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Recent and Current Events

Francophone countries – Constitutional Justice

27/09/2016 - 30/09/2016
Chisinau – Conference of Head of Institutions of the Association of Constitutional Courts using the French Language (ACCPUF).

Morocco – implementation of organic laws on Superior Council of the Judiciary and Status of Judges 26/9/2016

26/09/2016 - 28/09/2016
Rabat - A delegation of members of the Venice Commission and the CEPEJ are meeting representatives of the Ministry of Justice and Freedoms and professional associations of judges for an exchange of views on the implementation of two organic laws (on Superior Council of the Judiciary and Status of Judges) prepared in accordance with Title VII of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Morocco, adopted in July 2011.

Bosnia and Herzegovina – Statement by the Venice Commission's President Gianni Buquicchio

23/09/2016
Strasbourg - I am alarmed by the fact that, despite a decision by the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina of 17 September 2016 to suspend the referendum in Republika Srpska scheduled for 25 September 2016, the authorities of Republika Srpska intend to go ahead with the organisation of the referendum. In a state governed by the rule of law the judgments of the Constitutional Court are implemented and are not made the subject of a vote, whether in parliament or by the people.

The Constitutional Court has declared the Day of the Republika Sprska unconstitutional as being ... read more

Constitutional Justice - Southern African Chief Justices Forum

23/09/2016 - 24/09/2016
Windhoek – The Venice Commission and the World Conference on Constitutional Justice participated in the Conference and Annual General Meeting of the on the Southern African Chief Justices Forum on “Contemporary Issues in the Prevention of Organised Crime”.

Association of European Election Officials (ACEEEO) – 25th Annual Conference

22/09/2016 - 23/09/2016
Tirana – A representative of the Venice Commission participates in the 25th Annual conference of the ACEEEO entitled “25 years of electoral processes”. The representative of the Venice Commission intervenes at the occasion of a World Leaders Summit dedicated to this topic.

Bulgaria - Constitutional justice

21/09/2016 - 22/09/2016
Sofia - The President of the Venice Commission participated in the International Conference on “The Protection of Fundamental Citizens’ Rights and National Security in the Modern World. The Role of Constitutional Courts” on the occasion of the 25th anniversary Constitutional Court of Bulgaria.

« The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” – forthcoming opinion – country visit

21/09/2016 - 22/09/2016
Skopje - A delegation of the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR - two organisations preparing a joint opinion on the Election Code amended in November 2015 - will meet representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the Central Election Commission, the major political parties, the State Audit Office, the public broadcaster and the civil society.

The Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on the Electoral Code of "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" amended in November 2015. Following this request a... read more

Azerbaijan - Constitutional draft modifications are negative and “at odds with European constitutional heritage”

20/09/2016
Council of Europe, Strasbourg – Constitutional modifications proposed for vote in a referendum in Azerbaijan next Sunday 26 September 2016 are assessed negatively and “at odds with European constitutional heritage” by the Venice Commission in its Preliminary Opinion made public today.

The draft modifications concern 29 provisions of the Constitution and concern:
• a number of human rights provisions;
• additional powers of the President, his term of office and introduction of the figure of (appointed) Vice-President.

The opinion criticises the procedure of ad... read more

Turkey – forthcoming opinion – country visit

19/09/2016
Ankara - A delegation of the Venice Commission visits Turkey in the framework of the preparation of an opinion on “suspension, by a provisional clause, of article 83 of the Constitution of Turkey, which guarantees the parliamentary inviolability of members of the Grand National Assembly”.

The delegation is composed as follows:
- Jasna Omejec, member, (Croatia),
- Dan Meridor, member (Israel),
- Thomas Markert, Secretary of the Venice Commission,
- Schnutz Rudolf Durr, Head of the Constitutional Justice Division, Venice Commission... read more

Jordan – early parliamentary elections - legal assistance to the PACE observation mission

18/09/2016 - 21/09/2016
Amman – 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 early parliamentary elections in Jordan held on 20 September 2016.

