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Recent and Current Events

POSTPONED - Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa

08.03.2021 - 09.03.2021
Libreville - The Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa (CCJA) and the Constitutional Court of Gabon are co-organising on 8 and 9 March 2021 the 1st "Meeting of women chief justices and African judges" . The Venice Commission is invited to attend this event.

This Meeting is devoted to the celebration of the International Women's Day.

Kyrgyz Republic - forthcoming Joint Venice Commission – OSCE/ODIHR opinion on the draft Constitution - virtual meetings

04.03.2021
In the framework of the preparation of the draft joint Venice Commission - OSCE/ODIHR opinion on the draft Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic, representatives of the two institutions are holding online meetings with the Ombudsman of Kyrgyzstan and representatives of civil society organisations.

The opinion will be prepared in the framework of the Central Asia Rule of Law Programme 2020-2023, which is co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.

UKRAINE - Forum "Ukraine 30" - Justice Development

03.03.2021
Mr Gianni Buquicchio, the President of the Venice Commission, opened Day 3 of Forum "Ukraine 30” on “Justice Development”.

The event was organised by the Office of the President of Ukraine as part of the platform “Forum Ukraine 30”, launched to mark the 30th Anniversary of Ukraine’s independence, with the aim to highlight the progress achieved and on-going challenges in the key areas of reforms.

Participants from all layers of the Ukrainian society as well as international organisations took part in the Forum.

Obituary - Silvano Longhin, warden of the Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

02.03.2021
The Venice Commission learned with deep sadness of the death of Mr Silvano Longhin, the warden of its seat in Venice, the Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista.
For more than 20 years the members of the Commission have been able to appreciate his generous availability and effective collaboration. For this reason, he had received the medal of honour from the Venice Commission.
Silvano was known by all the members of the Commission and many of them were bound by a sincere friendship.
We will miss his smile and good humor.
Silvano was a great brav’uomo!

MONTENEGRO – forthcoming opinion – virtual meetings

01.03.2021 - 02.03.2021
In the framework of the preparation of the draft opinion on the draft amendments to the Law on State Prosecution and the draft law on Prosecutor’s Office for organised crime and corruption, Venice Commission rapporteurs exchanged views with the Ministry of Justice, Supreme State Prosecution Office, Special State Prosecution Office, Prosecutorial Council, Ombudsman, judges of the Supreme Court, members of Parliament, and the representatives of the civil society.

The adoption of this opinion is foreseen for the upcoming plenary session to be held online from 19 to 20 March 2021.

KAZAKHSTAN – Referral of the decisions to the Constitutional Council by ordinary courts – international online roundtable

26.02.2021
Nur-sultan - The Venice Commission organised on 26th February 2021 in cooperation with the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan an international roundtable on the question of referral of the decisions to the Constitutional Council by ordinary courts. The roundtable brought together representatives from various national institutions of Kazakhstan (Presidential administration, Parliament, members and staff of the Constitutional Council, scientific institutions, and representatives from non-governmental bodies).

This roundtable was organised at the request of the Cons... read more

Obituary – Franz MATSCHER, former member of the Venice Commission in respect of Austria

26.02.2021
It is with deep regret that the Venice Commission announces the death of its founding member from Austria, Prof. Franz Matscher. Born in South Tyrol / Alto Adige, Franz Matscher studied law in Graz and Paris and joined the Austrian Ministry of Foreign where he served inter alia at the Austrian Embassies in Madrid, Paris and Bonn. Following a position as assistant professor in Innsbruck, he became Professor of civil procedural law at the University of Salzburg, where he founded the Austrian Institute for Human Rights. From 1977 to 1998 he was the Austrian Judge at the European Court of Human R... read more

“Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms: the Relationship of International, Transnational and National Catalogues in the 21st Century” - XVIIIth Congress of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts (online)

24.02.2021 - 25.02.2021
Prague – The Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic is hosting the XVIIIth Congress of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts (CECC). The Congress, initially planned in Prague in 2020, will take place online on 24–25 February 2021. The President of the Commission, Mr Gianni Buquicchio, will address the Congress at the opening session.

