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Latin America: highlights

The Venice Commission has developed a wide range of activities with Latin American countries based on their interest in sharing with Europe experiences and best practices in fields such as democratic transition, constitution-building, constitutional justice and electoral legislation and practice. In recent years the Venice Commission has played a critical role in facilitating and promoting a fruitful dialogue  with its partners in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru on the issues mentioned above.

 

Participation of the Venice Commission in the XIV Interamerican Meeting of Electoral Management Bodies

13-14 November 2019, Panama City, Panama

Panama City - A member of the Secretariat of the Venice Commission participated in the XIV Interamerican Meeting of Electoral Management Bodies meeting co-organised by the Electoral Tribunal of Panama and the Organisation of American States. Various topics were discussed during this meeting such as: good practices in 2019 presidential elections in Latin America, violence in context of elections, political strategies in digital media and good practices in electoral reform processes. The meeting brought together more than 30 electoral authorities from 25 American countries.

Programme of the event and related links

 

 

Participation of the Venice Commission in the Third Plenary Assembly of the Global Network of Electoral Justice

5-8 November 2019, Los Cabos, Mexico

Los Cabos - A delegation of the Venice Commission took part in the Third Plenary Assembly of the Global Network of Electoral Justice in Mexico. The 115 experts from 32 countries jointly with electoral authorities, international organisations and academic institutions addressed during the event current problematical issues on democracy and corruption, representation mechanisms and equal access to electoral justice; sharing their experiences and putting forward possible solutions to these problems. In its presentation, the President of the Venice Commission, Mr. Gianni Buquicchio, underscored the need to maintain a balance between the representative democracy and social media in the electoral processes, as well as to be aware of the negative effects of the misuse of social media during electoral campaigns.

Text of the presentation by President Buquicchio (EN)

 

 

International Seminar on good practices in electoral matters

29-30 May 2019, Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Venice Commission in cooperation with the National Electoral Chamber and the Ministry of the Interior, Public Works and Housing of Argentina organised the II International Seminar on good practices in electoral matters. Representatives of the Venice Commission jointly with electoral authorities, politicians, and experts from Argentina, addressed issues such as financing of electoral campaigns and its control by citizens, distribution of campaign funds, the use of IT technologies in electoral process, transparency in the polling process and political participation of women. The event was also an exceptional opportunity for the exchange of experiences between international experts and local stakeholders in the electoral field.

 

Linking the constitutional amendments to the question of confidence in Peru – the Venice Commission adopts an opinion

11-12 October 2019, Venice, Italy

Venice - The Venice Commission adopted at its 122 session the Opinion on linking the constitutional amendments to the question of confidence in Peru. The opinion had been requested by the Speaker of the Peruvian Congress, in the context of a conflict between parliament and the executive power over the constitutional amendment aimed at changing the date of elections. The adoption of the opinion was preceded by a visit to Lima, from 23 to 24 September 2019, by the rapporteurs who had the opportunity to meet with the representatives of Congress, the Executive, the Ombudsman, the Constitutional Court and several national experts. These exchanges provided important information that allowed the rapporteurs to examine arguments in favour and against the linking of constitutional amendments to the question of confidence in the context of the Peruvian constitutional system. The Opinion reiterated that any constitutional amendment process should preserve the principle of the separation of powers and the requirement of checks and balances between the President and Congress. In Peru, states the opinion, the power of the President to link a question of confidence to constitutional amendments could create a risk of being used to alter this balance. The Opinion had been discussed at the joint meeting of the Sub-Commissions on Democratic Institutions and on Latin America on 10 October 2019.

Link to the opinon (EN)

Link to the opinion (ESP)

 

Challenges of politics and democracy in the digital age: 9th Forum of Latin American Democracy

4-5 April 2019, Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City – The President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio co-opened the 9th edition of the prestigious Forum of Latin American Democracy. The topic of the Forum was “Challenges for politics and democracy in the digital age” and it was organised by the National Electoral Institute of Mexico. Many international organisations such as OAS, International IDEA, IFES, IIDH as well as prominent representatives of the Latin American countries were also involved in the Forum.

Programme of the Forum

 

Term limits: report adopted by the Venice Commission

15-16 March 2019, Venice, Italy

Venice-The Venice Commission adopted at its 118th Plenary session (15-16 March 2019) a report about the term limits for Presidents (part I) Members of Parliament, Representatives elected at Sub National and local level and executive officials elected at sub national and local level (part II). The report was produced upon the request from the Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS). In October 2017 he invited the Venice Commission to undertake a study on the right to re-election, against the background of a recently observed bad practice of modification of presidential terms through a decision of constitutional courts rather than through a reform process.

