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Recent and Current Events

ROMANIA – forthcoming opinion – virtual meetings

14/05/2021
In the framework of the preparation of the draft opinion on the draft law for dismantling the section for the investigation of offences committed within the judiciary, on 12 and 14 May 2021 the Commission’s rapporteurs held a series of online meetings with the representatives of the following authorities and other interlocutors:

• Minister of Justice
• Parliament
• High Court of Cassation and Justice – President and other representatives
• Superior Council of Magistracy
• Professional associations of judges and prosecutors
• Head of the Anti-Corruption Dire... read more

Ibero-American Federation of Ombudsmen (FIO) - Venice Principles

11/05/2021 - 12/05/2021
The Venice Commission is organising in cooperation with the Ibero-American Federation of Ombudsmen (FIO) an online Conference on "The Venice Principles and Ombudsman Institutions in the protection of Human Rights in Latin America and Europe", on 11-12 May 2021.

The main objective is to raise awareness of the "Venice Principles" in Latin America and to strengthen a common tradition of democracy, human rights, rule of law and good governance in Latin America as well as to compare the regional experience with the European one. The Conference is an opportunity to make the "Venice Princ... read more

ARGENTINA – "Elections and risks of misinformation: Good practices in digital campaigns and social networks" – online training days

11/05/2021
The National Electoral Chamber of Argentina organises a two-day online training event on "Elections and risks of misinformation: Good practices in digital campaigns and social networks" to be held on 11 and 13 May 2021.

Ms Simona Granata-Menghini, Secretary of the Venice Commission, will participate in the panel discussion of 13 May.

The event will be opened by Mr Santiago Corcuera, President of the National Electoral Chamber of Argentina, and will be closed by Mr Alberto Dalla Via, Judge at the National Electoral Chamber of Argentina and representative of this country ... read more

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA – request for opinion

11/05/2021
On 27 April 2021, the Minister of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr Josip Grubesa, requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law on the prevention of conflicts of interest in the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The draft opinion will be submitted for adoption at the 127th plenary session of the Commission (2-3 July 2021).

The draft opinion will be prepared under the Expert Coordination Mechanism in the framework of the EU/CoE joint programme Horizontal Facility II, co-funded by the Council of Europe and the European Union and implemented by ... read more

MONTENEGRO – urgent opinion issued

10/05/2021
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – Today the Venice Commission issued the Urgent opinion on the revised draft amendments to the Law on the State Prosecution Service of Montenegro.

This urgent opinion was requested on 26 April 2021 by Deputy Prime Minister Abazović and is a follow-up to the opinion adopted by the Venice Commission at its 126th Plenary Session (19-20 March 2021) on a previous version of these amendments (CDL-AD(2021)012).

MALTA – forthcoming urgent opinion – virtual meetings

09/05/2021
In the framework of the preparation of the urgent opinion on fair trial requirements in relation to substantial administrative fines in Malta, between 26 April – 3 May 2021 the rapporteurs held a series of online meetings with the following authorities and other interlocutors:

• Parliamentary majority
• Parliamentary opposition
• Ministry for Justice, Equality and Governance
• Attorney General
• Police Commissioner
• Ombudsman
• Malta Financial Services Authori... read more

UKRAINE – joint urgent opinion on the liability for inaccurate asset declarations by public officials issued

06/05/2021
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – Today the Venice Commission and the Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe issued the Urgent Opinion on the draft Law amending certain provisions of the Code of Administrative Offences and the Criminal Code of Ukraine regarding the liability of public officials for inaccurate asset declaration (no. 4651, of 27 January 2021).

The urgent opinion was requested by letter dated 12 March 2021 by the Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Mr Dmytro RAZUMKOV.

UKRAINE – joint urgent opinion on the High Council of Justice issued

05/05/2021
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – Today the Venice Commission and the Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe issued the Urgent opinion on the draft law on amendments to some laws of Ukraine on the procedure for electing (appointing) members of the High Council of Justice and on the activities of disciplinary inspectors of the High Council of Justice.

The urgent opinion was requested by letter dated 15 March 2021 by the Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Mr Dmytro RAZUMKOV.

