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Activities by year: 2015

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Request for opinion - Poland

31/12/2015
Strasbourg, Warsaw - Following the request for an opinion on two draft laws on amending the Act on the Constitutional Court of 25 June 2015, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Mr Witold Waszczykowski transmitted to the Venice Commission the Act adopted on 22 December, which was published on 28 December 2015 (Journal of Laws 2015, item 2217).

Request for opinion – Poland

23/12/2015
Strasbourg, Warsaw - Today, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Mr Witold Waszczykowski, on behalf of the Polish government, requested the Venice Commission’s opinion on “ the constitutional issues addressed in the two proposals for the legislation amending the Act on the Constitutional Court of 25 June 2015. Both instruments were introduced into the agenda by the Polish Parliament by two groups of MPs, respectively on 2 and 15 December 2015 (Parliamentary Text Nos. 129 and 122)".

Elections at the Venice Commission

21/12/2015
Strasbourg – During its 105th plenary session, which took place on 18-19 December in Venice, the Venice Commission held biennial elections of its governing structures: Presidency, Bureau and Chairs of Sub-Commissions and Councils.

The incumbent President of the Commission Mr Gianni BUQUICCHIO of Italy was re-elected to lead the Commission for another two years. Ms Hanna SUCHOCKA of Poland was elected 1st Vice President of the Commission, Mr Christoph GRABENWARTER of Austria and Ms Herdis Kjerulf THORGEIRSDOTTIR of Iceland were elected Vice-Presidents of the Venice Commission.
read more

105th Plenary Session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

18/12/2015 - 19/12/2015
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista - At its 105th plenary session the Commission:
- Adopted:
• the interim opinion on the draft constitutional amendments focusing on the judiciary of Albania, previously examined by the Sub-Commission on the judiciary on 17 December 2015, and was informed that a revised version of the amendments would soon be submitted to the Venice Commission with a view to the adoption of a final opinion at the March session;
• the opinion on the Legislation on the disciplining and dismissal of judges and their professional evaluation of “the f... read more

Ukraine - Expert Round Table

15/12/2015
London – Thomas Markert, Secretary of the Venice Commission, participated in the Expert Roundtable “Bolstering the Rule of Law and National Security: is Ukraine Making Progress?”. The event was organised by the Chatham House, the Royal Institute for International affairs.

Russia – request for opinion

11/12/2015
PACE’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights requested the Venice Commission’s opinion on the draft law of the Russian Federation which would empower the Constitutional Court to determine whether findings by the international bodies on protection of human rights and freedoms (including those of the European Court of Human Rights ) are to be implemented.

Funding of political parties and electoral campaigns - parliamentary immunities: co-operation with the Parliamentary Assembly

10/12/2015 - 11/12/2015
Paris - The Venice Commission took part in a conference on "Funding of political parties and electoral campaigns; legislation and control mechanisms" organised by the Parliamentary Project Support Division of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, as well as in a hearing on the issue of parliamentary immunities in the framework of the meeting of the PACE Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs.

Latin America – International conference on the protection of human rights - Sub-Commission of Latin America

04/12/2015 - 05/12/2015
Santiago, Chile – The Venice Commission in cooperation with the Constitutional Court of Chile organised an international conference on the protection of human rights entitled “The Constitutional protection of vulnerable groups: a judicial dialogue”.

The Conference will be followed by a meeting of the Sub-Commission on Latin America of the Venice Commission.

Ukraine - High-Level Conference on Constitutional Reform

03/12/2015
Kyiv – a delegation of the Venice Commission participated in the high-level conference on the constitutional reform.

Russia - Vth International Congress of comparative law

01/12/2015 - 02/12/2015
Moscow – Secretary of the Venice Commission Thomas Markert participated in the Vth International Congress of Comparative Law entitled “Constitutional reforms of XXI century: new horizons“. This congress was organized by the Institute of legislation and comparative law of the government of the Russian Federation

“The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” – request for opinion

01/12/2015
The authorities of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” requested the Venice Commission’s opinion on the recent Laws on the Protection of Privacy and on the Protection of Whistleblowers.

South Mediterranean – Training seminar for civil servants of the MENA region - Contribution by the Venice Commission

30/11/2015 - 03/12/2015
Venice - The Venice Commission makes a contribution to the 1st PATHS training Module entitled: “Constitutional justice, transitional justice and the legislative process”.

This 1st module of training in the framework of the PATHS (Programme on Advanced Training on Human Rights for the Council of Europe’s Southern Neighbourhood) is aimed at high-level public servants from the MENA Region.

The Venice Commission’s contribution covers the topics relating to constitutional justice and the legislative process on 30 November and 1 December 2015.

Uzbekistan - International Conference on the protection of human rights

26/11/2015 - 27/11/2015
Tashkent – The Venice Commission participated in an International Conference entitled: “Ensuring the reliable protection of the human rights and freedoms - the major direction of democratic renewal and modernization of the country: experience of Uzbekistan”.

The event was organised by the National Human Rights Centre of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the UNDP Office, the Ombudsman of Uzbekistan, the OSCE and Konrad Adenauer Foundation and Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

European Union - Venice Commission - Ukraine

25/11/2015 - 27/11/2015
European Parliament, Strasbourg - President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio was invited to exchange of views on ongoing reforms in Ukraine with the Delegation of the European Parliament to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee.

The participation of the President was highly valued by the President of the EP Delegation Mr Andrej Plenković (EPP, HR). After the session Mr Plenković issued a statement.

Georgia - Regional Conference on Gender Equality in electoral processes

25/11/2015 - 26/11/2015
Tbilisi - The Venice Commission organises in cooperation with the Central Election Commission of Georgia a regional conference on Gender Equality in electoral processes. Among keynote speakers is Ms Herdís Thorgeirsdóttir, Vice-President of the Venice Commission; she will make a presentation on the international standards in the field of elections.

This activity falls in the framework of the Programmatic Cooperation Framework (PCF) for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by th... read more

Latin America - Annual Conference of Electoral Management Bodies

19/11/2015 - 20/11/2015
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - The Venice Commission participates in the annual Conference of the Electoral Management Bodies of Latin America held by the Organization of American States (OAS).

World Forum for Democracy

19/11/2015
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - The Venice Commission participates in the World Forum for Democracy namely in the Lab on “Leaders countering extremism”, and in the Lab on “Protecting civic space in intergovernmental settings”.

