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Highlights of the december 2013 session


At its 97th plenary session (6-7 December 2013, Venice), the Commission


-      Paid tribute to Nelson Mandela;

-     Adopted the opinion on the draft law on making changes and additions to the Civil Code of Armenia (introducing compensation for non-pecuniary damage);

-      Held an exchange of views with Mr Nodar Tangiashvili, Head of the International Organizations and Legal Provision Department of the Georgian Ministry for Reintegration and adopted the opinion on draft amendments to the Law on the Occupied Territories as well as to other relevant legal acts of Georgia;

-      Adopted the opinion on the legislation on defamation of Italy, previously examined by the Sub Commission on Fundamental Rights;

-      Held an exchange of views with Mr Zafar Nusratovich Azizov, President of the Judicial Council of the Republic of Tajikistan, and adopted the opinion on the Code of Judicial Ethics of Tajikistan;

-      Adopted the opinion on the draft law on Amendments to the Constitution to strengthen the Independence of Judges in Ukraine;

-      Adopted the report on the misuse of administrative resources during electoral processes, previously adopted by the Council for Democratic Elections;

-      Was informed on follow-up to the Opinion on three Draft Constitutional Laws amending two Constitutional Laws amending the Constitution of Georgia; the Joint Interim Opinion on the Draft Law amending the Law on Non-commercial Organisations and other Legislative Acts of the Kyrgyz Republic; the Amicus Curiae Brief on crimes against humanity, for the Constitutional Court of Peru; the Joint Opinion on Draft Amendments to Legislation on the Election of People’s Deputies of Ukraine and the Joint Opinion on the Draft Law on the Public Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine;

-      Was informed on constitutional developments in Japan, Russia and Tunisia;

-      Was informed on co-operation with Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Egypt;

-      Held an exchange of views with Mr Omar Abu Lifa, President of the Legal Committee of the General National Congress of Libya who invited a Commission delegation to visit the country as soon as possible;

-      Was informed by Mr Augustin Zegrean, President of the Constitutional Court of Romania, on the recent case-law of that court;

-      Was informed by Mr Mukambet Kasymaliev, President of the Constitutional Chamber of the Kyrgyz Republic, on recent constitutional developments in that country;

-      Was informed on the results and conclusions of the international conference on “Political parties – key factors in the political development of democratic societies”, held in Bucharest on 18-19 October 2013;

-      Was informed on the results and conclusions of the international congress on “the implementation of international human rights treaties in the national legislation”, held in Mexico City on 23-25 October 2013;

-      Decided to suppress the Sub Commission on External Relations and to create a new Sub Commission on the Rule of Law;

-      Elected, for a term of two years :

o    Bureau:

§  Mr Gianni Buquicchio (Italy) as President of the Commission;

§  Mr Jan Helgesen (Norway) as First Vice-President and Chair of the Scientific Council;

§  Mr E. Tanchev (Bulgaria) and Ms H. Thorgeirsdottir (Iceland) as Vice-Presidents;

o    Members:
Ms F. Flanagan (Ireland), Ms T. Khabrieva (Russian Federation), Mr G. Harutyunian (Armenia) and Mr G. Papuashvili (Georgia);

-      The Chairs of the Sub Commissions as follows:

o    Mr B. Vermeulen (Netherlands) (Fundamental Rights);

o    Mr W. Hoffmann-Riem (Germany) (Federal State and Regional State);

o    Ms V. Bilkova (Czech Republic) (International Law);

o    Mr J. Velaers (Belgium) (Protection of Minorities);

o    Mr N. Esanu (Moldova) (Judiciary);

o    Ms H. Suchocka (Poland) (Democratic Institutions);

o    Mr J.S. Sørensen (Denmark) (Working methods);

o    Ms M. C. Alanis Figueroa (Mexico) (Latin America);

o    Mr A. Menouni (Morocco) (Mediterranean Basin);

o    Mr K. Tuori (Finland) (Rule of law)

o Mr C. Grabenwarter (Austria) (The Co-Chair of the Joint Council on Constitutional Justice);

o   Mr J.-C. Colliard (France) (The Vice-President of the Council for Democratic Elections);

-    The Vice-Chairs of the Sub Commissions (without representation on the Enlarged Bureau):

o    Ms L. Err (Luxembourg) (Fundamental Rights);

o    Ms R. Kiener (Switzerland) (Federal State and Regional State);

o    Mr I. Cameron (Sweden) (International Law);

o  Ms G. Siljanovska (“the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”) (Protection of Minorities);

o    Mr H. Gstöhl (Liechtenstein) (Judiciary);

o    Mr L. Mihai (Romania) (Democratic Institutions);

o    Mr R. Clayton (United Kingdom) (Working methods);

o    Mr J. B. Gomes Barbosa (Brazil) (Latin America);

o    Mr D. Chagnollaud (Monaco) (Mediterranean Basin);

o    Ms S. Cleveland (United States) (Rule of law).

-       Held an exchange of views with representatives of the Committee of Ministers and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe;

-       Was informed on the results and conclusions of the meeting between the Enlarged Bureau of the Venice Commission and the Presidential Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly held on 7 December, and held an exchange of views with the representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly;


- Confirmed the dates for the 2014 sessions as follows:

  • 21-22 March 2014;

  • 20-21 June 2014;

  • 17-18 October 2014;

  • 12-13 December 2014.