participates in an electoral meeting on the electoral legal framework in view of the forthcoming 2012 Parliamentary Elections.

Tunisia - electoral issues – legal framework for elections

12/03/2012 - 13/03/2012
Tunis - The representatives of the Venice Commission participated in a conference organised by IFES on "the Legal Framework for Elections in Tunisia: National and International Perspectives".

Montenegro - Venice Commission’s visit – forthcoming opinions on laws on Free Access to Information and amendments to the Law on Classified Information

05/03/2012 - 06/03/2012
Podgorica – a delegation of the Venice Commission exchanged views with representatives of the authorities and other stake-holders on the Draft Law on Free Access to Information and on the Draft Law on amendments to the Law on Classified Information of Montenegro.
The visit took place in the framework of the preparation of the Commission’s opinions on the above-mentioned laws, upon a request by the Montenegrin authorities.

Russian Federation - Presidential elections - Legal assistance to the observation mission of the PACE

03/03/2012 - 05/03/2012
Moscow - At the request of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Venice Commission ensures legal assistance to the Election Observation Mission of the Assembly in the context of the presidential elections of 4 March 2012.

A 28-member delegation of the PACE, headed by Tiny Kox (Netherlands, UEL), will visit the Russian Federation from 1 to 5 March to observe the conduct of the presidential election, alongside observers from the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the OSCE.

The delegation is due to meet the candidates in... read more

Armenia – Electoral issues – Questions/Answers session with election observers

02/03/2012
Yerevan – The Venice Commission is invited to a Questions/Answers’ session with non-governmental organisations dealing with election observation in view of the forthcoming May parliamentary elections.

Conference on "the Rule of Law as a practical concept"

02/03/2012 - 02/03/2012
London - Under the United Kingdom Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the Venice Commission organised in co-operation with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom and with the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, an international conference on “the Rule of Law as a Practical Concept".

Armenia – Electoral issues – Round Table with judges

29/02/2012 - 01/03/2012
Yerevan – At the request of the Judicial School of Armenia, the Venice Commission co-organises a Round Table with judges from administrative courts on the topic of electoral disputes that may arise in the context of the parliamentary elections of May 2012. For this purpose, two Venice Commission experts meet around 20 judges during two working sessions.

Round table with the judicial school on electoral disputes

29/02/2012 - 01/03/2012

"Constitutional Reform in Arab Countries” – international symposium

22/02/2012 - 23/02/2012
Heidelberg – Secretary of the Venice Commission Mr Thomas Markert is invited to participate in the international symposium on “Constitutional Reform in Arab Countries” organised by Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law

Hungary - Venice Commission’s visit – forthcoming opinions on laws on judiciary and on freedom of religion

20/02/2012 - 21/02/2012
Budapest – a delegation of the Venice Commission will exchange views with representatives of the authorities and other stake-holders on the laws on judiciary and on freedom of religion. The visit is taking place in the framework of the preparation of the Commission’s opinions on the above-mentioned laws, upon a request by the Hungarian authorities.

The Commission plans to adopt these opinions at its next plenary session 16-17 March 2012 in Venice.

Russia - Venice Commission’s visit – forthcoming opinions on laws on elections to Duma and on political parties

16/02/2012 - 17/02/2012
Moscow – a delegation of the Venice Commission, lead by its Secretary Thomas Markert, will exchange views with representatives of the authorities and other stake-holders on the Federal Laws on Elections to Duma and on Political Parties. The visit is taking place in the framework of the preparation of the Commission’s opinions on the above-mentioned laws, upon a request by the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
The Commission plans to adopt these opinions at its next plenary session 16-17 March 2012 in Venice.

Jordan - Council of Europe delegation to exchange views with authorities

09/02/2012
Amman - The Secretary of the Venice Commission Thomas Markert participates in a Council of Europe expert mission lead by the Director General of Programmes Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni. The delegation will look into possible topics of the cooperation with Jordan, with special regard to three fields: empowerment of women, election legislation and media freedom issues.

Russia - Venice Commission’s visit – forthcoming opinions on laws on rallies, on extremism and on FSB

09/02/2012 - 10/02/2012
Moscow – a delegation of the Venice Commission, lead by its President Gianni Buquicchio, will exchange views with representatives of the authorities and other stake-holders on the laws on meetings, rallies, marches and pickets, on Counteraction to Extremist Activities and on the Federal Security Service (FSB). The visit is taking place in the framework of the preparation of the Commission’s opinions on the above-mentioned laws, upon a request by the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The Commission plans to adopt these opinions at its nex... read more

Conference on "Human Rights in the work of the Public Prosecution Office in Bolivia"

08/02/2012 - 09/02/2012
La Paz - Co-organisation of a conference by the Venice Commission and the Public Prosecution Office of Bolivia, in the framework of the Joint Program with the European Union on the implementation of the new Constitution in Bolivia.