Russia – moot court competition on constitutional law

19/11/2015 - 20/11/2015
Saint-Petersburg - The Venice Commission supported the final round of the national moot-court competition on constitutional law for law schools students. This event is organised by the Institute for Law and Public Policy (ILPP). The report on this event is available at the site of the ILPP.

Freedom of Religion – Joint with OSCE/ODHIR Guidelines

18/11/2015
Istanbul – A representative of the Venice Commission participated in the launch event of the Joint –Venice Commission with the OSCE/ODIHR - Guidelines of Freedom of Religion in Turkish language.

Tunisia - IBOGOLUCC

18/11/2015
Tunis - The Venice Commission contributes to a seminar on the Constitutional Body on Good Governance and Fight Against Corruption (IBOGOLUCC).

Ukraine – forthcoming opinion – visit to the country

16/11/2015 - 17/11/2015
Kyiv – a delegation of the Venice Commission visits the country to exchange views with the authors of the Law “On the condemnation of the communist and national socialist (Nazi) regimes, and prohibition of propaganda of their symbols”, as well as with the representatives of political parties and civil society. The members of the delegation are the rapporteurs who prepare a draft opinion on the above-mentioned Law upon the request of the PACE Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States.

Montenegro – forthcoming opinion - visit

16/11/2015 - 17/11/2015
Podgorica - A delegation of the Venice Commission and the OSCE/Odihr visits Montenegro in the framework of the preparation of an Interim Joint Opinion on the Draft Law of Montenegro on Freedom of Religion.

Electoral matters - The Venice Commission receives an international award

14/11/2015
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - The Venice Commission received the International Institutional Engagement Award at the International Centre for Political Studies (ICPS) Electoral Awards Ceremony. It had also been shortlisted in the two other awards' categories: the Gender Equality and the Minority Participation.

Magna Carta – international seminar

12/11/2015
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - a representative of the Venice Commission is invited to participate in the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Seminar on “European Perspectives on Magna Carta”

The “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” – consultations concerning the judiciary

12/11/2015 - 13/11/2015
Skopje - Following a request by the European Commission, the Venice Commission examines Macedonian legislation concerning the disciplinary liability of judges, with a view of preparing an opinion. It will be submitted for adoption by the December 2015 Plenary Session of the Venice Commission.

A delegation of the Venice Commission visits Skopje on 12 and 13 November 2015 where it will have meetings with the representatives of the national authorities, judges and of the civil society concerned.

UniDem Campus for the Southern Mediterranean Countries – 1st National Coordinators Meeting

12/11/2015
Paris, France - The 1st National Coordinators Meeting of the UniDem Campus for the Southern Mediterranean Countries took place in Paris, France on 12 November 2012. The purpose of this meeting was:

- to present the Venice Commission’s contribution to the PATHS Module 1;
- to select the topics and venues for the seminars for 2016; to discuss the working methods of the UniDem Seminars as well as the follow-up to the seminars; and
- to present the new web page dedicated to the UniDem seminars.

Ukraine – Local elections – post-electoral conference

05/11/2015
Kyiv – A delegation of the Venice Commission participates in the conference on the latest local elections of 25 October 2015.

Turkey - 90th anniversary of Ankara University Faculty of Law - International law congress

03/11/2015
Ankara - The President of the Commission is invited to the International law congress on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of Ankara Faculty of Law. Mr Buquicchio intervenes on the standards on judicial independence and their relevance for Turkey.

Albania – forthcoming opinion on judiciary reform - visit by the rapporteurs

02/11/2015 - 03/11/2015
Tirana – a delegation of the Venice Commission visits Albania in the framework of the preparation of an opinion on the judicial system reform, namely on the draft constitutional amendments on the European integration and the judiciary.

The rapporteurs will meet President of Republic of Albania, Prime Minister, Speaker of Parliament, Chairman of Ad Hoc Parliamentary Committee “On Reform of Justice System”, and opposition members in Ad Hoc Parliamentary Committee, Chairmen of the Constitutional and High Courts, Minister of Justice, representatives of the international community pres... read more

Azerbaijan’s parliamentary elections – Legal assistance to PACE

31/10/2015 - 02/11/2015
Baku – A delegation of the Venice Commission accompanies the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) delegation to advise on the legal framework of the parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan scheduled for 1 November 2015.

The PACE delegation is to observe the opening, voting and counting processes of the parliamentary elections. The team will meet with diplomats, representatives of political parties and of NGOs.

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

31/10/2015 - 02/11/2015
Ankara - 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 parliamentary elections of 1 November 2015.

Ukraine – constitutional reform – judiciary

30/10/2015
Kyiv – Secretary of the Venice Commission Thomas Markert participates in the meeting of the Constitutional Commission. The Constitutional Commission will review the draft amendments to the Constitution concerning the judiciary in the light of the Venice Commission opinion.

Fundamental rights – international conference on implementation of the ECHR judgments

30/10/2015
Moscow State University – The Venice Commission participates in the Conference on “Challenges of Implementation of the Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights: Dialogues about Prisoners’ Voting”. The event is organised by the Council of Europe, Moscow State University, University of Oslo, University of Durham, Higher School on Economics and University of Surrey.

E-Voting

28/10/2015 - 29/10/2015
Strasbourg - The Venice Commission takes part in the first meeting of the Ad-hoc Committee of Experts on Legal, Operational and Technical Standards for E-Voting (CAHVE)

Conference of Central Asian constitutional control bodies

28/10/2015 - 29/10/2015
Strasbourg – A Conference of Central Asian constitutional control bodies will take place on 28 and 29 October 2015 in Strasbourg on the premises of the Council of Europe. It will bring together around 20 participants from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The President and judges of the Constitutional control bodies are meeting to discuss issues of common interest, such as how the separation of powers affects constitutional control bodies and constitutional interpretation techniques. The Conference participants will be able to exchange information and experience on the protec... read more

Ukraine – Local elections - Legal assistance to the observation mission of the PACE and the Congress

23/10/2015 - 25/10/2015
Kyiv - At the request of the Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the of the Council of Europe , the Venice Commission ensures legal assistance to the Election Observation Mission in the context of the local elections of 25 October 2015.

This activity falls in the framework of the Programmatic Cooperation Framework (PCF) for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.

Albania - Constitutional reform of the Judiciary

23/10/2015
Following a request for an opinion submitted by the President of ad hoc Parliamentary Committee in charge of the constitutional reform, Mr Fatmir Xhafaj, the Venice Commission will asses draft amendments to the Albanian Constitution, which concern, in particular, the organisation of the Judiciary. A visit of a delegation of experts of the Venice Commission to Tirana is planned for 2nd and 3rd of November. The opinion is prepared with a view of adoption at the December 2015 Plenary Session.

