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85th Plenary Session of the Commission (Venice)

17/12/2010 - 18/12/2010

The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

- adopted opinions on :

Armenia - the draft Law on public assemblies and on the draft Law on making amendments and supplements to the Law on freedom of conscience and religious organisations of Armenia (interim opinions jointly with the OSCE/ODIHR);
Belarus - the compatibility with universal human rights standards of an official warning addressed by the Ministry of Justice of Belarus to the Belarusian Association of journalists on 13.01.2010;
Bulgaria - the draft Law amending the law on judicial power and the draft Law amending the Criminal Procedure Code of Bulgaria (prepared jointly with the Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs of the Council of Europe);
Kyrgyzstan - the draft Law on Peaceful Assembly of Kyrgyzstan (jointly with the OSCE/ODIHR);
Norway - the electoral legislation of Norway, previously adopted by the Council for Democratic Elections (jointly with the OSCE/ODIHR);
Russian Federation - the Federal Law on the amendments to the Federal Law on defence of the Russian Federation;
Serbia - the Law on the financing of political parties of Serbia (jointly with the OSCE/ODIHR);
“the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” - on amendments to several laws of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” relating to the system of salaries and remunerations of elected and appointed officials (amicus curiae brief for the Constitutional Court);
Turkey - the draft Law on the High Council for Judges and Prosecutors of Turkey (interim opinion);
Ukraine - the constitutional situation and on the draft unified electoral code in Ukraine;
• the United Kingdom revised Code of Practice on observing elections;
• the compatibility of acts by UNMIK and EULEX with human rights standards ;

- was informed on the follow-up to

• the Joint Opinion on the Draft Law on the Judicial System and the Status of Judges of Ukraine ;
• the Final opinion on the third revised draft Act on forfeiture in favour of the state of assets acquired through illegal activity of Bulgaria ;
• the Opinions on judiciary in Serbia (a meeting with the Minister for Justice was held on 16 December 2010), i.e. on:
- the draft Criteria and standards for the election of judges and court presidents,
- the draft laws on judges and on the organisation of courts and
- the draft Law on the High Judicial Council.

- adopted the Reports on :

individual access to Constitutional Justice ;
• European standards as regards the independence of the judicial system – Part II: The Prosecution Service ;
electoral fraud.

- was informed on:

• constitutional developments in Kazakhstan and in Japan ;
• a recent constitutional amendment reducing the scope of jurisdiction of the constitutional court of Hungary ;
• the results of the meeting of 17 December 2010, between the Presidential Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Enlarged Bureau of the Commission, presented by Mr Mevlüt Çavusoglu, President of the Parliamentary Assembly ;

- held an exchange of views with :

• representatives of the Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe;
• Mr Anastas Anastasov, Vice-President of the National Assembly of Bulgaria and Chairperson of the Internal Security and Public Order Committee;
• with Mr Hans Petter F. Gravdahl, Director General, Royal Norwegian Ministry for Local Government and Regional Development,
• Mr Andriy Portnov, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration, Ukraine
• Mr Roque Raymundo, Senior Human Rights Adviser to the UN Interim Administrative Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), and with Mr Andy Sparkes, Deputy Head of Mission of the European Union rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX),
• Mr Rafael Ribo, Chairman of the European Chapter of the International Ombudsman Institute on the modalities of future co-operation.

- was informed on the letter sent by the President of the Commission to the President of Kyrgyzstan in relation to the current prosecution of the members of the former Constitutional Court of that country;

- fixed the dates of the sessions in 2011 as follows:

• 25-26 March;
• 17-18 June;
• 14-15 October and
• 16-17 December.

Watch our anniversary video:
 

Covid-19 pandemic -
 
Emergency powers -
 What standards?

 


During the current Covid-19 pandemic, national governments are taking exceptional measures to slow down the spread of the virus. On numerous occasions, the Venice Commission examined the limits of such emergency powers. The Commission has consistently underlined that State security and public safety can only be effectively guaranteed in a democracy which fully respects the rule of law. Even in genuine cases of emergency situations, the rule of law must prevail.

 

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