Georgia - Electoral issues - Eastern Partnership Facility Programme

07/02/2012 - 08/02/2012
Tbilisi - The Venice Commission participates in a meeting organised by the Council of Europe in the framework of the Eastern Partnership Facility programme, financed by the European Commission. This meeting is devoted to the participation of women in public life.

Georgia – law on political unions of citizens

31/01/2012
Strasbourg - In reply to questions by Georgian journalists the Secretary of the Venice Commission, Thomas Markert, noted that the text of the Law on Political Union of Citizens adopted by the Georgian parliament included a number of significant amendments in comparison with the text submitted to the Venice Commission. These amendments contained additional restrictions on party financing. He was not able to assess whether these restrictions were positive or negative since this would require an in-depth examination of the adopted text by the Venice Commission which had not taken place.
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Hungary - Request for opinion by PACE - five additional laws

26/01/2012
Strasbourg - At a meeting yesterday in Strasbourg, the Chair of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Mr Andres Herkel, noting concerns about Hungary’s new legislation, asked the Venice Commission to give opinions on five more laws, i.e. laws on :

• Freedom of Information,
• the Constitutional Court,
• Prosecution,
• Nationalities and
• Family Protection.

The Venice Commission has just started to assess three other Hungary’s laws, i.e. laws on the independence of the judiciary, freedom of reli... read more

Montenegro – Request for opinion – two draft laws

26/01/2012
Strasbourg – Montenegrin authorities asked for Commission’s opinion on the
Draft Law on Free Access to Information and on the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Classified Information.

Ukraine - Request for opinion – PACE

26/01/2012
Strasbourg - Strasbourg - The Chair of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly, Mr Herkel, requested the Commission’s opinion on the draft law on the prokuratura, prepared by the Ukrainian Commission on Strengthening Democracy and the Rule of Law.

European Parliament – Debate on the Arab revolution

24/01/2012
Brussels – Following his recent visit to Tunisia, the President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio is invited to participate in the debate entitled “The Arab revolution: one year later”, organised by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the EP.

EU Commissioner Stefan Füle, EU Special Representative Bernadino Leon, Secretary General EEAS Pierre Vimont, US Special Representative Ambassador William Taylor will also participate in the debate.

Egypt - Conference on Constitutional Drafting (postponed)

23/01/2012 - 24/01/2012
Cairo - The Venice Commission organises jointly with the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt an international Conference on Constitutional Drafting.

Hungary – request for opinion

20/01/2012
Hungarian authorities have asked for the Venice Commission’s opinion on the laws concerning the independence of the judiciary, religious freedom and elections to Parliament.

This request comes as a follow-up to the letter of 11 January 2012 by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland to the Minister of Foreign Affairs János Martonyi inviting Hungarian authorities to request the Venice Commission to provide opinions on these controversial laws. In the same letter the Secretary General also invited Hungary to request the expertise of the Council of Europe on ... read more

Tunisia - European parliament

19/01/2012
Strasbourg - the President of the Commission Gianni Buquicchio and its Deputy Secretary Simona Granata-Menghini will hold an exchange of views with the Monitoring Group on the Southern Mediterranean of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the EP on the post electoral situation in Tunisia

Tunisia - Constitutional Justice

17/01/2012 - 18/01/2012
Tunis - The Venice Commission will participate in the ABA ROLI-Arab Council for Judicial and Legal Studies (ACJLS) Workshop on “The Role of an Independent Judiciary in the Middle East and North Africa.”

Tunisia – Electoral issues – Round Table on Electoral Disputes

17/01/2012 - 18/01/2012
Tunis – At the request of the European Union (Electoral Reform International Services), a Judge specialised on electoral disputes participates on behalf of the Venice Commission in a Round Table on the electoral disputes of the results of the 23 October elections of the National Constituent Assembly. The topics are: analysis, perspectives and recommendations.

Tunisia - Venice Commission joins PACE post-election visit

16/01/2012 - 17/01/2012
Tunis – On 16 and 17 January 2012, the President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio and the Deputy Secretary of the Commission Simona Granata–Menghini participate in the visit of a delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to Tunisia. This visit follows up to the observation by PACE of the elections of the Constituent Assembly, which were held on 23 October 2011. The Venice Commission had participated in the observation mission in its capacity as legal counsel for PACE.

The Venice Commission, of which Tunisia is a full member, wishes to es... read more

Study on lobbying - Meeting of the working group

13/01/2012
Paris - Meeting of the working group on the study "Extra-institutional actors in the democratic system"

Kazakhstan - early parliamentary elections - legal support to the ad hoc committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

12/01/2012 - 16/01/2012
Astana - At the request of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Venice Commission ensured legal assistance to the Ad hoc Committee for the Observation of the early parliamentary elections of 15 January 2012.

A 15-member delegation of the PACE headed by Ms Elsa Papademetriou visited Kazakhstan from 12 to 16 January to observe the conduct of the early parliamentary election, alongside observers from the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the OSCE.

The delegation met the political parties both contesting and not conte... read more

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