Adopted report (Part I)

Adopted report (Part II)

 

World conference on constitutional justice: training on CODICES, the Venice Forum and meeting of the Bureau

7-8 February 2019, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo - WCCJ organised a training for liaison officers on contributing to the CODICES database and the Venice Forum. The training was followed by the 14th meeting of the WCCJ Bureau dedicated to the organisation of the 5th WCCJ Congress on the topic “Peace and Constitutional Justice". The Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic hosted the event together with the Venice Commission acting as the Secretariat of the WCCJ. The training session was organised specifically for liaison officers from constitutional courts and equivalent bodies (constitutional councils and supreme courts) on using and contributing to the CODICES database and the restricted Venice Forum. Following a presentation of the IT tools that the Venice Commission provides, the participants learned how to prepare contributions to CODICES based on practical examples. CODICES database contains over 10 000 Court decisions together with Constitutions, laws on the Courts and court descriptions explaining their functioning. The Venice Forum is a restricted site which provides a permanent link between Constitutional Courts and Courts with equivalent jurisdiction.

 

Politics and Money: Demoracy vs Corruption-international seminar

5-6 December 2017, Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City - Representatives of the Venice Commission participated in an international seminar focused on “Financing of political life and electoral campaign” organised by the National Electoral Institute of Mexico. This international forum aimed at sharing experience and discussing different issues related to the financing of electoral campaign, use of different resources by political parties and candidates and the impact of modern technologies on electoral process. The discussions also focused on the undue influence of money in the dynamics of a political community and its negative impact in contexts of economic inequality and concentration of wealth. The event took place in the framework of the preparation of the Mexican general elections of 1 July 2018. It served the purpose to reflect on the model of financing of political campaigns, identify the mechanisms to improve the control and auditing of the resources allocated to political and electoral activities and to analyse the factors that cause political corruption and the effects of undue and illegal practices such as vote buying and vote coercion.

 

Constitutional crisis in Venezuela: Venice Commission releases a preliminary opinion

21 July 2017, Strasbourg, France

The Venice Commission released in July 2017 its preliminary opinion on the legal aspects of the constitutional crisis in Venezuela.

The opinion was prepared in reply to a request from the Organization of American States (OAS) to comment on “legal issues” that have been raised by the Venezuelan President's call for elections to a National Constituent Assembly, in order to craft a new constitution.

In its opinion the Venice Commission has stressed the absolute necessity of “substantive debate involving the various political forces, non-government organizations and citizens associations, academia and media,” in order to adopt a “sustainable text, acceptable for the whole of the society and in line with democratic standards.” It called for an “unhindered exercise of freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of expression, as well as a fair, adequate and extensive broadcasting of the arguments by the media."

Council of Europe news

OAS Secretary General statement on Twitter

OAS Secretary General statement on YouTube

Press review

El Financiero

 

The President of the Venice Commission attends the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States

22 March 2017, Washington, United States of America

As part of the regular contacts between the Venice Commision and the Organisation of American States (OAS), the President of the Venice Commission, Mr Gianni Buquicchio, addressed the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States, which was held in Washington in March 2017. Mr. Buquicchio and Mr. Markert, Secretary of the Venice Commission also held bilateral meetings at the US Department of State.

Agenda and order of business

 

 

International seminar on best practices in the electoral field

29-30 May 2017, Buenos Aires, Argentina

On 29 and 31 May 2017 representatives of the Venice Commission participated in an international seminar on best practices in the electoral field organised by the National Electoral Chamber and Council for International Relations of Argentina in co-operation with UNDP. The exchanges between international experts and national stakeholders were organised in the context of the on-going reform of the electoral legislation and practice in Argentina. The participants focused on such issues as participation of women in political process, use of information technologies in electoral process and financing of political parties and electoral campaigns.

 

Main Venice Commission national partners in the region

Constitutional Court of Peru

Constitutional Court of Chile

Electoral Tribunal of Federal Judiciary (Mexico)

National Electoral Institute (Mexico)

 

International partners

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Carter Center

Interamerican Union of Electoral Bodies (UNIORE)

Organisation of American States (OAS)

International Foundation for Electoral Systems

 

Publications

Rule of Law Checklist (ESP)

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