In January 2020 the Venice Commission started implementing the project “Promoting Efficient Functioning of State Institutions and Public Administration in Central Asia”. The project is part of the broader joint Council of Europe-European Union “Central Asia Rule of Law Programme 2020 - 2023”. The Programme is financed by the Council of Europe and the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe.
Central Asia Rule of Law programme /2020-2023/ General website
List of bilateral and regional activities organised by the Venice Commission
“Uzbekistan : five years of reforms” - high level conference
The Venice Commission took part in the International conference “UZBEKISTAN: FIVE YEARS OF REFORMS” organised on 5 October 2021 in Tashkent as a hybrid event. The conference focused on the reforms carried out by the Republic of Uzbekistan since the adoption of the Strategy of Actions 2017-2021. The Vice President of the Venice Commission, Mr Philip Dimitrov, intervened in the first session of the conference entitled “Improving the state of society construction, scope of reforms to ensure the rule of law”.
Strategy of actions
KAZAKHSTAN - “Execution of the decisions of the Constitutionals Courts and equivalent bodies – theory and practice” - International online Seminar
The Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan and the Venice Commission organised an international online seminar on the “Execution of decisions of constitutional courts and equivalent bodies – theory and practice”. The event was opened by Mr Kairat Mami, Chairman of the Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan, Mr Gianni Buquicchio, President of the Venice Commission and Mr Sven Olov Carlsson, European Union Ambassador to Kazakhstan. Four members of the Venice Commission participated in the seminar, namely from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Republic of Moldova and Georgia as well as representatives from the Constitutional Courts and equivalent bodies from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic.
- YouTube retransmission (RU and EN )
TRANSVERSAL ACTIVITIES : Venice Commission takes part in the 1st Steering Committee of the Central Asia Rule of Law Programme
The Venice Commission took part in the first Steering Committee meeting of the Central Asia Rule of Law Programme 2020-2023 which was organised 4 June 2021 as an online event. The meeting gathered high level officials from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as well as representatives of the European Union and the Council of Europe.
The participants of this 1st Steering Committee discussed the progress of the implementation of the Central Asia Rule of Law Programme as well as national priorities and specific areas of cooperation for the year 2021. Venice Commission experts and national representatives presented the achievements of the third component of the Programme implemented by the Commission, namely the project “Promote efficient functioning of state institutions and public administration in Central Asia”.
Press release (EN) (RU)
UZBEKISTAN - “Tashkent Law Spring” International Legal Forum – Law 4.0.: the vision of law in the age of fourth industrial revolution
22-23 April 2021
Following an invitation by the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Mr. Ruslanbek Davletov, the President of the Venice Commission, Mr. Gianni Buquicchio, addressed the International Legal Forum “Tashkent Law Spring”. The event was entitled “Law 4.0. The vision of law in the age of fourth industrial revolution” and it was organised by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan 22-23 April 2021. A number of high ranking officials from different countries, international organisations and high level national and international experts attended the 2021 edition of this biennial forum.
Website of the Tashkent Law Spring Forum
KYRGYZ REPUBLIC - Joint OSCE/ODIHR-Venice Commission Opinion on the draft Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic - meeting of the Donors’ Partners Coordination Council
6 April 2021
Venice Commission experts participated in the Donors’ Partners Coordination Council Working Group for Rule of Law and Human Rights for Kyrgyz Republic, which took place in a form of a video conference on 6th April 2021. Representatives of the Kyrgyz NGOs and national legal experts also attended the event. Following a presentation of the Joint Opinion of the Venice Commission and ODIHR on the Draft Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic, the rapporteurs of the Commission and ODIHR experts had an exchange of views with members of the Working Group and Kyrgyz participants on the constitutional reform process and up-coming referendum organized on 11 April 2021. The Joint Opinion was adopted at the 126th Plenary Session of the Venice Commission in March 2021.
UZBEKISTAN - Coordination meeting with state institutions
25 March 2021
The Venice Commission organised a coordination meeting with the representatives from the state institutions of Uzbekistan, namely from the Supreme Court, the Prosecutor General, the National Centre for Human Rights, Oliy Majlis, the Anti-Corruption agency and the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Brussels. The meeting served to discuss in detail concrete proposals for co-operation with the Venice Commission in the framework of the Central Asia Rule of Law Programme.
Adoption of Joint Venice Commission – OSCE/ODIHR opinion on the draft Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic
19-21 March 2021
The Venice Commission adopted at its 126th Plenary Session a joint opinion on the draft Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic. The opinion was prepared by the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR at the request of the Director of OSCE/ODIHR in December 2020. To prepare the opinion, representatives of the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR held online meetings on 4th March 2021 with the Ombudsman of Kyrgyzstan and representatives of civil society organisations.