In its Resolution no. II of 2018, the Circle of Presidents asked the Venice Commission to cooperate in the organisation of the XVIIIth Congress and to prepare a special issue of the Commission’s electronic Bulletin on Constitutional Cas... read more

Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova - anniversary

23.02.2021
Chisinau – The President of the Venice Commission sent a congratulatory message to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova, which celebrates its 26th anniversary. The message is included in a video clip prepared by the Judges of the Court explaining the mission and activity of the Constitutional Court and its impact on daily life.

MONTENEGRO – request for an opinion

23.02.2021
On 16 February 2021 Minister of Justice of Montenegro, V. Leposavić, requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on the State Prosecutor’s Office and the Draft Law on the Prosecutor’s Office for organised crime and corruption.

The opinion on these two draft laws will be prepared with a view of adoption at the next Plenary Session of the Venice Commission, which will be held online from 19 to 20 March 2021.

Request for opinion - PACE / TURKEY

22.02.2021
At its meeting on 27 January 2021, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, on proposal of its Rapporteur on “Restrictions on NGO activities in Council of Europe member States”, Ms Alexandra Louis (France, ALDE), decided to ask the Venice Commission for an opinion on the compatibility with international human rights standards of Law no. 7262 on the Prevention of Financing of the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction recently passed by Turkey’s National Assembly, amending, inter alia, the Law on Associations (No. 2860) and Law on Aid Collection (No. 5253).

The draft o... read more

Ukraine – forthcoming opinion - virtual visit

22.02.2021
In the framework of the preparation of the draft opinion on the draft law no. 4533 on constitutional procedure and an alternative draft law no. 4533-1 on procedure for consideration of cases and execution of judgements of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, the Venice Commission rapporteurs held online meetings with the following interlocutors:

• Chair of the Working Group on the judiciary reform under the President’s Commission on Legal Reform;
• Chair and members of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Policy of the Verkhovna Rada;
• Deputy Head of the President’s Off... read more

GEORGIA - 100th Anniversary of the First Constitution – online conference

19.02.2021
Mr Philip Dimitrov, Vice-President of the Venice Commission, will represent the Commission at the conference celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the First Constitution of Georgia entitled “First Constitution of Georgia Legal and Political Aspects”. This online event is organised by the Ilia State University, Georgia.

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA – post-electoral review conference

18.02.2021 - 19.02.2021
A member of the Venice Commission took part in the post-electoral review conference, entitled “Presidential Elections from the Republic of Moldova: analysis, conclusions, recommendations and steps ahead“.

”Rule of Law under pressure?“ - Videoconference in the framework of Weimar Triangle

18.02.2021
The Vice-President of the Venice Commission, Ms Claire Bazy Malaurie, will participate on behalf of the Commission in a videoconference on the topic “Rule of Law under pressure?”. The event is organised in the framework of Weimar Triangle by the German Bundesrat, the French Senate and the Polish Senate.

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA – forthcoming opinion – virtual meetings

18.02.2021 - 19.02.2021
Within the framework of the opinion on the draft amendments to the law introducing a "People's Advocate for the rights of entrepreneurs", the working group of the Commission had an online exchange of views with the Speaker of Parliament, the Minister of Justice, representatives of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Economy, the People's Advocate Institution as well as representatives of the civil society.

The draft opinion will be submitted for adoption at the March 2021 plenary session.

3rd Scientific Electoral Experts Debates - Accessibility of the electoral process

16.02.2021
Bucharest - The Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania, in cooperation with the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, organised the 3rd Scientific Electoral Experts Debates on “Accessibility of the electoral process”. The event took place on 16 February 2021, via Microsoft Teams, 14:00 -18:00 (Bucharest time – UTC+2).

The 3rd Scientific Electoral Experts Debates addressed accessibility of the electoral process, which is essential for the implementation of the universal suffrage - one of the main principles of electoral law. The online event approached accessibility from a ... read more

UKRAINE – forthcoming opinion – online meetings

16.02.2021 - 17.02.2021
In the framework of the preparation of the draft opinion on the draft law on political parties of Ukraine, joint on-line consultations of the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR rapporteurs and experts took place on 16 and 17 February 2021.

