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105th Plenary Session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

18/12/2015 - 19/12/2015

Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista - At its 105th plenary session the Commission:
- Adopted:
• the interim opinion on the draft constitutional amendments focusing on the judiciary of Albania, previously examined by the Sub-Commission on the judiciary on 17 December 2015, and was informed that a revised version of the amendments would soon be submitted to the Venice Commission with a view to the adoption of a final opinion at the March session;
• the opinion on the Legislation on the disciplining and dismissal of judges and their professional evaluation of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, previously examined by the Sub-Commission on the judiciary on 17 December 2015;
• the joint interim opinion by the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR on the Law of Ukraine on the condemnation of the communist and Nazi totalitarian regimes, previously examined by the Sub-Commission on Fundamental Rights on 17 December 2015;
• the summary report on voters residing de facto abroad, previously adopted by the Council for Democratic Elections on 17 December 2015;
• an amendment to Article 17a of its Rules of Procedure on the Scientific Council.

- Held an exchange of views with:
• Mr Kristaq Traja, Chair of the High Level Expert Group on the Amendment of the Constitution of Albania, and Mr Enkelejd Alibeaj, expert of the Democratic Party;
• Mr Nikola Prokopenko, representative of the Ministry of Justice;
• Ms Nataliia Novak, Member of Parliament, Chair of the Committee on Legal Policy and Justice, and with Mr Sergiy Petukhov, Deputy Minister of Justice,
• Mr Serhiy Holovaty, Adviser to the Speaker of Parliament, on the progress of constitutional reform in Ukraine;
• Mr Roberto Caldas, President-elect of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights;
• Ms Astrid Thors, OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities;
• Mr Rafael Ribo, Chairman of the European Chapter of the International Ombudsman Institute;
• representatives of the Committee of Ministers, of the Parliamentary Assembly, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and the Council of Europe Development Bank;

- Was informed
• that the adoption of the opinion on the draft law on freedom of religion of Montenegro had been postponed to the March session, since a revised draft was currently being prepared by the Montenegrin authorities;

• on progress of work on the draft law on the authority on good governance and the fight against corruption of Tunisia;

• on recent developments with respect to the constitutional courts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Poland, and asked its President to follow the situation closely, including by making, where appropriate, public statements in consultation with the Bureau in view of the importance of constitutional justice in a democratic state and the special role of the Venice Commission in promoting it in Europe and world-wide;

• on recent constitutional developments in Japan;

• that the Commission had received three Awards for its electoral activities from the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies (ICPS);

• on the results and conclusions of the Conference on “The Constitutional Protection of Vulnerable Groups: a Judicial Dialogue” and the meeting of the Sub-Commission on Latin America which took place in Santiago, Chile on 4-5 December 2015;

• on the results and conclusions of the meeting of the Council for Democratic Elections on 17 December 2015;

• on the results and conclusions of the meeting of the Sub-Commission on the Rule of Law, and in particular on progress in the preparation of the “Rule of law checklist” to be submitted to the Plenary in March 2016;

• on the organisation of the XI Ibero-American Conference on Constitutional Justice, to take place in Lima in June 2016;

• on the Conference on Constitutional Reforms of the XXI Century: New Horizons, held in Moscow on 1-2 December 2015;

• on the activities of the Association of former Venice Commission members and substitute members;

- Took note of the Secretariat Memorandum on the compatibility of the draft law of Ukraine on amending the Constitution as to justice as submitted by the President to the Verkhovna Rada on 25 November 2015 with the Venice Commission’s opinion on the proposed Amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine regarding the Judiciary as approved by the Constitutional Commission on 4 September 2015;

- Endorsed the Compilations of Venice Commission opinions and reports on constitutional amendment and on thresholds in the electoral field;

- Was informed on follow-up to:

• the First Opinion on the draft amendments to the Constitution (Chapters 1 to 7 and 10) and the Second Opinion on the draft amendments to the Constitution (in particular to Chapters 8, 9, 11 to 16) of the Republic of Armenia;
• the Amicus Curiae Brief on the Compatibility with the non-Discrimination Principle of the Selection of the Republic Day of the Republika Srpska (Bosnia and Herzegovina);
• the Opinion on the draft Act to amend and supplement the Constitution (in the field of the judiciary) of the Republic of Bulgaria;
• the Opinion on the draft Law on the Constitutional Court of Montenegro;
• the Opinion on the draft Laws on courts and on rights and duties of judges and on the Judicial Council of Montenegro;
• the Opinion on the draft institutional law on the Constitutional Court of Tunisia;

- Following the proposals made by the Committee of Wise Persons, elected for a term of two years the President and Vice-Presidents, members of the Bureau and Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the Sub Commissions and Councils (see special news item above);

- Confirmed the dates of the next Plenary Sessions as follows:

• 11-12 March 2016;
• 10-11 June 2016;
• 14-15 October 2016;
• 9-10 December 2016.

Related documents
CDL-PL-PV(2015)004syn  French  21/12/2015 -  Public
105e session plénière (Venise, 18-19 décembre 2015) - Carnet de bord 
CDL-PL-PV(2015)004syn  English  21/12/2015 -  Public
105th Plenary Session (Venice, 18-19 December 2015) – Synopsis 
CDL-PL-OJ(2015)004ann  English  04/12/2015 -  Public
105th Plenary Session (Venice, 18-19 December 2015) - Draft annotated agenda 
CDL-PL-OJ(2015)004ann  French  04/12/2015 -  Public
105e session plénière (Venise, 18-19 décembre 2015) - projet d'ordre du jour annoté 

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