104th Plenary Session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

23/10/2015 - 24/10/2015
Venice - The Commission

- Paid tribute to the late Mr Hubert Haenel, member of the Venice Commission in respect of France;

- Held an exchange of views with Mr Kristaq Traja, Chair of the High Level Expert Group on the Amendment of the Constitution of Albania, on the draft constitutional amendments focusing on European integration and the judiciary of Albania, and authorised the rapporteurs to send a preliminary opinion on these amendments to the Albanian authorities prior to the December Plenary Session;

- Endorsed the two preliminary opinions on the draft ame... read more

OSCE/ODIHR - political parties

19/10/2015
Warsaw - Venice Commission is invited to participate in the annual meeting of the Core Group of Experts on Political Parties organised by the OSCE/ODIHR.

Electoral issues – International workshop on codification of electoral law

19/10/2015 - 20/10/2015
Bucharest - Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania organises in cooperation with the Venice Commission an international Workshop on Codification of the Electoral Law.

Kosovo – Constitutional Justice

16/10/2015
Pristina – The President of the Venice Commission participated in the Opening of the judicial Year of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo.

Russia – 90th anniversary of the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law

14/10/2015
Moscow - Mr Gianni Buquicchio, President of the Venice Commission, addressed the Grand Plenary Session of the Scientific Council of the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation. The Institute celebrated its 90th anniversary.

Democratic control of the security services agencies

13/10/2015 - 14/10/2015
Strasbourg - Iain Cameron, a member of the Venice Commission, participated in a conference of the Council of Europe devoted to the right to freedom of expression; on this occasion, Mr Cameron introduced the Report of the Commission on the democratic control of the security services agencies collecting intelligence by electromagnetic means, as updated in March 2015.

Assistance to the Constitutional Chamber of the Kyrgyz Republic

12/10/2015 - 13/10/2015
St. Petersburg – A study visit for judges of the Constitutional Chamber of the Kyrgyz Republic to the Constitutional court of the Russian Federation will take place on 12 and 13 October 2015. The study visit participants will start by attending a public hearing on 12 October. They will then get an insight into the work of the Russian colleagues as well as exchange opinions on a number of issues identified by the Kyrgyz delegation.

This visit is organised jointly with the UNDP office in Bishkek within the projects aimed at supporting the Constitutional Chamber of the Kyrgyz Republi... read more

PACE – Request for opinion on legislation of Spain

09/10/2015
Strasbourg - By a letter of 9 October 2015 the Monitoring Committee of the PACE requested Venice Commission opinion on the « Citizens’ Security Law » of Spain and on the Law on the changes to the powers of the Constitutional Court of Spain.

Armenia - Conference on “The Role of Constitutional Courts in Strengthening the Independence of the Judicial Power”

09/10/2015 - 10/10/2015
Yerevan - The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia, the Venice Commission and the Conference of the Constitutional Control Organs of the Countries of New Democracy co-organise, the 20th Annual Yerevan International Conference which will be held on 8 October 2015, in Yerevan. The subject of the Conference is “The Role of Constitutional Courts in Strengthening the Independence of the Judicial Power: Doctrinal Approaches and Contemporary Challenges”.

This Conference is financed by the EU programme : “Programmatic Cooperation Framework in the Eastern Partnership Countries”

International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) – Annual Conference

08/10/2015
Vienna – Ms Herdis Kjerulf Thorgeirsdottir, Vice President of the Venice Commission, represented the Commission at the IBAHRI’s annual conference on the “Independence of the legal profession in Europe”.

Assistance to the Constitutional Chamber of the Kyrgyz Republic

08/10/2015 - 09/10/2015
Bishkek – A Conference for lawyers, NGOs and academia on constitutional control of international treaties took place on 8 October 2015 in Bishkek. It was followed by a workshop for judges and staff of the Constitutional Chamber of the Kyrgyz Republic on 9 October where more technical issues on the same topic were discussed.

Following the request for an opinion made by the Constitutional Chamber on the Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Chamber of the Kyrgyz Republic, a delegation from the Venice Commission will be attending a meeting in Bishkek on 8 October to discuss this d... read more

Armenia - Constitutional amendments adopted

05/10/2015
On 5 October 2015 the National Assembly of Armenia adopted the constitutional amendments prepared by the Constitutional Commission in consultation with the Venice Commission. The Vice-Speaker read out a statement by the President of the Venice Commission, Mr Gianni Buquicchio.

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

02/10/2015 - 05/10/2015
Bishkek - At the request of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Venice Commission ensures legal assistance to the Election Observation Mission of the Assembly in the context of the parliamentary elections of 4 October 2015.

Azerbaijan - Constitutional Justice

02/10/2015
Baku – The President of the Venice Commission, Mr Buquicchio, participated in the conference on “Protection of human rights and freedoms by the Constitutional Court by means of individual complaint” at the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Constitution of Azerbaijan. This Conference examined how the Constitutional Courts can improve individual access to the Constitutional Court as a remedy to human rights violations..
The Venice Commission supported this conference, co-organised with the Constitutional Court of Azerbaijan and the German GIZ, through the joint Council of Europe - EU... read more

“The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” – request for opinion

02/10/2015
On 2 October 2015 the Directorate of Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) of the European Commission requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the legislation of the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” related to the disciplining and dismissal of judges and their professional evaluation.

Ukraine - forthcoming opinion on integrity checking

30/09/2015 - 01/10/2015
Kyiv - a delegation of the Venice Commission is in Kyiv to discuss the draft law on integrity checking.

Albania - 2015 Local Elections - post-electoral conference

29/09/2015 - 29/09/2015
Tirana - The Venice Commission takes part in the post-electoral Conference "Lessons Learned and Steps Ahead - Administration, Education and Participation".

Ibero-American Conference on Constitutional Justice

28/09/2015 - 02/10/2015
La Antigua, Guatemala – Seminar of the Ibero-American Conference on Constitutional Justice on “Fundamental rights of people deprived of their freedom in penitentiary establishments”.

Moldova - Constitutional Justice

24/09/2015 - 25/09/2015
Chisinau - The Constitutional Court of Moldova and the Venice Commission co-organised the International Conference on "Relations of the Constitutional Court with other public authorities". This Conference, which was financed by the EU Programme : “Programmatic Cooperation Framework in the Eastern Partnership Countries”, examined how the Constitutional Courts in Moldova and other Eastern Partnership countries interact with the legislative and executive powers (nomination of judges, budget) and how the Courts’ decisions are implemented.

