Recent and Current Events
79th meeting of the Council for Democratic Elections
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista
07.12.2023 - 08.12.2023
Cologne, Germany – The Venice Commission and the Academy for European Human Rights Protection will hold an international conference entitled “Money and Democracy – an Uneasy Relationship”.
The event will bring together Venice Commission members, politicians, academics, representatives of international organisations and journalists from various countries. The conference will explore ways in which undue influence of big money on democratic decision-making may be exposed, monitored, contained or even prevented.
The following topics are on the programme:
• ... read more
04.12.2023 - 05.12.2023
Rome, Italy – Ms Claire Bazy Malaurie, President of the Venice Commission, participated in the meeting of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, hosted by the Italian Parliament at the Italian Chamber of Deputies in Rome.
Ms Claire Bazy Malaurie intervened during the public meeting of the Monitoring Committee, held on 4 December 2023 and entitled: “The strategies and tools of the Council of Europe to ensure the respect of human rights, rule of law and democracy obligations in the resolution of conflicts".
Kyiv, 4 December 2023 – The second meeting under the High-Level Dialogue “Good Democratic Governance in Ukraine: achievements, challenges and the way forward in post-war period” will bring together key national stakeholders who will discuss perspectives for good democratic governance reforms in Ukraine and reach broad agreement to improve legal framework on multi-level governance and elections in light of European standards, good practice and Ukraine’s status of the EU candidate country.
The opening addresses will be delivered by Oleksandr Korniyenko, First Deputy Chairperson of t... read more
04.12.2023 - 06.12.2023
Mexico City/online – From 4 to 6 December 2023, the National Electoral Institute of Mexico (INE), supported notably by the Venice Commission, the Centre for Electoral Assistance and Promotion (CAPEL), the International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES), International IDEA, and the Organization of American States (OAS), is hosting the Second Summit for Electoral Democracy entitled: “Electoral authorities facing disinformation” in Mexico City and online. The main aim of the Summit is to discuss the role of electoral authorities in combating misinformation and fake news, with the aim of ben... read more
28.11.2023 - 29.11.2023
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – The Council of Europe organised a conference on the following topic “Improving electoral processes and elections: the role of electoral training centres”.
The event was organised in order to strengthen cooperation between electoral training centres and electoral management bodies in the field of training and capacity building of election administration and other electoral stakeholders.
Mr Pierre Garrone, Secretary of the Council for Democratic Elections, will represent the Venice Commission at this event and will participate in the sessio... read more
It is with deep regret that the Venice Commission announces the death of its former longstanding member Mr Aivars Endziņš in respect of Latvia which occurred on 21 November 2023.
Mr Endziņš was a Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from 1995 to 1996 and as the Head of the Latvian delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE.
Mr Endziņš was the 1st President of the Constitutional Court of Latvia where he served from 1996 to 2007. He became the 1st member of the Venice Commission in respect of Latvia in 1995 and worked in the Commission t... read more
Kyiv/online - the Council of Europe and the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on State Power, Local Self-Government, Regional and Urban Development organised the 1st Expert discussion on Electoral rights in context of transitional justice.
The event is one of the steps of the elaboration of the Action plan for the Roadmap on good democratic governance in Ukraine, notably as concerns preparation to and conduct of first post-war elections in Ukraine.
Mr Kaarlo Tuori, Honorary President of the Venice Commission presented a general overview of key recommendations c... read more
22.11.2023 - 24.11.2023
Following the request by the Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova dated 27 October 2023, the Venice Commission and ODIHR are preparing jointly a draft follow-up opinion to the Joint Opinion on amendments to the Electoral Code and other related laws concerning ineligibility of persons connected to political parties declared unconstitutional (CDL-AD(2023)031).
The rapporteurs conducted a series of online meetings with the following interlocutors:
• The Vice-President of the Parliament and the Chair and other members of the Legal Committee on Appointments and Im... read more
21.11.2023 - 22.11.2023
Rabat - The Venice Commission organised the 17th UniDem Med Seminar entitled "Digital transformation and artificial intelligence : rules and applications", in co-operation with the Ministry of Digital Transformation and Reform of the administration of the Kingdom of Morocco. The seminar took place on 21-22 November 2023 in a hybrid format : online and face-to face in Rabat, Morocco. Around 50 senior public officials from the Southern Mediterranean (Jordan, Lebanon Morocco, Palestine*) attended this event and exchanged their experience with experts from European countries (Germany, Spain, and ... read more
Tbilisi, 16 November 2023 – A delegation of the Venice Commission headed by Mr Michael Frendo, Vice-President of the Commission and also composed of Ms Simona Granata-Menghini, Director, Secretary of the Venice Commission and Mr Eirik Holmøyvik, Member of the Commission, was in Tbilisi to conduct high level meetings with the Georgian authorities.
