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Activities by year: 2019

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121st Plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

06/12/2019 - 07/12/2019
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

67th meeting of the Council for Democratic Elections

05/12/2019
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

Electoral processes: Preventing and responding to the misuse of administrative resources - Conference

02/12/2019 - 03/12/2019
Tbilisi - The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and The Venice Commission will hold a Regional Parliamentary Conference on “Preventing and responding to the misuse of administrative resources during electoral processes: the role of national parliaments”. The event will be hosted by the Parliament of Georgia.

This conference is organised for parliamentarians and central election commissions from Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine as part of the project financed by voluntary contributions to the Action Plans for Georgia and Ukraine.

Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions

04/11/2019 - 06/11/2019
Bali - 3rd Indonesian Constitutional Court International Symposium

120th Plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

11/10/2019 - 12/10/2019
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

66th meeting of the Council for Democratic Elections

10/10/2019
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

Opinion Request

15/07/2019 - 15/07/2019
Within the framework of the fruitful cooperation between the Armenian authorities and the Venice Commission as concerns in particular the ongoing judicial reform, following a meeting between the Minister of Justice and President Buquicchio on 2 July 2019, the Minister has announced that he will request the Commission’s opinion on the draft amendments to the Judicial Code which are currently being prepared in consultation with the Council of Europe, once they are ready.

1st Vice-President Thorgeirsdottir meets Bianca Jagger

11/07/2019
London - on the side-lines of the Global forum for media freedom, the Commission’s 1st Vice president Ms Herdis Kjerulf Thorgeirsdottir met the Special Envoy of the Council of Europe on death penalty Ms Bianca Jagger. They discussed the urgent need to better protect journalists and other relevant issues raised by the Forum.

Study visit to the Council of Europe from the Kyrgyz Republic

10/07/2019 - 12/07/2019
Strasbourg – A study visit to the Council of Europe and the European court of human rights for members of two Working Groups under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic on improvement of the electoral legislation and on monitoring the judiciary reform will take place on 10-12 July 2019. The participants will be able to follow closely the work of the Venice Commission, the Parliamentary Assembly, judges and lawyers of the EctHR and other bodies and services of the Council of Europe.

During the seminar organised on 11 July the participants will learn about European standards in the f... read more

UNITED KINGDOM - Global Conference for Media Freedom

10/07/2019 - 11/07/2019
London – the United Kingdom and Canada co-hosted the “Global Conference for Media Freedom” co-organised by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Global Affairs Canada, in London on 10-11 July 2019. This conference was the first of its kind.

Upon invitation, the members of the Sub-committee on Media and Information Society of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media of the Parliamentary Assembly organised a workshop entitled “Keeping journalists safe – what international organisations can do” which was part of the Conference’s session on “Regional Mechanisms ... read more

Request for an amicus curiae brief - European Court of Human Rights

08/07/2019
Strasbourg – Following the request of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Mugemangango c. Belgium, the Venice Commission will answer the following question:

"What are the adequate and sufficient procedural safeguards that a State must provide in the framework of a procedure for contesting the outcome of an election (notably in the event of allegations of irregularities during the electoral process) or the distribution of seats? In particular, what qualities should the body in charge of examining appeals on election results require?"

Supreme Court of India - World Conference on Constitutional Justice (WCCJ)

02/07/2019
The Supreme Court of India has joined the World Conference on Constitutional Justice bringing its total membership to 116 Courts from 5 continents!

Slovak Republic – Constitutional Court

27/06/2019
Bratislava - The President of the Venice Commission had a meeting with the President of the Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic, Mr Ivan Fiačan.

Election dispute resolution - 16th European Conference of Electoral Management Bodies

27/06/2019 - 28/06/2019
Bratislava - The Venice Commission will hold the 16th European Conference of Electoral Management Bodies, in co-operation with the Section for Public Administration of the Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic and the State Commission for the Elections and Control of Political Parties Funding.

This year the European Conference of Electoral Management Bodies will be devoted to the theme of the election dispute resolution.

Request for opinion – PACE

26/06/2019
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - On 26 June 2019 the Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe decided to request the Venice Commission's opinion on the compliance with the Council of Europe and other international standards of national parliamentary elections organised in a State’s nationwide constituency which is not within internationally recognised borders.

The opinion will be discussed at one of the forthcoming Plenary Sessions of the Commission.

65th meeting of the Council for Democratic Elections

20/06/2019
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC)

17/06/2019 - 20/06/2019
Seoul, Korea – The Secretariat for Research and Development established by the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC SRD) held its 2nd International Symposium on June 17-20 in Seoul, Korea on the topic “Constitutional Justice and Democracy”. The participants included the member States of the AACC and the European Court of Human Rights, which was invited as a special guest.
The aim of this Symposium was to promote the sharing of knowledge and to discuss constitutional review, including the criteria of constitutionality of statutes, in the member St... read more

Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe - Presentation of the 2018 annual report of activities of the Commission – New member State

12/06/2019
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - The President of the Venice Commission, Mr Gianni Buquicchio, presented the annual report of activities of the Commission accomplished in 2018.