Georgia – Training seminar on electoral dispute resolution

17/09/2016 - 18/09/2016
Tbilisi – In view of the forthcoming parliamentary elections, scheduled on 8 October 2016, the Supreme Court of Georgia, is organising a training seminar on electoral dispute resolution for 100 judges, in co-operation with the Central Election Commission of Georgia and the Venice Commission. The training is devoted to best practices on electoral dispute resolution, case studies and European standards. An expert of the Venice Commission will be one of trainers at this seminar.

This activity falls in the framework of the Programmatic Co-operation Framework (PCF) for Armenia, Azerbaij... read more

Montenegro - Meeting between the Speaker of Montenegro and the President of the Commission 15/9/2016

15/09/2016
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - Today the President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio met with the Speaker of the Montenegrin Parliament Mr Darko Pajovic. The current situation in the country and the cooperation between Montenegro and the Commission were the main topics of the exchange of views.

International Democracy Day - statement by the President of the Commission

15/09/2016
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - on the occasion of the International Democracy Day, the President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio made the following statement:

"The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, throughout its existence, has strenuously worked towards achieving democracy though law in Europe and beyond. Democracy is not a label. It is not by putting the word “democracy” in a constitution or in the name of a country that they become democratic. Democracy is a continuous process and is never fully achieved, nor irreversible. Good legal texts are not sufficien... read more

Moldova – Training sessions on electoral dispute resolution

13/09/2016 - 15/09/2016
Chisinau – In view of the forthcoming presidential election, scheduled on 30 October 2016, the Venice Commission, in co-operation with the training Centre of the Central Electoral Commission of Moldova, is organising four training sessions on electoral dispute resolution for various groups of participants (judges, members and staff of the Central Election Commission and chairpersons of the district election commissions). The sessions are devoted to best practices on electoral dispute resolution, case studies and European standards.

This activity falls in the framework of the Progra... read more

Republic of Moldova – forthcoming opinion – visit to the country

12/09/2016 - 13/09/2016
Taraclia - The rapporteurs of the Venice Commission visit the Republic of Moldova to discuss the draft law on the ethno-cultural status of the district of Taraclia, submitted by the Moldovan authorities for legal assessment. The delegation will hold meetings with representatives of the Moldovan Government, of relevant parliamentary committees and the different political parties represented in Parliament, the local authorities from the Taraclia district, the civil society and the international organisations present in the Republic of Moldova.

A draft opinion will be prepared with a... read more

Poland - forthcoming opinion - visit to the country

12/09/2016 - 13/09/2016
Warsaw - A delegation of the Venice Commission will visit Poland in the framework of the preparation of an opinion on the Act on the Constitutional Tribunal adopted by the Seim this summer. The programme of the visit includes meetings at the Supreme Court, Parliament, the Ministry of Justice, the Constitutional Tribunal, the Ombudsman and the Chancellery of the Prime Minister.
The delegation will be headed by the Vice-President of the Venice Commission, Mr Tuori (Finland) ; Ms Cleveland (USA) and Mr Scholsem (Belgium) take also part in the delegation.
The rapporteurs are accompani... read more

France - Colloquy on the future of the Council of Europe

12/09/2016
Paris - Gianni Buquicchio, President of the Venice Commission, participated in the colloquy entitled "Is the defence of human rights in Europe outdated? The Council of Europe is more necessary than ever", which the French National Assembly and Senate organised in Paris on 12 September. Eminent speakers, including French politicians Claude Bartolone, Speaker of the French National Assembly, René Rouquet, Chair of the French delegation to PACE, Harlem Désir, French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Robert Badinter, former French minister, and Council of Europe top figures Thorbjørn Jagl... read more

Georgia – 20th anniversary of the Constitutional Court

10/09/2016 - 11/09/2016
Batumi - A delegation of the Venice Commission will participate in an international conference entitled “Constitutional justice in transitional democracy: success and challenges of constitutional review in Georgia and Eastern Europe”. This event is organised by the Constitutional Court on the occasion of its 20th anniversary.

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

Belarus - Parliamentary elections - legal assistance to the PACE observation mission

09/09/2016 - 12/09/2016
Minsk – 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 Belarus held on 11 September 2016.