The rapporteurs met with:
• the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Policy and members of the Committee and MPs-members of the working group, established at the Parliament to develop the given draft Law,
• representatives of Ukrainian political parties,
• the Deputy Minister of Justice,
• the Head and staff o... read more

Roundtable on Regulation in the 21st Century - Videoconference

15.02.2021
Under the auspices of the German Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, a roundtable on “Regulation in the 21st Century“ was jointly organised by the Delegation of the European Union to the Council of Europe and the Permanent Representation of Switzerland to the Council of Europe.

The purpose of this event was to foster a better understanding of how international regulation works in the 21st century while launching a first international discussion on the development and impact of soft law in particular.

Mr Martin Kuijer, the substitute member of the Venice Commis... read more

SPAIN – meeting with the Centre for Constitutional and Political Studies of the Kingdom of Spain (CEPC)

12.02.2021
On 9 February 2021 the President of the Venice Commission, Mr Gianni Buquicchio and the Director, Secretary of the Commission, Ms Simona Granata-Menghini met with the Director of the Centre for Constitutional and Political Studies of the Kingdom of Spain (CEPC), Ms Yolanda Gómez Sanchez and the Permanent Representative of Spain at the Council of Europe, Ambassador Manuel Montobbio.

During the meeting the participants discussed the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the CEPC and the Venice Commission signed on 19 December 2020 and had a fruitful exchange on t... read more

GEORGIA - forthcoming opinion – virtual meetings

12.02.2021
By letter of 17 November 2020, the Venice Commission received a request of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for an opinion on the “recent amendments to the Law on Electronic Communications and the law on Broadcasting in Georgia”.

As part of the preparation of the opinion, a delegation of the Venice Commission held a series of video-conferences from 8 to 12 February 2021, exchanging with representatives of civil society organisations, business community, the EU Commission, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Georgian National Co... read more

GEORGIA - Forthcoming opinions on draft amendments to the electoral and political parties legislation - virtual visit

11.02.2021 - 12.02.2021
Following the request of the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament on 24 December 2020, the Venice Commission in cooperation with the OSCE/ODIHR, is preparing two draft opinions on:

• the draft amendments to the Election Code, the Organic Law on the Political Associations of Citizens and the Rules of Procedure of Parliament;
• the draft Article 79.1 of the Electoral Code (revocation of party registration).

In the framework of the preparation of these two draft opinions, the rapporteurs of the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR met online with the represen... read more

Request for opinion – PACE/SERBIA

11.02.2021
By letter dated 5 February 2021 the Chair of the Monitoring Committee of the PACE requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on the constitutional and legal framework governing the functioning of democratic institutions in Serbia.
The draft opinion will be submitted for adoption to the October 2021 plenary session.

Request for opinion – PACE/HUNGARY

11.02.2021
By letter dated 5 February 2021 the Chair of the Monitoring Committee of the PACE requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on the legislative and constitutional package adopted by the Hungarian parliament in December 2020.
The draft opinion will be submitted for adoption to the June 2021 plenary session.

PACE Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy

04.02.2021
The Venice Commission participated in the meeting of the PACE Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy.

As part of discussions on the follow up to Resolution 2326 (2020) “Democracy hacked: how to respond?”, the Committee exchanged views with a member of the Venice Commission on recently adopted “Principles for a fundamental rights-compliant use of digital technologies in electoral processes”.

In addition, a member of the Venice Commission presented its “Parameters on the relationship between the parliamentary majority and the opposition in a democracy: a Checklist” ... read more

NEW DIRECTOR/SECRETARY OF THE VENICE COMMISSION

01.02.2021
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - Ms Simona Granata-Menghini is the new Director/Secretary of the Venice Commission, upon appointment by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

She has previously exercised the function of Deputy Secretary of the Commission for ten years.

Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales – Memorandum of Understanding

29.01.2021
On 19 December 2020 the Director of the Centre for Constitutional and Political Studies of the Kingdom of Spain (CEPC), Ms Yolanda Gómez Sanchez, and the Director, Secretary of the Venice Commission (a.i.), Ms Simona Granata-Menghini, signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at establishing the terms for co-operation and technical assistance on issues related of the rule of law and the separation of powers, as well as fundamental rights, constitutional justice, political systems and representative democracy.