Meetings were held with the President of Georgia, the Chairman of the Parliament, the Prime Minister, the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Head of the Georgian parliamentary Delegation to PACE, the Leader of the parliamentary... read more
15.11.2023 - 17.11.2023
Tbilisi – The rapporteurs of the Commission conducted a country visit to Georgia and held meetings with stakeholders in the framework of the preparation of three opinions concerning notably the Election Code and the Rules of Procedure of the Georgian Parliament, the Special Investigation and Personal Data Protection Services, and the Anti-Corruption Bureau. These opinions were requested by the Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia on 22 September 2023.
All rapporteurs met with the Head of the Georgian delegation to PACE, the parliamentary majority and opposition, as well as with rep... read more
Lviv, Ukraine, 12 November 2023 - The Advisory Group of Experts (AGE), set up to assist the Ukrainian authorities in evaluating the moral qualities and professional competences of candidate judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, held its first official meeting on 12 November 2023 in Lviv, Ukraine.
At its first meeting, the AGE elected its Chair and Secretary and adopted its Regulations. It also discussed the draft Assessment Methodology, which will be adopted at the next meeting, enabling the AGE to start fulfilling its main task of assessing the moral qualities and profess... read more
Brussels - The President of the Venice Commission, Ms Claire Bazy Malaurie, delivered an opening speech at the Conference of the Presidents of Constitutional Jurisdictions of EU member states, organised in Brussels by Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders.
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),... read more
Strasbourg, 08/11/2023 - On 8 November, the President of the Venice Commission, Ms Claire Bazy Malaurie, held the first exchange of views with the Committee of Ministers, specifically devoted to the impact of the Commission's work.
President Bazy Malaurie provided an overview of the follow-up opinions and follow-up activities of the Venice Commission which have increased in 2023, accompanied by a substantial increase of media interest and references to the Commission in the press in Council of Europe member states. She also recalled that at the 4th Council of Europe Summit in Reyk... read more
On 8 November a delegation of the Venice Commission and the Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law (DGI) of the Council of Europe held online discussions with the Armenian authorities and other stakeholders on the Concept Paper concerning the reform of the Ethics and Disciplinary Committee of the General Assembly of Judges.
This follows a request for an opinion on the above Concept Paper by the Minister of Justice of Armenia on 26 September. This opinion is prepared jointly with the DGI of the Council of Europe and will be submitted for adoption at the 137th Plenary Se... read more
By letter dated 3 November 2023, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova requested an amicus curiae brief on the ineligibility of persons connected to political parties declared unconstitutional.
The draft amicus curiae brief will be submitted for adoption during the 137th plenary session of the Commission (15-16 December 2023). It will be prepared under the Quick Response Mechanism (QRM), in the framework of the EU/CoE joint programme Partnership for Good Governance, funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.
Barcelona - The University of Barcelona and the Venice Commission held the 4th round of the Scientific Electoral Experts Debates. The theme was “The stability of electoral law”, a principle which ensures that the “game” (the electoral process) be played according to the rules, and not manipulated by the rules of the game (the electoral legislation).
The event has been initiated by the Council for Democratic Elections – the tripartite body of the Council of Europe in charge of electoral matters, including representatives of the Venice Commission, the Parliamentary Assembly and the C... read more
Strasbourg - the Government of Japan made a voluntary contribution of €25 000 in support of Venice Commission to promote the development of democratic institutions based on the respect of the rule of law and human rights.
It is with deep regret that the Venice Commission announces the death of a renowned electoral expert from the United Kingdom, Mr Owen Masters, on 6 October 2023. Mr Masters contributed personally to advancing the work of the Council of Europe in the field of elections and election observation in particular.