Georgia - Undue pressure on the Constitutional Court - Statement by the President of the Venice Commission

22/09/2015
Strasbourg - I have learned about pressure being exercised on the judges of the Constitutional Court of Georgia and their families, notably through manifestations and pickets in front of their private homes.

In a democracy, the task of a Constitutional Court is to ensure the supremacy of the Constitution in the country. Its judgements are final and binding and they are executed in a State which respects the Rule of Law. This does not mean that the public cannot express critical views on these judgements. However, such criticism should be voiced in a respectful and legal manner. The... read more

Tajikistan - 20th anniversary of the Constitutional Court

17/09/2015 - 18/09/2015
Dushanbe – The Venice Commission’s Vice-President Ms Kjerulf Thorgeirsdottir participated in the International Conference on “Constitutional Justice as a Guarantee of the Supremacy of the Constitution" on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Constitutional Court of Tajikistan.

Bulgaria - draft constitutional amendments in the field of the judiciary

15/09/2015 - 16/09/2015
Sofia - A delegation of the Venice Commission will visit Bulgaria to hold discussions on draft constitutional amendments in the field of the judiciary, in the framework of a request for opinion submitted by the Bulgarian authorities. The delegation will meet with representatives of the authorities as well as of the judiciary, including professional associations of judges and prosecutors, and the civil society.

Glasgow - Seminar on "A Human Rights approach to elections"

14/09/2015 - 15/09/2015
The Venice Commission participates in a seminar organised by the University of Glasgow with academics and practioners on the topic of human rights and elections.

South Mediterranean - Regional seminar for high-level civil servants of the MENA region - Project UniDem South Mediterranean

14/09/2015 - 17/09/2015
Rabat - The Venice Commission is launching in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Service and Modernisation of the Administration of the Kingdom of Morocco, a legal capacity-building programme for high-level civil servants of the MENA region (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Palestine, Tunisia), called Project UniDem South Mediterranean.

The first UniDem (University for Democracy) seminar focuses on “Human rights and public service”.

Bosnia and Herzegovina – draft law on the ombudsman

10/09/2015 - 11/09/2015
Sarajevo - A delegation of the Venice Commission visits Bosnia and Herzegovina to hold discussions on the draft law on the ombudsman for human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This visit is taking place in the framework of the preparation of an opinion upon a request submitted by the Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees.
The delegation will hold meetings with representatives of the authorities as well as of the Ombudsman Institution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the civil society and international organisations present in the country.

PACE- Hearing on gender equality in the electoral field

10/09/2015 - 10/09/2015
Paris - On 10 September 2015, the Venice Commission is invited to a hearing at the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Association of European Election Officials (ACEEEO) – Annual conference

10/09/2015 - 11/09/2015
Chisinau – A representative of the Venice Commission participates in the 24th Annual conference of the ACEEEO entitled “Continuous training of electoral stakeholders - Equality of voters, equality of votes”.

Georgia - Constitutional Justice

09/09/2015 - 10/09/2015
Batumi - The Venice Commission participated in the International Conference on the “Application of International Treaties by Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Bodies: Challenges to the Dialogue”.

Conference of European Constitutional Courts - preparatory meeting

09/09/2015
Batumi - The Conference of European Constitutional Courts held its preparatory meeting for the XVIIth Congress.

Georgia - Central Electoral Commission - Gender Equality Commission

08/09/2015
Central Election Commission, Tbilisi - The Gender Equality Commission of the Central Election Commission of Georgia and representatives of the Venice Commission meet to discuss best practices in the field of gender equality and the Roadmap for the implementation of the five-year Strategic Plan on gender equality of the Central Election Commission of Georgia.

Cette activité relève du Cadre de coopération programmatique (PCF) pour l’Arménie, l’Azerbaïdjan, la Géorgie, la République de Moldova, l’Ukraine et le Bélarus, financé par l’Union européenne et le Conseil de l’Europe, et mis e... read more

International conference on Lustration

07/09/2015
Prague - The Venice Commission organises, in co-operation with the Institute of International Relations Prague – IRR, a conference on “Past and present-day lustration: similarities, differences, applicable standards”, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.

Kyrgyzstan - opinion request

03/09/2015
Strasbourg - The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the Draft Rules of Procedure of the Chamber.

Mexico- Global conference on Money and Politics

03/09/2015 - 05/09/2015
Mexico- The Venice Commission participates in a conference on "Money and Politics" co-organised by the Federal Electoral Tribunal of Mexico and International IDEA.

Kazakhstan – 20th anniversary of the Constitution

28/08/2015 - 29/08/2015
Astana – Venice Commission representatives participated in an international conference entitled “Constitution - unity, stability, prosperity “held on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the referendum on the Constitution of Kazakhstan. The President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbaev welcomed the participants of the conference during the opening ceremony.

Ukraine - Constitutional reform

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

Southern African Chief Justices Forum

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

Armenia - Constitutional reform

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

Ukraine - Transitional Provisions of the Constitution

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

Request for opinion – Montenegro

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

Albania - Reform of the Judiciary

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

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

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

Peru - Human Rights Conference

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

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

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

Indonesia - Constitutional Complaint

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

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

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

Asia - Constitutional Justice

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

  AACC

Ukraine - request for opinion

13/08/2015
By a letter of 13 August 2015, the Ukrainian authorities asked the Venice Commission’s opinion on the compatibility with international standards of the draft law on integrity checking.

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

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

Request for opinion – Bulgaria

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

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

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

Ukraine - Judiciary - preliminary opinion

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

Peru withdraws its request for an opinion

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

Tunis - Truth and Dignity Body

22/07/2015
The Truth and Dignity Body of Tunisia has requested an opinion of the Venice Commisison on the draft organic law related to specific proceedings regarding reconcilation in economic and financial areas.

Ukraine – urgent request for opinion

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

OSCE - Election Seminar

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

Kyiv, Ukraine - Constitutional Reform

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

Ukraine - Political Party Expert Workshop

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

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

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

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

Request for opinion – PACE – Russia

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

Armenia - Constitutional reform

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

Publication on the judicial systems in Central Asia

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

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

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

29/06/2015
Strasbourg - “I very much welcome that the Constitutional Commission of Ukraine approved on Friday draft amendments to the Constitution regarding decentralisation.

The text approved integrates most of the recommendations made by the Venice Commission and I would like to thank the President of the Constitutional Commission and Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Mr Volodymyr Groysman, for the excellent co-operation with the Venice Commission and congratulate him on the results of this co-operation.