UKRAINE - Request for opinion

28.01.2021
By letter dated 26 January 2021 the Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Mr Dmytro RAZUMKOV, requested the Venice Commission’s opinion on the draft Law “On Constitutional Procedure” and on the draft Law “On the Procedure for Consideration of Cases and Execution of Decisions of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine”.

This request is a follow-up to the recommendations of the Commission expressed in its two urgent opinions of December 2020 on the legislative situation regarding anti-corruption mechanisms and the reform of the Constitutional Court following judgment no.13-r/202... read more

GEORGIA - Meeting with PACE Parliament delegation

28.01.2021
The President of the Venice Commission, Mr Gianni Buquicchio, the Secretary of the Commission (a.i.), Ms Simona Granata-Menghini, and the Head of the elections and political parties division, Mr Pierre Garrone, met a delegation of Georgian PACE members led by Mr Irakli Kobakhidze, President of the majority Georgian Dream party.

The discussion focused in particular on the preparation of the three opinions relating to Georgia which will be submitted to the next plenary session in March 2021, relating to legislation on elections, political parties as well as electronic communication a... read more

Bosnia and Herzegovina – forthcoming opinion – series of online meetings

28.01.2021 - 29.01.2021
Following the request of the Minister of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Venice Commission is preparing an opinion on the draft law on amendments to the Law on the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council.

In this context, the Venice Commission organised a series of virtual meetings with the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina which took place on 28-29 January 2021.

The rapporteurs of the Venice Commission virtually met with the Ministers of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina and of the two entities, representatives of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council, ... read more

KAZAKHSTAN – Request for opinion

26.01.2021
By letter dated 20 January 2021 the Chair of the Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan Mr K. Mami requested the Venice Commission’s opinion on the Concept Paper regarding the referral of the decisions to the Constitutional Council by ordinary courts as well as effectiveness of the Council’s decisions.

The draft opinion will be submitted for adoption by the March 2021 plenary session of the Commission.

All activities linked to the preparation of the opinion will be organised within the framework of the joint Council of Europe – European Union project for Central Asia “Prom... read more

Request for opinion - ODIHR/Ukraine

19.01.2021
The OSCE/ODIHR and the Venice Commission will be preparing jointly an opinion on the Draft Law on Political Parties of Ukraine, following a request for assistance by the Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Policy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, addressed to the ODIHR on 30 December 2020.

The draft joint opinion will be submitted for adoption to the 126th plenary session of the Venice Commission.

Just out! - e-Bulletin on Constitutional Case-Law: issue 2/2020

19.01.2021
The Venice Commission is pleased to announce the publication of the issue 2/2020 of the e-Bulletin on Constitutional Case-Law, including a number of interesting cases relating to Covid-19.

The e-Bulletin reports three times a year on the case-law of constitutional courts and courts with equivalent jurisdiction, including case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, the Court of Justice of the European Union and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

The e-Bulletin is sent to liaison officers of these courts and to subscribers by e-mail three times a year, each mai... read more

Media Environment and Reform - 2nd meeting of the Council of Europe Committee of Experts (MSI-REF)

19.01.2021 - 20.01.2021
Council of Europe, Strasbourg – The Venice Commission participated in the 2nd meeting of the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on Media Environment and Reform. The elaboration of the Draft recommendation by the Committee of Ministers to member States on electoral communication and media coverage of election campaigns was one of the main points on the agenda of the meeting.

The representative of the Venice Commission contributed to the discussions by outlining the Commission’s “Principles for fundamental rights - compliant use of digital technologies in electoral processes”, a... read more

Republic of Moldova – request for amicus curiae opinion

11.01.2021
By letter dated 12 December 2020 the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova requested an amicus curiae brief of the Venice Commission on three questions concerning constitutional review of the law-making procedures in Parliament.

The draft amicus curiae is planned to be submitted for adoption to the 126th Plenary Session in March 2021.

Request for opinion – PACE / Belarus

08.01.2021
On 8 December 2020 the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the PACE requested the Venice Commission’s opinion on the compatibility with European standards of certain criminal law provisions used to prosecute peaceful demonstrators and Members of the Belarusian “Coordination Council”.

The draft opinion will be prepared for adoption by March 2021 plenary session.