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.

Rule of Law Checklist – endorsement by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe

06/09/2016
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - Today the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has endorsed the Rule of Law Checklist elaborated by the Venice Commission (CDL-AD(2016)007). On this occasion the Committee of Ministers invited relevant authorities in the member States to make use of the Checklist and to disseminate it widely in the relevant circles.

Urgent request for opinion – PACE - Azerbaijan

05/09/2016
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – The Bureau of the PACE requested the Venice Commission to provide an opinion on the draft amendments to the Constitution of Azerbaijan submitted to the referendum of 26 September 2016.

A preliminary opinion will be issued and made public in the week preceding the date of the referendum. This preliminary opinion will be subsequently submitted to the Plenary Session of the Venice Commission which will take place on 14-15 October 2016 in Venice, for endorsement.

Kyrgyz Republic - Amendments to the Constitution - Preliminary Joint Opinion

30/08/2016
Strasbourg - OSCE/ODIHR and the Venice Commission published a Preliminary Joint Opinion on the Draft Law on Introduction of Changes and Amendments to the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Kazakhstan – “Constitution - a basis for dynamic development of Society and State” - International Conference

29/08/2016 - 30/08/2016
Astana – The Venice Commission is invited to participate in the annual August readings organised by the Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan. This year’s conference is entitled “Constitution - a basis for dynamic development of Society and State”.

Mexico – International Conference on electoral justice

22/08/2016 - 26/08/2016
Mexico City – on the occasion of the 20 years since the establishment of the Mexican Electoral Tribunal the latter organises an international conference entitled “20 years of electoral justice in Mexico: the evolution in Mexico and in the world”.

Several members of the Venice Commission, including one of the Vice-Presidents and the Secretary, will make presentations at this conference on the recent trends in electoral justice in Europe.

Costa Rica – appointment of members

22/08/2016
Appointment of the President of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice Mr Ernesto JINESTA LOBO as Member and of Judge at the Supreme Court of Justice Mr Fernando CASTILLO VIQUEZ as Substitute member in respect of Costa Rica.

Costa Rica became the 61st member of the Venice Commission on 6 July 2016.

Kyrgyzstan - opinion request

17/08/2016
Strasbourg - On the basis of a letter of the Acting Chairperson of the Committee on Constitutional Legislation, State Structures and Regulations of the Jogorku Kenesh (Parliament) of the Kyrgyz Republic to the OSCE Centre in Bishkek, the OSCE/ODIHR invited the Venice Commission to prepare a joint preliminary opinion on the draft amendments to the Kyrgyz Constitution.

Asia - Constitutional Justice

08/08/2016 - 13/08/2016
Nusa Dua - In his key-note speech at the 3rd Congress of the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC), the President of the Venice Commission highlighted the close cooperation between the Venice Commission and the AACC and the contribution of the AACC to the establishment of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice. He expressed the support of the Venice Commission and the World Conference for Constitutional Courts which are under undue pressure from other state powers. He also welcomed the initiative by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Ko... read more

  AACC

Georgia - Assistance to the Central Election Commission of Georgia

08/08/2016 - 18/09/2016
Tbilisi - At the request of the Central Election Commission of Georgia, the Venice Commission assists the electoral authority of the country by providing an election expert who is assisting the Commisison on legal matters in view of the forthcoming parliamentary elections scheduled on 8 October 2016.

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.

Kyrgyzstan – draft constitutional amendments

05/08/2016
The Venice Commission learned that Constitutional amendments are being prepared currently in the Kyrgyz Republic and that a referendum for their adoption is going to be called.

The proposed amendments seem, inter alia, to affect the position of the Constitutional Chamber. In 2015, the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR prepared a Joint Opinion on draft constitutional amendments, which also affected the Constitutional Chamber (CDL-AD(2015)014). This Opinion may be relevant to the current amendments as well as to the procedure for amending the Constitution.

Such amendments d... read more

Albania - Ceremony on the occasion of the adoption of the constitutional reform on justice

28/07/2016
Tirana – The President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio participated in the ceremony organised by the Ad hoc Committee on Justice System Reform of the Albanian Parliament on “Justice reform : the challenges of today, the guarantee of the future”. The ceremony was held on 28 July 2016 at the Presidential Palace, in the presence of the highest national authorities, the EU and the US Ambassadors.