Although the opinion took note of some positive changes in the Draft Constitution, notably the establishment of the Constitutional Court, many provisions regulating the institutional framework and separation of powers, defining the powers and competencies of the President, the Parliament (the Jogorku Kenesh), the Government and the Judiciary, as well as some provisions dealing with human rights and freedoms were not in line with international standards and OSCE commitments. Moreover, the foreseen timeline and procedures leading to the adoption of the constitutional amendments raised serious concerns due to the absence of meaningful and inclusive public consultations and debate in parliament. The key recommendations of the Joint Opinion were: to ensure that the constitutional reform process allowed for informed, inclusive and meaningful discussions within and outside the Parliament; to review the powers given to the President in order to ensure the separation of powers; to provide stronger oversight capacities to the Jogorku Kenesh, including through committees; to reconsider provisions concerning the Kurultai; to include in the text of the Constitution the main features of the electoral system envisioned for the election of the Jogorku Kenesh ; to reinforce the independence of the judiciary from the legislative and executive branches of power; and to revise the provisions pertaining to human rights and fundamental freedoms, avoiding vague wording and language in the formulation of the rights of individuals and the obligations of the State.
Joint Venice Commission - OSCE/ODIHR opinion
Adoption of Venice Commission opinion on the “Concept Paper on improving of the legal framework of the Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan”
19-21 March 2021
By letter dated 20 January 2021 the Chairman of the Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan, Mr Kairat Mami, requested the Venice Commission’s opinion on the “Concept Paper on improving of the legal framework of the Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan.” The opinion was adopted and at the March 2021 plenary session of the Venice Commission. To prepare the opinion, the Venice Commission previously organised meetings with representatives of the Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan as well as with representatives of the non-governmental sector.
Kazakhstan - Concept paper on improving the legal framework of the Constitutional Council
TURKMENISTAN - Coordination meeting with state institutions
16 March 2021
The Venice Commission organised on 16th March 2021 a coordination meeting with the representatives of several state institutions of Turkmenistan. Representatives from the following institutions took part in the meeting namely the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Parliament, the Ministry of Justice, the Prosecutor General, the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Belgium, the Civil Service Agency, and the Supreme Court. The Ministry of Foreign affairs reconfirmed the commitment of Turkmenistan to cooperate with the Venice Commission in the framework of the Programme and as a complement of the work done by the other international partners active on the ground.
KAZAKHSTAN – Referral of the decisions to the Constitutional Council by ordinary courts – international round table
26 February 2021
The Venice Commission organised, in co-operation with the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan, an international online round table on the question of referral of the decisions to the Constitutional Council by ordinary courts. The round table brought together representatives from various national institutions of Kazakhstan (Presidential administration, Parliament, members and staff of the Constitutional Council, scientific institutions, and representatives from non-governmental bodies. Members of the Venice Commission from France, South Korea, Moldova, and Italy took part in the event and shared their experience with their counterparts from Kazakhstan. The round table served as a complementary activity for the preparation of the legal opinion on the “Concept Paper on improving of the legal framework of the Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan”.
KAZAKHSTAN - Use of digital technologies in the process of selection, assessment, and promotion of judges: international online roundtable
25 November 2020
The President of the Venice Commission, Mr. Gianni Buquicchio, addressed an online international roundtable entitled «Modern digital and Human Resources technologies in the selection of candidates for judges, assessment of work and promotion of judges», which took place on 25th November 2020. Experts of the Venice Commission as well as senior civil servants and experts from UNDP, World Bank, OSCE/ODIHR, France, Spain, Italy, Russian Federation, Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan participated in this online regional event organised by the High Judicial Council and the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the World Bank and the UNDP.
KYRGYZ REPUBLIC - Urgent joint amicus curiae brief on the postponement of the parliamentary elections motivated by a constitutional reform
18 November 2020
The Commission published on 18th November 2020 an urgent amicus curiae brief on the postponement of the parliamentary elections motivated by a constitutional reform. The urgent brief was prepared upon the request by Mr. Karybek Duisheev, Chairman of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan dated 4 November 2020.
In its amicus curiae brief, the Venice Commission has noted that although national practice in the field of postponement of elections by the outgoing parliament is lacking, there are, nevertheless, several benchmarks to be followed in order to ensure the respect of international principles and best democratic practices.
The Commission stated that when the mandate of parliament is prolonged beyond the constitutional duration because the elections are postponed, parliament has only diminished powers and does not have the legitimacy to carry out constitutional reforms. At any rate any constitutional and legislative amendment must respect the procedure and timeframe set out in the Constitution and the law.
Urgent amicus curiae brief
IVth Congress of the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC)
27 August 2020
The President of the Venice Commission Mr. Gianni Buquicchio delivered a speech at the opening of the online IV Congress of the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC). The 2020 Congress was entitled “The Rule of Law, the Value of the Person and the Effectiveness of the State”. Kazakhstan holds the presidency of the Congress until 2021
UZBEKISTAN - Samarkand Human Rights Web Forum
12 – 13 August 2020
The President of the Venice Commission Mr. Gianni Buquicchio delivered a speech at the opening of the 2020 Samarkand Human Rights Web Forum. The event was dedicated to the International Youth Day in the framework of the UN75 Initiative of the United Nations and was organised by the National Centre for Human Rights of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Opening speech by President Buquicchio
Webpage of the Forum
KAZAKHSTAN - “Presidential government. Constitutional practice and political practices” – international video conference
24 April 2020
On 24 April 2020 the President of the Venice Commission, Gianni Buquicchio took part in a video conference on “Presidential government. Constitutional practice and political practices” organised by the Foundation of the 1st President of Kazakhstan, the Constitutional Council, and the Ministry of Justice of Kazakhstan.