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Recent and Current Events

Transformation and Innovation in the Senior Civil Service – 8th UniDem Med Seminar

24/09/2018 - 27/09/2018
Tunis - The Venice Commission, in cooperation with the Presidency of the Government of Tunisia, is organising the 8th UniDem Med regional seminar from 24th to 27th September 2018 in Tunis, Tunisia. The seminar entitled “Transformation and Innovation in the Senior Civil Service: challenges and opportunities” will gather some 50 senior servants and experts from 11 European and southern Mediterranean countries, namely Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine* and Tunisia. They will exchange best practices as regards the process of innovation in the civil service against a backdrop of respe... read more

Albania – Forthcoming opinion - Visit to the country

19/09/2018
Tirana - A delegation of the Venice Commission and the OSCE / ODIHR visited Albania as part of the preparation of the joint opinion on the draft law on the legislative initiative of citizens. The request for an opinion came from the Speaker of the Parliament of Albania, Mr Gramoz RUÇI on 27 July 2018.

The draft opinion is on the agenda of the plenary session of October 2018.

Morocco – Preliminary requests of constitutionality - Meetings at the Constitutional Court

19/09/2018
Rabat - A Venice Commission’s delegation is meeting the Constitutional Court in order to exchange views and national experiences on the preliminary request of constitutionality. The delegation consists of members of the Venice Commission and members of constitutional courts of France, Italy and Spain.

This activity is part of the programme “Ensuring Sustainable Democratic and Human Rights in the Southern Mediterranean”, funded by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe.

Morocco - Preliminary requests of constitutionality - Meetings at the Ministry of Justice and Freedoms

18/09/2018
Rabat - At the request of the Ministry of Justice and Freedoms of the Kingdom of Morocco, a Venice Commission’s delegation met with the authorities in view of the preparation of the draft organic law on prejudicial requests of constitutionality. The delegation consisted of members of the Venice Commission and members of constitutional courts of France, Italy and Spain.

This activity is part of the programme “Ensuring sustainable democratic and human rights in the Southern Mediterranean” funded by the European Union and implemented by the Council of Europe.

FREEDOM OF RELIGION IN MONTENEGRO – NO OPINION OF THE VENICE COMMISSION EXISTS

14/09/2018
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - A paper called « DRAFT JOINT INTERIM OPINION OF THE VENICE COMMISSION AND THE OSCE OFFICE FOR DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS AND HUMAN RIGHTS (OSCE/ODIHR) ON THE DRAFT LAW ON FREEDOM OF RELIGION OF MONTENEGRO » dated 27 November 2015 was made available by mistake on the Commission’s website.

Such document is a very preliminary paper which was never validated by the rapporteurs, nor by the Commission itself. As such, it does not convey the views of either the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR rapporteurs or the Commission or ODIHR themselves.

Thi... read more

Tunisia - forthcoming opinion on political parties and their financing - visit to the country

13/09/2018 - 14/09/2018
Tunis - By letter dated 18 June 2018, Mr Mehdi BEN GHARBIA, the Minister for the Relations with the Constitutional Instances, Civil Society and Human Rights, requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft organic law on the organisation of political parties and their financing.

Following this request, a delegation from the Venice Commission visited the country to exchange views with the authorities and other stakeholders.

The Venice Commission plans to prepare the relevant opinion for its next plenary session to be held on 18-20 October 2018 in Venice.

Romania - forthcoming opinion on amendments to the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code - visit to the country

13/09/2018 - 14/09/2018
Bucharest - A delegation of the Venice Commission visited Romania in the framework of the preparation of an opinion concerning the recent amendments to the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code passed by the Romanian parliament. The opinion was requested by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The delegation exchanged views with the President of Romania, the Minister of Justice, the High Court of Cassation and Justice, the General Prosecutor’s Office, the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terror... read more

2018 OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM)

12/09/2018
Warsaw – Venice Commission participated in the 2018 OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM).

Deputy Secretary of the Commission Ms Simona Granata-Menghini introduced the 4th Working Session “Rule of Law I” devoted to the independence of the judiciary, the right to a fair trial, and democratic law-making.

Ukraine - draft Election Code - Regional public discussions - 3d round

12/09/2018 - 14/09/2018
The third and the last round of regional public discussions of the draft Election Code of Ukraine was held in Dnipro on 12 September (Hotel "Abri", 11h00) and in Lviv on 14 September (Hotel "Dnister", 11h00).

These regional events were held with the aim of discussing the main issues of the draft Election Code with the interested parties, as well as developing recommendations upon the results of these discussions in preparation of the draft Code for the second reading in the Verhovna Rada.

The deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, deputies and representatives of loca... read more

Ukraine - Constitutional Justice

10/09/2018
Kiev - In co-operation with the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, the Venice Commission organised a conference on the newly introduced constitutional complaint to the Constitutional Court.

This activity was organised in the framework of the Ukraine Action Plan of the Council of Europe.