TURKEY – forthcoming opinion – virtual meetings

04/05/2021 - 05/05/2021
At its meeting on 27 January 2021, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights decided to request a Venice Commission opinion on the compatibility with international human rights standards of Law no. 7262 on the Prevention of Financing of the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction recently passed by Turkey’s National Assembly, amending, inter alia, the Law on Associations (No. 2860) and Law on Aid Collection (No. 5253).

Following this request, the rapporteurs held virtual meetings with the five parliamentary groups.

The draft opinion will be submitted for adopt... read more

GEORGIA – Urgent Joint Opinion on the draft amendments to the Election Code issued

30/04/2021
Council of Europe, Strasbourg – Today the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR issued their urgent joint opinion on the draft amendments to the Election Code of Georgia, following an urgent request for assistance by the then Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, Mr Archil TALAKVADZE, addressed to the OSCE/ODIHR on 9 March 2021.

Proposed amendments to the Election Code include some positive changes but raise some new concerns which add to long-standing fundamental issues that remain unaddressed. A more comprehensive and systemic reform is still needed.

This urgent opinion ... read more

GEORGIA - Urgent Opinion on the amendments to the Organic law on Common Courts (appointment of Supreme Court judges) issued

29/04/2021
Strasbourg – The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe has issued the urgent opinion on the amendments to the Organic Law on Common Courts of Georgia.

The request for the urgent opinion came from the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, Mr Archil Talakvadze, by letter dated 8 April 2021.

The Venice Commission welcomes the amendments to the Organic Law on Common Courts, which are crucial for the selection and appointment of Supreme Court judges, currently taking place in Georgia. Having taken several of the Venice Commission’s previous recommendations into account, th... read more

MONTENEGRO – request for urgent opinion

28/04/2021
On 26 April 2021 the Deputy Prime Minister of Montenegro, M. Dritan Abazović, requested an urgent opinion of the Venice Commission on the revised draft amendments to the Law on the State Prosecution Service of Montenegro. This request follows up to the opinion issued by the Commission in March 2021 on the previous version of the amendments (see CDL-AD(2021)012).

The Venice Commission’s Bureau has accepted such request and the urgent opinion will be issued in due course.

ALBANIA – parliamentary election – legal assistance to the PACE election observation mission

24/04/2021 - 26/04/2021
Tirana - A delegation of the Venice Commission accompanied the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) election observation delegation to advise on the legal framework of the parliamentary election held on 25 April 2021 in Albania.

The delegation held meetings with other international observers, representatives of the political parties, media and civil society.

The delegation observed the opening, voting and counting processes of the elections.

CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS IN THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA – call for restraint and dialogue – Parliament should repeal today’s decision - statement by President Buquicchio

23/04/2021
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - "I am extremely alarmed by the present situation in the Republic of Moldova.

I call on all state institutions to exercise restraint, to enter into a dialogue and to de-escalate this worrying situation in order to ensure the operation of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, which is what the Moldovan people deserves especially when confronted with the current health and economic crisis.

Today’s declaration of the Parliament that it does not recognise the Opinion of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova of 15 April 2... read more

Conference of the Presidents of the Constitutional Courts of the Member States of the Council of Europe - CANCELLED

22/04/2021 - 23/04/2021
Berlin – The Venice Commission is invited to participate in the Conference of the Presidents of the Constitutional Courts of the Member States of the Council of Europe. The event is organised by the German Presidency of the Council of Europe (November – May 2021).

“Tashkent Law Spring” International Legal Forum – Law 4.0.: the vision of law in the age of fourth industrial revolution

22/04/2021 - 23/04/2021
Tashkent – Following an invitation by the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Mr. Ruslanbek Davletov, the President of the Venice Commission’s President, Mr. Gianni Buquicchio, addressed the International Legal Forum “Tashkent Law Spring”.

The 2021 edition of this biennial Forum is entitled “Law 4.0. The vision of law in the age of fourth industrial revolution” and it was held as a video conference. The event was organised by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan. A number of high ranking officials from different countries, international organisation... read more

ARMENIA – Joint Urgent Opinion on electoral legislation published

22/04/2021
Strasbourg – The Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR have issued an joint urgent opinion on amendments to the Electoral Code and related legislation of Armenia. Having examined the conformity of the procedure of their elaboration, as well as the conformity of the amendments with international standards, the opinion concludes that the package is to be broadly welcomed, as it addresses the majority of previous recommendations. At the same time, the opinion suggests a series of key recommendations aimed at improving the draft amendments submitted.