Albania - Constitutional amendments on the judiciary finally adopted by unanimous vote

27/07/2016
Tirana - In the evening of 21 July the Albanian Assembly approved the constitutional amendments related to the justice reform, with a unanimous vote. The current constitutional amendments provide for the re-organisation of the High Judicial Council, the Constitutional Court and several other supreme State institutions related to the judiciary, as well as for the creation of a temporary vetting mechanism supposed to remove corrupt and incompetent judges from the judiciary.

These amendments were the result of a long and laborious process, to which the Venice Commission contributed b... read more

Second meeting of the Political Finance Community of Practice

19/07/2016
London – The Venice Commission will participate in the meeting of the Political Finance Community of Practice, organised by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, which will bring together representatives of many international organisations active in the field of funding of political parties and election campaigns.

Armenia - Second Preliminary Joint Opinion on the Electoral Code

19/07/2016
The Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR transmitted to the Armenian authorities the second preliminary opinion on the Electoral Code of Armenia (as amended on 30 June 2016).

Execution of judgments of the European and Inter-American Courts on Human Rights - International Seminar

18/07/2016 - 19/07/2016
Heidelberg - The Venice Commission participates in the International Seminar organised by the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Law and entitled “Execution of judgments of the European and Inter-American Courts on Human Rights”.

Turkey - Rule of Law

18/07/2016
I strongly condemn the attempted coup d’état in Turkey; any changes in the government must follow democratic channels. Turkish media report that, since the failed coup, two judges of the Constitutional Court and five members of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors have been arrested. More than 2700 judges have been suspended and many have been detained. Especially in reacting to a violent attempt to overthrow an elected government, it is essential to respect the rule of law. Mass dismissals and arrests of judges are not an acceptable means to restore democracy. Like any citizen, each ju... read more

Request for opinion - Albania

07/07/2016
The Constitutional Court of Albania has made a request for an amicus curiae brief from the Venice Commission on the restitution of property.
The amicus curiae brief should be adopted by the Venice Commission at its 108th Plenary Session in October 2016.

Ukraine - Political Party Expert Workshop

06/07/2016 - 07/07/2016
Kyiv - The Venice Commission will participate in the Political Party Expert Workshop which will take place at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla, Kyiv, Ukraine.

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.

Costa Rica - 61st member state of the Venice Commission

06/07/2016
Strasbourg – Following a request by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica on 6 July 2016 the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe invited the country to become the 61st member state of the Venice Commission.

Germany - Parliamentary Conference - Media freedom as a cornerstone for democratic elections

04/07/2016 - 04/07/2016
Berlin - The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will organise a parliamentary conference on "Media Freedom as a Cornerstone for Democratic Elections", in co-operation wirh the Venice Commission. The Venice Commission delegation will intervene on standards for media in the context of elections, media ethics and transparency regarding party political interests and on the role of parliaments in ensuring media freedom in the context of elections.

The event is hosted by the Deutsche Bundestag (Federal Parliament of Germany) and falls in the framework of the Programmatic Coo... read more

Request for opinion – Republic of Moldova – the district of Taraclia

01/07/2016
The Moldovan authorities requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law on the ethno-cultural status of the district of Taraclia. A draft opinion will be prepared with a view of its submission for adoption at the next Plenary Session of the Venice Commission in October 2016.

Rule of Law - European Economic and Social Committee

29/06/2016 - 29/06/2016
Brussels - The Venice Commission will take part in a public hearing on the European control mechanism on the rule of law and fundamental rights.

1st Congress of the Association of Constitutional Justice of the Countries of the Baltic and Black Sea Regions

29/06/2016 - 01/07/2016
Chisinau – Ms Hanna Suchocka, Honorary President of the Venice Commission, participated in the 1st Congress of the Association of Constitutional Justice of the Countries of the Baltic and Black Sea Regions, organised by the Constitutional Court of Moldova.

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