Uzbekistan – Forthcoming opinion on the draft electoral code – Visit to the country

06/09/2018 - 07/09/2018
Tashkent - Following the request by the Chair of the Central Election Commission of 15 July 2018, the rapporteurs of the Venice Commission and experts of the OSCE/ODIHR visited Tashkent on 6-7 September 2018 for exchanges of views with the authorities on the draft electoral code.
The draft opinion is on the agenda of the October plenary session.

European Law Institute (ELI) – 2018 Annual Conference

05/09/2018 - 07/09/2018
Riga - The Venice Commission participated in the 2018 Annual Conference of the European Law Institute (ELI), by presenting a report on "The Common Constitutional Traditions in Europe".

Association of European Election Officials (ACEEEO) - 27th Annual Conference

05/09/2018 - 07/09/2018
Vilnius - The Venice Commission participated in the 27th Annual Conference of the ACEEEO, devoted to the topic of ‘Guaranteeing voter privacy, security and integrity’; in particular, one workshop was devoted to cyber security.

On the side-lines of this conference, representatives of the Commission participated in a meeting on the development of a European / Eurasian network of electoral jurisprudence.

Constitutional Justice - Korea

02/09/2018 - 05/09/2018
Seoul - The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe was invited to the International Conference on "Constitutional Justice and Democracy" at the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Korea.

The President of the Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio participated in the opening session of the Conference.

Malta makes voluntary contribution

31/08/2018
On 20 July 2018 the Maltese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in addition to its statutory contribution, made a voluntary contribution of 20,000 € to the Venice Commission’s budget for its activities in the Southern Mediterranean region.

Ukraine makes voluntary contribution

30/08/2018
On 30 July 2018, the Ukrainian authorities made a voluntary contribution of 45,000 € to the Venice Commission’s budget, in addition to the statutory contribution.

Kazakhstan - Day of the Constitution - Meeting of the CCCOCND

28/08/2018 - 29/08/2018
Astana – The Venice Commission participated in the International Conference «A Constitution: the Embodiment of the Values of the Rule of Law, Civil Society and the modern State», dedicated to the Day of the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the meeting of the Conference of Constitutional Control Organs of the Countries of New Democracy (CCCOCND).

Kazakhstan - forthcoming opinion on the draft administrative procedure code - country visit

28/08/2018 - 29/08/2018
By letter dated 29 June 2018, Mr Beketayev, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan, requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft administrative procedure code.

The rapporteurs of the Commission visited Astana on 28 – 29 August 2018 to exchange views with the authorities.

Request for opinion – Luxembourg - draft new constitution

21/08/2018
By letter dated 12 July 2018, Mr Mars di Bartolomeo, President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft of the new Constitution of Luxembourg.

Obituary – Mr Erik Lukács, former Substitute Member of the Venice Commission in respect of the Netherlands

21/08/2018
Scheveningen - The Venice Commission is saddened by the death of its former Dutch Substitute Member Mr Erik Lukács passed away on 8 August 2018 at the age of 83 years. Mr. Lukács was Substitute member in respect of the Netherlands from 1999 until 2007.

He was a recognised legal expert and a valuable member of the Venice Commission.

At its next plenary session, the Venice Commission will hold a minute of silence in his memory.

Request for opinion – Uzbekistan – draft electoral code

02/08/2018
By the letter dated 5 July 2018, the Chairperson of the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan Mr Mirza-Ulugbek Abdusalomov requested a joint opinion of the OSCE/ODIHR and the Venice Commission on the draft electoral code of Uzbekistan.

The draft opinion will be on the agenda of the October 2018 plenary session of the Venice Commission.

Request for opinion - Republic of Moldova - Law on preventing and combatting terroristm

02/08/2018
Ms Victoria Iftodi, the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Moldova, requested the Venice Commission to provide an opinion on the Law on preventing and combatting terrorism (Law no. 120).

Request for opinion – Albania

27/07/2018
The Speaker of the Parliament of Albania Mr Gramoz RUÇI requested the Venice Commission’s opinion on the draft law “on the Legislative Initiative of Citizens in the Republic of Albania”.

Ukraine - Testing of the training course for judges "Election Dispute Resolution"

19/07/2018 - 20/07/2018
Odessa - the Venice Commission’s branch of the Council of Europe's Office in Ukraine, together with the National School of Judges of Ukraine, launched the training course "Election Dispute Resolution".

The course includs such topics as:
• International standards and principles of democratic election,
• Overview of national election law. Classification of electoral disputes during the election process,
• Peculiarities of conduct on election rights and referendum under the rules of the CAJU, and
• ECtHR practice in electoral disputes.

The judges of adm... read more

10th anniversary of the OSCE Bolzano/Bozen Recommendations

15/07/2018
Udine, 15 July 2018 - The Deputy Secretary of the Commission participated in the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the launch of the Bolzano/Bozen Recommendations on National Minorities in Inter-State Relations.

