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Highlights of the december 2014 plenary session

At its 101th session in Venice 12-13 December 2014 the Commission:


-         adopted the opinions on:

o   the Law on non-governmental organisations (Public Associations and Funds), as amended, of Azerbaijan;

o   the Draft law on the rights and duties of judges and the Judicial Council of Montenegro and on the Draft law on Courts of Montenegro;

-         adopted the interim opinions on:

o   the Draft law on the State Prosecutor's Office of Montenegro and

o   on the Draft law on the Special Prosecutor's Office of Montenegro, and, in the light of the urgency of the domestic proceedings, authorised the rapporteurs to send the final opinions to the parliament of Montenegro prior to the March Plenary Session;

o   the Law on Government Cleansing ("Lustration Law") of Ukraine and agreed to continue co-operation with Ukraine with a view to the revision of this Law;

-         adopted the Amicus curiae briefs:

o   for the Constitutional Court of Georgia on the question of the defamation of the deceased;

o   for the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova on certain provisions of the Law on professional integrity testing (anti-corruption law) of the Republic of Moldova concerning, in particular, constitutional court and ordinary court judges;

-         adopted the joint Guidelines on Freedom of Association by the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR.

The Commission also:

-         Held an exchange of views with:

o   Mr Pavlo Petrenko, Minister of Justice of Ukraine, and with Messrs Leonid Yemets and Yegor Soboliev, Members of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine;

o   Mr Geoffrey Vos, President elect of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary, on future co-operation;

o   Mr Rafael Ribo, Chairman of the European Chapter of the International Ombudsman Institute, on future co-operation;

o   representatives of the Committee of Ministers, of the Parliamentary Assembly and of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe;


-         Was informed on follow-up to:

o   the Amicus curiae brief on the Immunity of Judges for the Constitutional Court of Moldova;

o   the Joint Opinion on the Draft Law on the Public Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine;

o   the Opinion on the Draft Law on making changes and additions to the Civil Code (introducing compensation for non-pecuniary damage) of the Republic of Armenia and

o   the opinion on the Draft Concept Paper on the Constitutional Reforms of the Republic of Armenia;

-         Was informed about the request from Ukraine for an opinion on the draft Law on the judicial system and the status of judges;

-         Was informed on:

o   progress of work on judicial reform in Albania;

o   recent constitutional developments in Kazakhstan, Romania and the United Kingdom;

o   progress of work in the preparation of a checklist of elements of the Rule of law;

o   the imminent creation of an Association of former members and substitute members of the Venice Commission;

-    Approved certain new working practices and adopted two amendments  to  the Commission’s Rules of Procedure;

-         Elected M Il-won Kang (Republic of Korea) as Co-Chair of the Joint Council for Constitutional Justice and Mr Enrique Lewandowski (Brazil) as Chair of the Sub-Commission on Latin America;

-         Confirmed the dates for the 2015 sessions as follows:

o   20-21 March 2015;

o   19-20 June 2015;

o   23-24 October 2015;

o   18-19 December 2015.