European Parliament – Rule of Law situation in Bulgaria

08.01.2021
A representative of the Venice Commission took part in the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) exchange of views on the Rule of Law situation in Bulgaria.

The event was organised by the Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Monitoring Group (DRFMG) of the LIBE Committee.

Request for opinion - GEORGIA

08.01.2021
On 24 December 2020 the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia requested two opinions of the Venice Commission on the following legislative texts:

- the draft amendments to the Election Code, the Organic Law on the Political Association of Citizens and the Rules of Procedure of Parliament;
- draft Article 791 of the Electoral Code (revocation of party registration).

The draft opinions will be submitted for adoption by the March 2021 plenary session.

Request for opinion – PACE / Russia

08.01.2021
By letter dated 18 December 2020, the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe requested the Venice Commission to prepare an opinion concerning the Russian Federation on the compatibility with international human rights standards of a series of Bills introduced by the Russian State Duma between 10 and 23 November 2020, to amend Laws affecting so-called “foreign agents”.

The draft opinion is planned to be submitted for adoption to the 126th Plenary Session in March 2021.

United Nations – endorsement of the Venice Principles

07.01.2021
On 16 December 2020 United Nations General Assembly adopted the Resolution A/RES/75/186 on “The role of Ombudsman and mediator institutions in the promotion and protection of human rights, good governance and the rule of law”.

The resolution provides strong endorsement of the Principles developed by the Venice Commission on the Protection and Promotion of the Ombudsman Institution – “the Venice Principles”. It establishes these principles as the new global standard for the ombudsmen institutions.

The Venice Principles are the 25 principles that protect and promote the Om... read more

Obituary – Mr Alain LANCELOT, former substitute member of the Venice Commission in respect of France

07.01.2021
The Venice Commission is saddened by the death after a long illness of its former substitute member in respect of France Mr Alain LANCELOT.

He was a widely recognised expert in constitutional law at home and abroad and an extremely appreciated proponent of the Venice Commission, he sat on the Commission in the capacity of substitute member in respect of France from 2002 to 2006.

The Director of the Sciences-Po (1987-1996) Mr Alain LANCELOT was a member of the French Constitutional Council (1996-2001), a member of the Board of Directors (2002-2005) and the Chairman of th... read more

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT - Meeting of the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee

17.12.2020
The President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio addressed the EP Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee at its meeting online on 17 December 2020 on "Rule of Law, judiciary and fundamental rights in Turkey" .

He exchanged views with the EU Delegation on recent opinions issued by the Commission on Turkey.

12th UniDem Med -- Public administration reform : new challenges and new operating modes

15.12.2020 - 17.12.2020
The Venice Commission organised the 12th UniDem Med Regional Seminar entitled "REFORM OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION: NEW CHALLENGES AND NEW METHODS OF OPERATION", in co-operation with the Presidency of the Government of Tunisia. This seminar took place in the form of a videoconference from 15th to 17th of December 2020.

More than one hundred international experts and senior public officials from the Southern Mediterranean took part in this event (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine * and Tunisia). The participants exchanged good practices aimed to modernise the administration bas... read more

BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA – Request for opinion

15.12.2020
The Minister of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law on amendments to the Law on High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council.

The draft opinion will be submitted for adoption to the March 2021 plenary session of the Commission.

Council of Europe Ad Hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAHAI) - 3rd meeting

15.12.2020 - 17.12.2020
The Venice Commission participated in the third meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAHAI).

At this meeting, members of the Commission presented its Principles for a fundamental rights-compliant use of digital technologies in electoral processes, adopted by the Commission at its 125th plenary session on 11 December 2020.

125th Plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

11.12.2020 - 12.12.2020
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - Due to the current pandemic, the 125th Plenary session of the Venice Commission was held online (11 December 2020 - 9:30 a.m.-17 p.m. and 12 December 2020 - 10-12 a.m. CET).

On 11 December 2020 the Commission adopted opinions on the draft “Law on the Government of the Republic of Kosovo” and on July and October 2020 amendments to the “Electoral law of Albania”. Both opinions were prepared under the Expertise Co-ordination Mechanism in the framework of the EU/CoE joint programme “Horizontal Facility II”, co-funded by the Council of Europe and the Eur... read more

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