The Bolzano/Bozen Recommendations were adopted by the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities in 2008 building on the Venice Commission’s 2001 Report on Preferential treatment of National Minorities by the Kin-State.
(photo: OSCE/Giancarlo Puccini)

Ukraine - 2nd round of regional meetings on the draft Electoral Code

13/07/2018 - 27/07/2018
Following the 1st round of successful public discussions in Vinnitsa and Chernihiv (cf. news of 15-16 June 2018), several regional meetings on the draft Electoral Code of Ukraine were held in the course of the month of July 2018.

These activities took place in the following locations: in Rivno - on 13 July, in Chernivcy – on 16 July, in Khmelnitskyi – on 17 July, in Odessa - on 19 July, Mikolaiv – on 24 July, in Kherson - on 25 July, in Zaporijia – on 26 July and Kropyvnytskyi - on 27 July 2018.

The deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, deputies and representatives... read more

Romania - Preliminary Opinion on draft amendments to judicial laws

13/07/2018
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – Today the Venice Commission has released its preliminary opinion on draft amendments to three Romanian laws concerning the judiciary, which had been submitted to its assessment by the President of Romania and the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council or Europe.

In accordance with the procedure for preliminary opinions in urgent cases, the Commission authorised the rapporteurs to issue the opinion and send it to the Romanian authorities, after consultation of the Bureau. The Commission is expected to endorse the Opinion wi... read more

Andorra - Constitutional Justice

12/07/2018 - 13/07/2018
Andorra – The Venice Commission participated in the conference on « The Constitutional Courts : a warranty of the democratic quality of societies ? » at the occasion of the the 25th anniversary of the Constitutional Court of Andorra.

Constitutional justice - Azerbaijan

05/07/2018
Baku – A delegation of the Venice Commission participated in the Conference on “The state governed by the rule of law and constitutional justice: values and priorities” at the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Constitutional Court of Azerbaijan.

“Women in politics: how to progress towards equality?” - Regional conference

05/07/2018
Rabat – The Venice Commission was invited to participate in the Regional Conference on “Women in politics: how to progress towards equality?” organised by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) at the invitation of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Morocco.

Ms Herdis Thorgeirsdóttir, 1st Vice-President of the Commission, contributed to the following subject: “Mechanisms to promote the representation of women”; Ms Lydie Err, Chair of the Venice Commission Sub-Commission on gender equality contributed to the session devoted to: “The role of political parties”.
read more

Romania - reform of Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code - Secretary General calls on Romania to wait for Venice Commission opinion

05/07/2018
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - The Secretary General of the Council of Europe made the following statement today:

“I call upon all parties concerned to wait for the Venice Commission’s Opinion, and to take it into account, before any further steps are taken to amend Romania’s Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code.

This reform risks contradicting Romania’s international obligations, notably under the Council of Europe Criminal Law Convention on Corruption, as identified by the recent ad hoc report of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO). As a member State o... read more

Albania – workshop on media during the electoral campaign

04/07/2018
Tirana – An expert of the Venice Commission took part in a workshop on media during the electoral campaign of the Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee on Electoral Reform which was organised with the support of the OSCE/ODIHR.

This workshop brought together the Co-chairs and members of the Ad Hoc Committee on Electoral Reform, the Chair and members of the Central Election Commission, representatives of the relevant public administrations, CSOs and international organisations present in Tirana as well as national and international election experts.

The participation of the Ve... read more

Albania – workshop on electoral administration

03/07/2018
Tirana – An expert of the Venice Commission took part in a workshop on electoral administration of the Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee on Electoral Reform which was organised with the support of the OSCE/ODIHR.

This workshop brought together the Co-chairs and members of the Ad Hoc Committee on Electoral Reform, the Chair and members of the Central Election Commission, representatives of the international organisations present in Tirana, the civil society as well as national and international election experts. The expert made a presentation focusing especially on the question how to... read more

Request for opinion – Kazakhstan - draft administrative procedure code

29/06/2018
By letter dated 29 June 2018, Mr Beketayev, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan, requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft Administrative Procedure Code.

Exchange of views with the Minister of Legal Protection of the Netherlands

28/06/2018
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – The President and the Secretary of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni BUQUICCHIO and Mr Thomas MARKERT, respectively, exchanged views with the Dutch Minister of Legal Protection Mr Sander DEKKER, on the recent activities of the Commission.

115th Plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

22/06/2018 - 23/06/2018
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista - The Council of Europe’s Venice Commission has just adopted an opinion on the compatibility with international human rights standards of the Hungarian government’s new “Stop Soros” draft legislative package as far as it affects NGOs. The opinion, jointly prepared with the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE, assessed amendments to certain laws relating to measures to combat illegal immigration. The legal experts held an exchange of views with Mr Balázs Orbán, State Secretary of the Hungarian Prime Minister’s office... read more

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