Decentralisation is one of the key reforms required for the democratic develo... read more

5th Black Sea International Conference

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

Ukraine - Constitutional reform

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

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

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

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

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

Preliminary opinion on proposed decentralisation in Ukraine

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

Declaration on Interference with Judicial Independence in Turkey

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

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

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

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

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

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

European Parliament – judiciary in Pre-Accession Countries – international conference

18/06/2015 - 19/06/2015
Parliament of Montenegro, Budva - a representative of the Venice Commission addressed an inter-parliamentary conference entitled “Towards independent and modern Judicial systems in the enlargement countries”.

The event is meant for high-level members from the seven Pre-Accession Countries' Parliaments. The conference is also attended by a high-level EP delegation, composed of MEPs from the AFET, JURI and LIBE Committees.

The event is organised in cooperation with the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Jus... read more

Ibero-American Conference on Constitutional Justice

15/06/2015 - 18/06/2015
Montevideo, Uruguay – Seminar of the Ibero-American Conference on Constitutional Justice on “New challenges to the right to privacy”.

Constitutional Justice - Joint Council

11/06/2015 - 12/06/2015
Bucharest - Following a training session for liaison officers on CODICES and the Venice Forum, the 14th meeting of the Joint Council on Constitutional Justice was opened by the President of the Constitutional Court of Romania, Mr Zegrean, the host of the meeting, which was organised in an excellent manner by his Court.

The two Co-Presidents of the Joint Council, Justice Kang, Republic of Korea, and Ms Kovac, Hungary, chaired the meeting and the ensuing mini-conference on “Blasphemy and other limitations to the freedom of expression”.

The Joint Council on Constitutional J... read more

Lebanon – Launch of the Regional Organisation of the Arab Electoral Management Bodies

08/06/2015 - 09/06/2015
Beirut – The Venice Commission is invited to participate in the official launching of the Regional Organisation of the Arab Electoral Management Bodies.
The main topics of the event are the establishment of the Organisation and strategies for regional cooperation in the field of elections in the Arab world.

A number of countries of the Middle East announced their participation in the event.

Albania - Judicial reform – Round table

08/06/2015
Tirana - The Venice Commission participates in a round table devoted to the process of judicial reform in Albania. During the meeting, the conclusions and recommendations of the current state of the examination phase of the Albanian judicial system will be presented to the ad-hoc Committee of the Albanian Parliament for the reform of justice. Following the request of the Albanian authorities, the Venice Commission participates in the reform process.

Rome - Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy

05/06/2015
Rome - The President of the Venice Commission, Gianni Buquicchio, is participating in a meeting of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe at the Chamber of Deputies in Rome.

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

05/06/2015 - 08/06/2015
Ankara - 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 parliamentary elections of 7 June 2015.

Electoral issues - Parliamentary conference on the implementation of the right to free elections

04/06/2015 - 05/06/2015
Paris - Venice Commission organises in cooperation with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the French National Assembly a conference on the implementation of the right to free elections. The challenge of implementing electoral legislation and compliance with standards of the Council of Europe will be the central issues of the conference.

This event is the first parliamentary conference of its kind dealing with electoral matters. It is organised within the Framework Programmatic Cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries. Elected officials from six count... read more

Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe - Presentation of the 2014 annual report of activities of the Commission

03/06/2015
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio presented the Annual report of activities of the Commission in 2014. The presentation was followed by the exchange of views with the Ambassadors of the member states of the Council of Europe.

Association of Constitutional Courts using the French Language

03/06/2015 - 07/06/2015
Lausanne - 7th Congress of the Association of Constitutional Courts using the French Language

IACL - ‘new’ separation of powers

28/05/2015 - 29/05/2015
Johannesburg – the President of the Venice Commission participated in meeting of the Executive Committee of of International Association of Constitutional Law the and in its Roundtable on “the ‘new’séparation of powers: can the doctrine evolve to meet the c21 context?” co-organised with the University of Johannesburg, SAIFAC and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

South Africa - constitutional justice

28/05/2015
Johannesburg – The President of the Venice Commission met the Chief Justice of the Consitutional Court of South Africa Mogoeng Mogoeng in order to discuss bilateral co-operation and co-operation in the framework of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice.

Tunisia – Constitutional Justice -Meeting with the Commission for the drafting of the law on the Constitutional court

28/05/2015 - 28/05/2015
Tunis – In the Framework of the south Programme II, members of the Commission of the Ministry of Justice responsible for the drafting of the law on the Constitutional court of Tunisia had an exchange of view with judges from European Constitutional Courts of Venice Commission’s member States. The composition of courts, their jurisdiction and the effects of their decisions have been discussed.

Romania – meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs

27/05/2015
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – Secretary of the Commission Thomas Markert meets the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania Bogdan Aurescu, the substitute member of the Venice Commission in respect of Romania.

Italy – Trento Province – Direct and participatory democracy

27/05/2015
Trento - A delegation of the Venice Commission meets the authorities of the Trento Province as a step in the preparation of the Opinion on a Citizens' Initiative Bill on Public Participation, Citizens' Initiative, Referendums and Popular Initiative and Amendments to the Provincial Electoral Law.

Georgia - request for opinion

26/05/2015
The Ministry of Justice of Georgia requested the Venice Commission to provide an opinion on the draft amendments to the law on the Prosecutor’s Office. The opinion will be prepared jointly with the experts of the OSCE/ODIHR and DG-I.

10th International Electoral Affairs Symposium

26/05/2015 - 27/05/2015
Montego Bay, Jamaica - An expert of the Venice Commission takes part in the 10th International Electoral Affairs Symposium, organised by the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies (ICPS) and dedicated to :
•Improving training for EMB staff
•Building transparency and accountability in election financing
•The role of social media in elections
•Effective election dispute resolution
•Engaging with all stakeholders
•Increasing voter turnout
•The value of the vote - equality in the value of votes
•Current and emerging technologies that could transform... read more

Programmatic Cooperation Framework (PCF) in the Eastern Partnership Countries – Training sessions on electoral dispute resolution for proxies

25/05/2015 - 29/05/2015
Chisinau – The Venice Commission in cooperation with the training Centre of the Central Electoral Commission of Moldova, organises four training sessions on electoral dispute resolution for proxies, i.e. delegates of political parties participating in the local elections. Three sessions are devoted to:

• best practices on electoral dispute resolution, case studies on campaigning and electoral advertising;
• best practices on electoral dispute resolution, case studies on election day and election results;
• electoral dispute resolution, case studies on: Republic of Moldova... read more

Georgia – constitutional reform

22/05/2015
Gudauri - Upon invitation by the Constitutional Reform Commission of Georgia (CRC), a delegation of the Venice Commission led by former Member, Ms Slavica Banic, Judge at the Constitutional Court of Croatia, discussed with the CRC judicial independence and the introduction of a full constitutional complaint to the Constitutional Court.