Mr Masters served as the Head of the Council of Europe Election Observation Mission in Kosovo in 2001. From the beginning of the 2000s for almost a decade, he was one of the major experts contributing to the Venice Commission opinions relating to electoral legislation on such ... read more
25.10.2023 - 27.10.2023
Syracuse, Italy - On 25-27 October Mr Martin Kuijer, substitute member in respect of the Netherlands, represented the Venice Commission at Judges@europe Forum which took place in Syracuse, Sicily, delivering the keynote speech at the opening of the conference.
The conference was organised by the European Judicial Training Network (EJTN) and brought together judges from 25 EU member states, as well as a large number of high-level speakers from key European and international institutions, including the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Court of Human Rights, the C... read more
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – Today the President of the Venice Commission Ms Claire Bazy Malaurie addressed the 45th plenary session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.
In her statement, the President welcomed the good cooperation between the two institutions notably in the framework of the Council for Democratic Elections, and highlighted the synergies in their respective work.
While presenting the work of the Venice Commission including with regard to matters related to local democracy, Ms Bazy Malaurie stressed the importance of... read more
23.10.2023 - 26.10.2023
Arusha, Tanzania - the Southern and Eastern African Chief Justices’ Forum (SEACJF) held its conference and annual general meeting to mark the 20th anniversary since the establishment of the Forum. The topic of the conference was : "the Role of the National Judiciaries in Dispute Resolution under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): application of Modern Technologies for High Efficiency in Justice Dispensation".
Mr Gianni Buquicchio, President Emeritus and Special Representative of the Venice Commission, and Ms Simona Granata-Menghini, Secretary of the Venice Commissi... read more
By letter of 22 September 2023, the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament requested the Venice Commission to examine the following legal texts:
- Draft amendments to the Election Code and the Rules of Procedure of the Georgian Parliament;
- Law on the Special Investigation Service;
- Provisions of the Law on Personal Data Protection on the Personal Data Protection Service;
- Provisions of the Law on the Fight against Corruption on the Anti-Corruption Bureau;
The relevant draft opinions will be submitted for adoption by the 137th plenary session of the Venic... read more
Bishkek - The Venice Commission organised, in co-operation with the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic, an international conference entitled “Criminal Justice and Human Rights - Emerging Trends and Challenges”. The conference, which took place on 20 October 2023 in Bishkek, gathered senior representatives of the Supreme and lower instance courts from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, representatives of the Ombudsman’s Office, other relevant authorities and academia of Kyrgyzstan as well as Venice Commission experts.
The conference aimed to analyse the perspective of the tra... read more
By letter of 26 September 2023 Mr Grigor Minasyan, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia, requested an opinion of the Venice Commission’s on the Concept Paper concerning the reform of the Ethics and Disciplinary Committee of the General Assembly of Judges.
The draft opinion will be prepared jointly with the Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law (DGI) of the Council of Europe and submitted for adoption at the 137th plenary session of the Commission (15-16 December 2023). It will be prepared under the Quick Response Mechanism (QRM), in the framework of the EU/... read more
By letter dated 17 October 2023, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine requested an amicus curiae brief relating to additional sanctions for committing an administrative offence.
The draft amicus curiae brief will be submitted for adoption during the 137th plenary session of the Commission (15-16 December 2023).
13.10.2023 - 16.10.2023
Warsaw - Representatives 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 elections of 15 October 2023 in Poland. They took part in joint briefings with other international organisations, before and after the elections, and observe the opening, voting and counting processes of the elections.
It is with deep regret that the Venice Commission announces the death of Professor László Sólyom, former President of the Republic of Hungary (2005-2010) and former member of the Venice Commission (1997-2005).
Mr. Sólyom was a member (starting in 1989) and then President of the Constitutional Court of Hungary between 1990 and 1998 and, in this capacity, participated in the work of the Venice Commission on constitutional revision in his country. Under his presidency, the Constitutional Court established itself as an institution with a determining role in the establishment of parliam... read more
06.10.2023 - 07.10.2023
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista - the Venice Commission has published several opinions concerning ten states that were adopted and endorsed at is latest plenary session last week.
- Armenia: the joint Opinion of the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR on the draft amendments to the Electoral Code and related legislation ;
- Bulgaria: the Opinion on the draft amendments to the Constitution;
- Chile: the Opinion on the 2023 Process of Constitutional Reform;
- Georgia: the follow-up Opinion to previous opinions on the amendments t... read more