It is with deep regret that the Venice Commission announces the death of Professor Ergun Özbudun, former and long-lasting member of the Venice Commission (1990-2014).
Mr Özbudun was a renowned expert of constitutional law and has a significant record in teaching and publishing. He held teaching and researching chairs of constitutional law at Ankara University (1959-1994), Bilkent University (1994-2012) and Istanbul Şehir University (2011-2014). Apart from his work in Türkiye , he was a researcher at Harvard University (1963-1966, 1971-1973), and taught at Chicago University (1973), Paris-Sorbonne University (1980), Institut d'études politiques de Paris (1981), Columbia University (1981-1982), Princeton University (1982-1983), and Georgetown University (1985-1986) as a visiting professor. He was a member of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1989-1993), and a member of the executive committees of the International Political Science Association (1979-1985) and the International Association of Constitutional Law (2011-2014).
As a member of the Venice Commission, Mr. Özbudun participated inter alia in the drafting of reports relating to the role of the opposition in a democratic parliament and the democratic control of the armed forces. His academic work is still being widely cited, read, and commented upon in Türkiye and abroad. Outside of his work in the Venice Commission and universities, he was one of the pioneers in the civil constitution-making process of Türkiye (2007) as the chair of an ad hoc commission.
Mr Özbudun will be remembered for his dedication to fairness and justice, and his warm-heartedness and gentle personality will be dearly missed.
Our sincere condolences go out to his family, students, colleagues and loved ones.