The opinion was requested by the Spe... read more

UKRAINE - Joint Opinion on the draft law on political parties - online roundtable discussion

21/04/2021
The OSCE/ODIHR, the Venice Commission and the Kyiv Office of the Council of Europe as well as the National Democratic Institute organised an online roundtable discussion of the Joint Opinion on the draft law on political parties in Ukraine, adopted last March by the Venice Commission.

The rapporteurs presented the conclusions of the opinion and the Working Group of the Verkhovna Rada informed the participants on the latest developments concerning the draft law.

UKRAINE – forthcoming urgent opinion – virtual visit

21/04/2021
Upon request of the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Mr Dmytro Razumkov to assess the draft law No 4561 amending provisions of the Code of Administrative Offenses and the Criminal Code of Ukraine regarding the liability of public officials for inaccurate asset declaration (reg. No. 4651 of 27 January 2021), the rapporteurs of the Venice Commission held a series of meetings with the representatives of the following Ukrainian authorities:

• The Office of the President of Ukraine,
• The Parliamentary Committee on Law Enforcement,
• The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine... read more

European Committee on Democracy and Governance (CDDG) - 13th meeting

15/04/2021 - 16/04/2021
The Venice Commission participated in the 13th meeting - via videoconference - of the European Committee on Democracy and Governance (CDDG). A representative of the Commission presented the Principles for a fundamental rights-compliant use of digital technologies in electoral processes, adopted in December 2021.

"The Venice Commission and Spain: a shared heritage" – online seminar

13/04/2021
The Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales and the Venice Commission organised a seminar to highlight the interaction between Spain and the Commission since the Commission’s origins, in Europe and in Latin America.

GEORGIA – forthcoming urgent joint opinion – series of online meetings

12/04/2021 - 13/04/2021
In the framework of the preparation of a joint Venice Commission – OSCE/ODIHR urgent opinion on the electoral reform in Georgia, the rapporteurs and experts met online with the representatives of the political parties and the Central Electoral Commission, as well as with of the civil society and international community present in Georgia.

At its 126th Plenary Session (online, 19-20 March 2021), the Venice Commission authorised the preparation of this urgent opinion to be issued prior to the next Plenary Session. This opinion is prepared under the Quick response Mechanism in the fra... read more

MALTA – Request for urgent opinion

08/04/2021
On 1 April 2021, the Venice Commission’s Bureau authorised the preparation of an urgent opinion on the planned reform – either through an amendment of the Constitution or through a legislative amendment of the Interpretation Act - of fair trial requirements related to substantial administrative penalties in Malta.

This urgent opinion was requested on 29 March 2021 by the Minister of Justice of Malta.

The opinion will be published before the 127th Plenary Session.

BULGARIA - request for opinion

08/04/2021
By letter dated 23 February 2021 the President of the National Assembly of Bulgaria requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the “Law supplementing the Criminal Procedure Code” on the creation of special mechanism for investigation of the Prosecutor General or his/her deputy.

The draft opinion will be submitted for adoption at the 127th plenary session of the Commission.

ARMENIA – Forthcoming joint urgent opinion on the on-going electoral reform - Online meetings

08/04/2021 - 09/04/2021
In the framework of the preparation of a joint Venice Commission – OSCE/ODIHR urgent opinion on draft amendments to the Electoral Code and related legislation of Armenia, the rapporteurs and experts met online with the representatives of the following stakeholders:

• Prime Minister’s Office,
• Deputy Minister of Justice,
• Central Electoral Commission,
• Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs of the National Assembly,
• political parties seated in parliament and extra-parliamentary parties, and
• Corruption Prevention Commission.

The... read more

MOROCCO - UN resolution on mediators and Council of Europe standards

07/04/2021
The Ombudsman of the Kingdom of Morocco, in cooperation with the Venice Commission, is organising an international webinar on "The UN Resolution of 16 December 2020 "The role of ombudsman institutions in the promotion and protection of human rights, good governance and the rule of law" - and the Council of Europe standards".