Armenia - request for opinion

22/05/2015
Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia requested the Venice Commission's opinion on the draft amendments to the Law on Human Rights Defender.

Judicial independence – OSCE

19/05/2015
Vienna - Upon invitation by the OSCE, the President of the Sub-Commission on Democratic Institutions, Ms Suchocka, presented the work of the Commission for the independence of the Judiciary to the OSCE Human Dimension Committee.

Bosnia and Herzegovina – request for opinion

18/05/2015
The Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees requested the Venice Commission to provide an opinion on the Law on Human Rights Ombudsman of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Armenia - Constitutional reform

18/05/2015 - 19/05/2015
Paris, Office of the Council of Europe - Members of the Professional Commission on constitutional reform in Armenia and members of the Venice Commission meet to discuss draft amendments to the first two chapters of the Constitution of the Armenia.

Tunisia – constitutional justice

14/05/2015
Tunis – The Head of the Constitutional Justice Division of the Venice Commission met with Prof. Amin Mahfoudh, the president of the expert Commission of the Ministry of Justice preparing a draft law on the Constitutional Court of Tunisia, in order to discuss future co-operation.

Morocco – Constitutional Justice – Seminar on the indirect individual access to Constitutional court

13/05/2015
Rabat – In the framework of the South Programme II, and in view of Morocco’s adoption of an organic law on individual requests before the Constitutional Court, the Venice Commission and the Ministry of Justice and Liberties of Morocco have co- organised a seminar in Rabat, on 13 May 2015.
The seminar took place in the presence of the Minister of Justice and of other high-level representatives of the judiciary as well as of Venice Commission experts and representatives of the European Union. The experience of the Constitutional Court of Jordan was presented as well as the experience of E... read more

Assistance to the Constitutional Chamber of the Kyrgyz Republic

11/05/2015 - 12/05/2015
Bishkek – A workshop for judges and staff of the Constitutional Chamber of the Kyrgyz Republic on reasoning of judgements will take place on 11 May 2015 in Bishkek. The workshop will be followed by a Conference on the same topic for a wider public on 12 May.

The speakers – practitioners and theorists of state building - will present the experience of their countries and that of the European Court of Human Rights as well as a comparative analysis of the purpose and functions of constitutional reasoning.

These activities are organised jointly with the UNDP office in Bishke... read more

Africa - Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa

07/05/2015 - 10/05/2015
Libreville, Gabon - Mr Buquicchio, President of the Venice Commission, participated in the 3rd Congress of the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa (CCJA) on the topic "Constitutional Court and regulatory function".

  CCJA

Morocco - 15th Training session of collaborators of the Mediators members of the AOMF

05/05/2015 - 07/05/2015
Rabat - The Venice Commission contributes to a training session organised by the AOMF and the Mediator Institution of the Kingdom of Morocco in Rabat on 5-7 May 2015. The general subject of the session is " Simplification of administrative proceedings and access to public services".
This contribution is funded through the Joint EU - Council of Europe programme "Towards a Strengthened Democratic Governance in the Southern Mediterranean”

Romania - conference on national minorities protection

30/04/2015
Cluj-Napoca - The Venice Commission participated in a conference, organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania and the Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, to celebrate 20 years since the opening for signature of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and 20 years since the ratification of the Convention by Romania. On this occasion, the Babes-Bolyai University awarded the President Gianni Buquicchio the title of Doctor Honoris Causa.

Kyrgyzstan – Conference on constitutional amendment

28/04/2015
Bishkek – A Conference on “International experience on introducing Constitutional amendments and on Constitutional revisions” took place on 28 April 2015 in Bishkek.

The delegation of the Venice Commission was composed of its members and substitute members from Georgie, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Korea and Turkey. The speakers - leading constitutionalists in their countries - presented the experience of their countries in the field of constitutional reforms. The President of the Venice Commission addressed the participants by video message. This event provided a platform for the excha... read more

Financing of electoral campaigns: a challenge for the electoral processes in the countries of the Southern Mediterranean

27/04/2015 - 28/04/2015
The legislative and presidential elections recently held in Tunisia and the proximity of upcoming local elections appear as valuable elements to nourish a reflection on the issue of democratic processes.
The question of financing of politics and the electoral processes in particular emerged as a priority which inevitably affects the application of real democratic governance requiring the participation of citizens and institutions at all levels.
The aim of this meeting will be to examine and develop these reflections and to formulate concrete proposals which respond to the requiremen... read more

Republic of Moldova – request for opinion

23/04/2015
The newly elected People’s Advocate (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Moldova transmitted to the Venice Commission a request for an Opinion on the Law on the People’s Advocate (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Moldova.

Republic of Moldova – Conference on the Reform of the Prosecution Service -

21/04/2015
Chisinau –The Venice Commission takes part in a conference on the Reform of the Prosecution Service, co-organised with the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Moldova. This event is organised as a follow-up to the recent Opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft Law on the Prosecution Service

Hungary – forthcoming opinion on media legislation - visit by the Venice Commission

16/04/2015 - 17/04/2015
Budapest - A delegation of the Venice Commission is visiting Hungary as a part of the preparation of an opinion on media legislation in Hungary, following the PACE Resolution (2035)2015 on freedom of media in Europe. The 2010 Act CLXXXV on Media Services and on the Mass Media, the 2010 Act CIV on Freedom of the Press and the legislation on taxation of advertisement revenues of mass-media are in the centre of attention of the rapporteurs of the Commission.

Representatives of the Commission are to hold discussions on possible improvements of the legislation in force with the represe... read more

World Conference on Constitutional Justice - Mexico

11/04/2015
Strasbourg - The Electoral Court of the Federal Judiciary of Mexico joined the World Conference on Constitutional Justice, which now has 96 members.

Georgia - request for opinion

01/04/2015
The Constitutional Court of Georgia has made a request for an amicus curiae brief from the Venice Commission on whether a higher court is entitled to go beyond the scope of a complaint in criminal cases. The amicus curiae brief should be adopted by the Venice Commission at its 103rd Plenary Session in June 2015.

Belgium - Constitutional Justice

01/04/2015
Brussels - The Commission will participate in the 30th anniversary celebration of the Belgian Constitutional Court (formerly Court of Arbitration).

