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Highlights of the march 2013 session


At its 94th plenary session of 8-9 March 2013 the Commission:

-          adopted opinions on the :

o    draft amendments to the Organic Law of Georgia on Courts of General Jurisdiction, following its consideration by the Sub-Commission on the Judiciary on 7 March 2013;

o    Provisions relating to Political Prisoners in the Amnesty Law of Georgia, following its consideration by the Sub-Commission on Democratic Institutions on 7 March 2013;

o    Constitutional Bill for a new Constitution for the Republic of Iceland;

o    two draft laws of the Republic of Moldova pertaining to Financing Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns ( jointly with the OSCE/ODIHR)

o    Law 192 of 12 July 2012 of the Republic of Moldova on the prohibition of the Use of Communist Symbols (joint amicus curiae brief by the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR);

o    on the Immunity of Judges - amicus curiae brief for the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova,

o    Federal Law no. 65-FZ of 8 June 2012 of the Russian Federation amending Federal Law no. 54-FZ of 19 June 2004 on assemblies, meetings, demonstrations, marches and picketing and the Code of Administrative Offences;

o    draft amendments to laws on the Judiciary of Serbia,

o    draft amendments to the law on Public Prosecution of Serbia;

-          held an exchange of views with:

o    Mr Alexandre Baramidzé, Deputy Minister of Justice of Georgia, Mr Konstantin Kublashvili, Chairman of the Supreme Court, Ms Tinatin Khidasheli and Mr Akaki Minashvili, Members of Parliament;
Mr Nikola Selakovic, Minister of Justice of Serbia;
Mr Andreas Voßkuhle, President of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, on “co-operation of national and international courts in Europe”;
Mr Milan Markovic, President of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro;
representatives of the Committee of Ministers, the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe;

-          adopted the reports on:

o    the relationship between political and criminal ministerial responsibility”;
“the role of extra-institutional actors in the democratic system”;

-          adopted the annual report of activities of the Venice Commission for 2012;

-          was informed on:

o    follow-up to the Joint opinion on the law amending certain legislative acts of Ukraine in relation to the prevention of abuse of the right to appeal and to the Joint Opinion on the Law “On Freedom of Religious Belief” of Azerbaijan;
follow-up to the opinion on Act CLXII of 2011 on the Legal Status and Remuneration of Judges and Act CLXI of 2011 on the Organisation and Administration of Courts of Hungary and the opinion on Act CCVI of 2011 on the right to freedom of conscience and religion and the legal status of churches, denominations and religious communities of Hungary, in particular with respect to planned amendments to the 2011  Constitution of Hungary which contradict the recommendations of the Commission;
the planned preparation of a study on Children’s rights in Constitutions, as a contribution to the Council of Europe Programme "Building a Europe for and with children";
progress of work on the Joint Guidelines by the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR on Freedom of Association;
recent constitutional developments in Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine;
co-operation with Morocco;
the results and conclusions of the meeting of the Scientific Council;
the results and conclusions of the meeting of the Council for Democratic Elections;

-          confirmed the dates of its 2013 next sessions as follows:
14-15 June 2013; 11-12 October 2013; 6-7 December 2013 and

-          fixed the dates for the 2014 sessions as follows:
21-22 March 2014; 20-21 June 2014; 17-18 October 2014; 12-13 December 2014.