The aim of the webinar is to present the UN Resolution that established the Venice Principles as the new global standard for ombudsmen, as well as to present the Council of Europe's standards in this field.

ROMANIA – Request for opinion

07/04/2021
By letter dated 29 March 2021 the Minister of Justice Mr Stelian-Christian ION requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law for dismantling the Section for the Investigation of Offences committed within the Judiciary.

The draft opinion will be submitted for adoption at the 127th plenary session of the Commission.

ARMENIA – Request for opinion

07/04/2021
By letter dated 17 March 2021 the Human Rights Defender of Armenia requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the compatibility of the Armenian legislation related to the independence of the Ombudsman institution staff with the applicable international standards.

The draft opinion will be submitted for adoption at the 127th plenary session of the Commission.

UKRAINE – request for urgent opinion - liability for inaccurate asset declarations by public officials

06/04/2021
By letter dated 12 March 2021 the Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Mr Dmytro RAZUMKOV requested an urgent opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law amending provisions of the Code of Administrative Offenses and the Criminal Code of Ukraine regarding the liability of public officials for inaccurate asset declaration (reg. No. 4651, of 27 January 2021).

At its 126th Plenary Session (online, 19-20 March 2021), the Venice Commission authorised the preparation of this urgent opinion to be issued prior to the next Plenary Session.

KYRGYZ REPUBLIC - Joint OSCE/ODIHR-Venice Commission Opinion on the draft constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic - meeting of the Donors’ Partners Coordination Council

06/04/2021
The Venice Commission experts participated in the Donors’ Partners Coordination Council Working Group for Rule of Law and Human Rights for Kyrgyz Republic. 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 A... read more

BULGARIA – parliamentary election – legal assistance to the PACE election observation mission

31/03/2021 - 05/04/2021
Sofia - A delegation of the Venice Commission accompanied the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) election observation delegation to advise on the legal framework of the parliamentary election scheduled on 4 April 2021 in Bulgaria.

The delegation held meetings with other international observers, representatives of the political parties, media and civil society.

The delegation observed the opening, voting and counting processes of the elections.

THE NETHERLANDS – Request for opinion on the rule of law

31/03/2021
By letter dated 25 February 2021 the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands Ms Khadija ARIB requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the rule of law in the Netherlands, i.e. on the legal protection of citizens, in particular under administrative law (including scope, legal protection, test of reasonableness and the role of the Council of State) and on the system of checks and balances in theory and practice, including the Houses of the States General and the judiciary.

GEORGIA - Request for urgent opinion

26/03/2021
The OSCE/ODIHR and the Venice Commission are preparing jointly an opinion on the draft amendments to the Election Code of Georgia, following an urgent request for assistance by the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, Mr Archil TALAKVADZE, addressed to the OSCE/ODIHR on 9 March 2021.

Republic of North Macedonia – Request for opinion

26/03/2021
By letter dated 15 March 2021 the Minister of Labor and Social Policy of Republic of North Macedonia requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law on gender equality.

The draft opinion will be submitted for adoption at the 127th plenary session of the Commission in July 2021.

UKRAINE - Request for urgent opinion

26/03/2021
By letter dated 15 March 2021 the Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Mr Dmytro RAZUMKOV requested an urgent opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law on amendments to some laws of Ukraine on the procedure for electing (appointing) members of the High Council of Justice and on the activities of disciplinary inspectors of the High Council of Justice.

World Conference on Constitutional Justice - 16th meeting of the Bureau

20/03/2021
Strasbourg - The Bureau of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice held its 16th meeting online. The Bureau discussed inter alia the preparation of the 5th Congress to be held in Indonesia on 4-7 October 2022 on the theme “Constitutional Justice and Peace”.

126th plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

18/03/2021 - 20/03/2021
Due to continued COVID-19 restrictions, the first plenary session of the Venice Commission in 2021 took place virtually.

Unprecedented number of opinions -14 - were adopted including opinions on the Citizens’ security law in Spain, on constitutional amendments and the procedure for their adoption in Russia, on the compatibility with European standards of criminal law provisions in Belarus used to prosecute peaceful demonstrators.

A joint opinion of the Venice Commission and Directorate General Human Rights and Rule of Law of the Council of Europe (DGI) on recent amendme... read more

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