Albania - Workshop on the Rules of Procedure of the Central Electoral Commission

01/04/2015
Tirana - The Venice Commission takes part in a technical workshop of the Central Electoral Commission of Albania on the Rules of Procedure of the Central Electoral Commission, in view of their adoption.

Belgium - Electoral issues - 12th European Conference of the Electoral Management Bodies

30/03/2015 - 31/03/2015
Brussels – The role of electoral management bodies in ensuring neutrality, impartiality and transparency in elections was the focus of an international conference which took place in the Palais d’Egmont, Brussels, Belgium, on 30-31 March 2015.

More than 160 participants, representatives of 60 countries and several international institutions – including chairs and members of central electoral commissions and administrations from Europe and beyond – held an exchange of views on the standards for neutral, impartial and transparent elections and good practices addressing the functioni... read more

Tunis - Hearing at the Parliament of Tunisia

30/03/2015
Tunis - A delegation of the Venice Commission headed by Mr Guido Neppi Modona, Substitute member of the Venice Commission, participated in an exchange of views with the Parliament of Tunisia on the High Judicial Council.

Tunisia – Grand republican march against terrorism

29/03/2015
Tunis – The President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio was invited along with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Mr Thorbjørn Jagland and the President of the PACE Ms Anne Brasseur, to take part in a grand republican march against terrorism. This event took place at midday on Sunday 29 March 2015 in Tunis and was led by the President of the Republic of Tunisia, Mr Beji Caid Essebsi.

French Speaking Courts - Constitutional Justice correspondents

26/03/2015 - 27/03/2015
Strasbourg - The Venice Commission together with the Association of Constitutional Courts using the French Language (ACCPUF) organised a training seminar for the ACCPUF correspondents on how to use and feed the CODICES database as well as the Venice Forum.

Electoral Integrity and Regional Cooperation - 2nd International Conference - Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania

25/03/2015 - 26/03/2015
Bucharest – A member of the Venice Commission took part in the 2nd International Conference of the Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania, on “Electoral Integrity and Regional Cooperation”. He presented a report on “International and European Standards on Integrity of Elections”.

Republic of Moldova - Conference on electoral issues

23/03/2015 - 24/03/2015
Chisinau - The Venice Commission participated in a conference organised as a follow-up to the parliamentary elections of November 2014.

Kuwait - Union of Arab Constitutional Courts and Councils

22/03/2015
Kuwait - The Union of Arab Constitutional Courts and Councils (UACCC) held its bi-annual symposium in Kuwait. The President of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo represented the Venice Commission in the meeting.

World Conference on Constitutional Justice - Bureau

21/03/2015
Venice - The World Conference on Constitutional Justice, which has 95 member Courts, held the 9th meeting of its Bureau in Venice. Following the congresses in Cape Town (2009), Rio de Janeiro (2011) and Seoul (2014), the Bureau accepted the candidacy of the Constitutional Court of Lithuania to host the 4th Congress in Vilnius in 2017. The Bureau also examined the financial report and discussed activities in between the congresses. The regional and linguistic groups of Courts represented in the Bureau informed the participants about the programme of activities of their respective groups.

  WCCJ

102nd Plenary Session of the Venice Commission (Venice) - Constitutional amendments necessary for effective justice reform in Ukraine

20/03/2015 - 21/03/2015
Scuola San Giovanni Evangelista - An opinion issued by the Venice Commission, stated that the main obstacles to ensuring an independent judiciary in Ukraine lies in constitutional provisions.

Even though Ukraine is facing a particularly trying time, the issue of ensuring an independent judiciary is essential for a more democratic future of the country, experts said in the plenary.

The Law on the Judicial System and the Status of Judges is rooted in the existing constitution, which prevents fundamental changes in the judicial system, said experts from the Venice Commis... read more

Bulgaria - judicial reform

17/03/2015
Strasbourg – The Minister of Justice of Bulgaria, Mr Hristo Ivanov, Deputy Minister Mr Petko Petkov and Bulgaria’s Permanent Representative with the Council of Europe, Ambassador Krassimira Beshkova, met with the President of the Venice Commission, Mr Gianni Buquicchio, and the Secretary of Commission, Mr Markert, to discuss co-operation in the field of judicial reform in Bulgaria.

Revision of Joint Guidelines on Freedom of Assembly

12/03/2015 - 13/03/2015
Warsaw – the Venice Commission participated in the panel meeting for the revision of Venice Commission/ODIHR Joint Guidelines on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly.

Meetings with the Moroccan authorities

11/03/2015 - 12/03/2015
Meetings with the President of the Constitutional Council, the Ombudsman of the Kingdom of Morocco, a representative of the National Council for Human Rights, representatives of the Ministry of Civil Service and Modernisation of Administration and the Ministry of Relations with Parliament and Civil Society have helped to trace the lines of future cooperation with the Venice Commission.

Tunisia - Venice Commission at work on implementation of the Constitution

10/03/2015
Tunis - The President of the Venice Commission, Mr Gianni Buquicchio‎, accompanied by the Deputy Secretary of the Venice Commission, Ms Simona Granata-Menghini met in Tunis with the President of the Republic, the Speaker of the Assembly of People's Representatives, with the Minister of Justice, with the Minister responsible for the relations with the constitutional institutions and the civil society and with other high authorities of Tunisia. The main topic of the discussions was the future co-operation between Tunisia and the Venice Commission, notably in view of the implementation of the C... read more

Poland - Regional Roundtable on Election Dispute Resolution

09/03/2015 - 10/03/2015
Warsaw - At the invitation of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE (the OSCE/ODIHR), a representative of the Venice Commission intervened at a Roundtable on Election Dispute Resolution. This Roundtable saw organised for representatives of the countries beneficiaries of the Eastern Partnership Facility Programme of the European Union. Judges, representatives of the civil society and media took part in this event.

Freedom of Association – Launching of the Guidelines

05/03/2015
Geneva - the Venice Commission participated in a launch event of the Joint Venice Commission - OSCE /ODIHR Guidelines on Freedom of Association, hosted by Switzerland. The President of the Venice Commission, the Director of OSCE/ODIHR and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association took part in the event.

The Joint Guidelines were adopted by the Venice Commission at its 101st Plenary Session, on 12-13 December 2014.

Ukraine - Request for opinion

04/03/2015
Mr Volodymyr Groysman, Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada, requested an opinion on draft constitutional amendments on the immunity of the members of the Parliament and judges of Ukraine.

