born in Bari (Italy) on 19.11.1944
He was awarded a PhD in law summa cum laude at Bari University in 1968 where he lectured in international public law until 1971.
He joined the Council of Europe in 1971. During his professional career (1971-2009), he was responsible for a number of intergovernmental committees dealing with administrative law, international law, free movement of persons, data protection, etc. He contributed to the harmonisation of European law by preparing a large number of international treaties and recommendations. He was also responsible for the Conferences of European Ministers of Justice and for the Legal Advisor and Treaty Office of the Council of Europe.
He contributed to the successful establishment (1990) and the development of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) by ensuring the conception and follow-up of projects concerning constitutional reforms and the setting up of democratic institutions within Europe and beyond.
At the end of 2009, he retired from the Council of Europe and was elected President of the Venice Commission. He was re-elected President in 2011, 2013 and 2015.
Doctor Honoris Causa of the Pavol Jozef Safárik University in Košice, Slovakia (10.04.2013), of the Bucharest University, Romania (15.10.2013), of the European University of Tirana, Albania (26.01.2015), of the Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania (30.04.2015).
Decorations and Awards
Italy (2002), Albania (2003), France (2004), Lithuania (2005), Romania (2006), Armenia (2009), Republic of Moldova (2009), Austria (2009), Hungary (2009), Brazil (2009), Georgia (2010).