Kiev - Conference on reform of the Law on Local Elections of Ukraine

27/02/2015 - 27/02/2015
Kiev, Ukraine - The Secretary of the Commission, Thomas Markert, made an opening speech at the Conference on reform of the Law on Local Elections: Problems and Solutions, organised by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Committee of Voters of Ukraine.

Ukraine – forthcoming Joint Opinion on the Law on Fair Trial

24/02/2015
Paris – A delegation of the Venice Commission and the Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law hold discussions with representatives of the Ukrainian authorities - Mr. Oleksiy Filatov, Deputy Head of the Presidential administration, and Ms. Oksana Syroid, Vice-Speaker of the Parliament - in the framework of the forthcoming Joint Opinion on the Law on Fair Trial.

Hungary – request for opinion

20/02/2015
On 29 January 2015 PACE adopted Resolution 2035 (2015) where it invited the Venice Commission to identify the provisions of the Hungarian media legislation which pose a danger to the right to freedom of expression and information through the media. In particular, the Venice Commission was invited to analyse provisions of Act CLXXXV of 2010 (on Media Services and Mass Media), Act CIV (on the Freedom of the Press and the Fundamental Rules of Media Content), and in the Hungarian tax laws on progressive tax on advertising revenue for media.

The draft opinion will be submitted at the J... read more

Japan - Visit of the President of the Venice Commission

12/02/2015 - 16/02/2015
Tokyo, Nagoya - The President of the Venice Commission, Gianni Buquicchio, was invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan to go to Japan to hold an exchange of views with the Japanese authorities. Accompanied by Thomas Markert, Secretary of the Commission, President Buquicchio met Mr Itsuro Terada, Chief Justice of Japan, as well as members of parliament and representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Agency for International Co-operation.

On 13 February Mr Buquicchio gave a lecture on the Venice Commission at the Center for Asian Le... read more

Human rights and electoral standards – international conference

11/02/2015 - 12/02/2015
Atlanta, USA – Venice Commission participated in an international conference on Human Rights and electoral standards organised by the Carter Center - one of the leading American NGOs advancing inter alia democracy, human rights.

The participants discussed, among other issues, co-operation and co-ordination between election observers and human rights mechanisms, use of modern IT tools by electoral observation missions and interaction between national actors and international organisations during the election observation.

Asian system of human rights protection

08/02/2015
Nagoya – Upon invitation of the University of Nagoya / CALE, the Head of the Constitutional Justice Division of the Secretariat of the Venice Commission participated in the international symposium on “Multi-layered Constitutionalization in the Context of Integration in East Asia”. This event is a follow-up to the 3rd Congress of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice at which the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Korea proposed the establishment of an Asian Court of Human Rights. This proposal was welcomed in the Seoul Communiqué adopted at the Congress. ... read more

Request for opinion - Peru

06/02/2015
The Vice-Minister of Justice of Peru requested the Venice Commission to provide an opinion on several draft laws, notably on:
- draft law on anti-discrimination,
- draft law on same-gender unions,
- draft amendments to provisions of the Criminal Code on discrimination and hate crimes.

Request for an opinion – Italy – Trento Province

05/02/2015
The Presidency of the Italian Council of Ministers transmitted to the Venice Commission a request by the Provincial Council of the Trento Province for an Opinion on a Citizens' Initiative Bill on Public Participation, Citizens' Initiative, Referendums and Popular Initiative and Amendments to the Provincial Electoral Law.

Venice Commission – Ukraine: Constitutional reform to be tackled urgently

05/02/2015
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - Consultations in Kyiv on 3-4 February 2015 between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko and the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Volodymyr Groysman, with a delegation of the Venice Commission, headed by its President, Gianni Buquicchio, focused on constitutional reform, reform of the judiciary and decentralisation. The Venice Commission delegation also met representatives of political forces represented in the Verkhovna Rada and the President of the Constitutional Court Yuriy Baulin.

Th... read more

Republic of Moldova - forthcoming opinion on the Draft law on Prosecution service

05/02/2015 - 06/02/2015
Chisinau - A delegation of the Venice Commission visited the Republic of Moldova to hold discussions with representatives of the authorities (the Ministry of Justice, the Parliament, the General Prosecutor’s Office, and the Prosecutorial Council) as well as of the association of prosecutors and the civil society. Meetings were also held with International Organisations’ representatives in Chisinau.
The delegation included one expert of the Council of Europe’s Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law and a representative of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Ri... read more

Africa – Constitutional Justice

04/02/2015 - 05/02/2015
Maputo – 6th meeting of the Executive Bureau of the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa.

  CCJA

Legal Personality of Religious or Belief Communities – Launching of the Guidelines

04/02/2015
Brussels - the Venice Commission participated in the Launch event of the Joint Venice Commission/OSCE/ODIHR Odihr Guidelines on the Legal Personality of Religious or Belief Communities, hosted by the European Parliament.

Ukraine – visit by Venice Commission delegation headed by its President

03/02/2015 - 04/02/2015
Kyiv – President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio, Secretary of the Commission Thomas Markert, and the Commission Member Hanna Suchocka visited Ukraine and met with the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Volodymyr Groysman and Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko to discuss cooperation in the constitutional, judicial and electoral fields.

World Conference on Constitutional Justice - Kuwait

02/02/2015
The Constitutional Court of Kuwait joined the World Conference on Constitutional Justice, which now has 95 members.

Meeting on electoral reform in Ukraine

27/01/2015 - 28/01/2015
Strasbourg.- A group of experts from Ukraine met in Strasbourg with the Venice Commission and representatives from the Council of Europe to discuss the electoral reform in Ukraine.

Albania - Visit by the President of the Venice Commission

26/01/2015 - 28/01/2015
Tirana - The President of the Venice Commission was in Tirana to participate in a conference organised by the Institute of European Studies on the topic :" Venice Commission and Albania, the dynamism of the Albanian legislation to European standards".

Mr Buquicchio also held meetings inter alia with the President, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Justice and several MPs of both the ruling majority and the opposition on the topics of the reform of the judiciary and the "decriminalisation of parliament".

A press conference took place at on 28 January 13h00 at the hotel... read more

Turkey - Towards a new constitution - Judicial independence, decentralised governance, methodology.

22/01/2015 - 22/01/2015
Ankara - The Venice Commission organised together with the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) a Roundtable meeting “Towards a new Constitution: Judicial independence, decentralised governance, methodology”. The President of the Venice Commission, Gianni Buquicchio, and the Secretary of the Venice Commission, Thomas Markert, participated in the Roundtable.

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