The presentation was followed by an exchange of views with the Ambassadors of the member and observer States of the Council of Europe.

Canada’s request to become a full member of the Commission was approved by the Committee of Ministers.

Towards a public service closer to citizens - 9th UniDem Med seminar

12/06/2019 - 14/06/2019
Marrakech - The Venice Commission, in cooperation with the Ministry of Reform of the Administration and the Civil Service of the Kingdom of Morocco, organised the 9th UniDem Med Regional Seminar entitled "Towards a public service closer to the citizens: models and good practices ".

This seminar brought together senior officials and experts from Europe and the Southern Mediterranean (Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Palestine *, Tunisia) to exchange best practices in terms of bringing the administration and users closer together based on respect the rule of law and fundamental princip... read more

World Conference on Constitutional Justice (WCCJ) – 115 members worldwide!

11/06/2019
Today the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe has joined the World Conference on Constitutional Justice bringing its total membership to 115 courts from 4 continents!

Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa (CJCA)

10/06/2019 - 13/06/2019
Luanda,Anglola - the Venice Commission participated in the 5th Congress of the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa.

  CCJA

Secretary General - Request for opinion – REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA

09/06/2019
Strasbourg - the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, requested the Venice Commission‘s opinion on the constitutional situation in Moldova with specific reference to the conditions for the dissolution of parliament.

The draft opinion will be discussed by the plenary session of the Venice Commission on 21 June 2019.

ARMENIA - Reform of the legal framework governing elections

08/06/2019 - 09/06/2019
Yerevan – The Venice Commission participated in a brainstorming workshop with Members of Parliament of Armenia on the reform of the legal framework governing elections. The event was co-organised by IFES, USAID and the Parliament of Armenia.

MONGOLIA - meeting the Speaker of Parliament

07/06/2019
Ulaanbataar - On the sidelines of the conference organised with the Constitutional Court, Mr Buquicchio met with the Speaker of Parliament Mr Gombojavyn Zandanshatar. The President of Mongolia Mr Khaltmaagiyn Battulga also met with Mr Buquicchio.

MONGOLIA - Separation of powers and Constitutional Court – International conference

06/06/2019 - 07/06/2019
Ulaanbataar - The Constitutional Court of Mongolia and the Venice Commission organised a conference "Separation of powers and Constitutional Court". The President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio is participating in the event.

BELARUS – 25th anniversary of the Constitutional Court – International conference

30/05/2019 - 31/05/2019
Minsk – The Venice Commission and the Constitutional Court of Belarus organised a conference entitled "Modern Constitutional development: the role of the constitutional review in constitutionalisation of law". The event is devoted to the 25th anniversary of the Constitutional Court of Belarus. On the sidelines of the conference, a meeting of the Conference of Constitutional Control Organs of Countries of New Democracy - CCCOCND - took place.

A delegation of the Venice Commission lead by its 1st Vice President of the Venice Commission Ms Herdis Kjerulf Thorgeirsdottir, represented ... read more

“Venice Principles” - PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights “Venice Principles” - PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights

29/05/2019
Paris - Mr Igli Totozani, expert and former Advocates’ People of Albania, exchanged views with the PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, and presented “the Venice Principles” as adopted by the Venice Commission at its March 2019 plenary session and endorsed by the Committee of Ministers on 2 May 2019.

UKRAINE – request for opinion

28/05/2019
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – By a letter dated 13 May 2019 the Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine Mr I. Rainin requested the Venice Commission to provide an opinion on the draft law “On the Bar and Practice of Law”.

MONTENEGRO - forthcoming opinion - country visit

23/05/2019 - 24/05/2019
Podgorica - In the framework of the preparation of the draft opinion on freedom of religion and beliefs and legal status of religious communities of Montenegro, a Venice Commission delegation travelled to Podgorica on 23 - 24 May 2019 to exchange views with the authorities, representatives of religious communities and civil society organisations.

The draft opinion is on the agenda of the June 2019 plenary session of the Commission.

Joint Council on Constitutional Justice

23/05/2019 - 24/05/2019
Rome - The Constitutional Court of Italy hosted the 18th meeting of the Joint Council on Constitutional Justice of the Venice Commission. The topic of this year's mini conference was the "Independence of the Judiciary, the role of the constitutional courts".

Request for opinion – PACE / Ukraine

22/05/2019
Strasbourg, Council of Europe– by a letter dated 22/5/2019 the Chair of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on the Law on “Ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a State language”.

The draft opinion will be discussed by the Commission after the parliamentary elections of July 2019.

MYANMAR – Meeting with a delegation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

21/05/2019
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – Mr Thomas MARKERT, Secretary of the Venice Commission, met with a delegation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar, notably with Mr Chan AYE, Director General of the Department of International Organisations and Economics, and Mr Thet WIN, Head of Unit at the Political Department.

The visit was organised by Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Ltd.

NEW! E-Bulletin - issue № 3/2018 just published

21/05/2019
Council of Europe, Strasbourg – the Venice Commission has published today the issue № 3/2018 of its e-Bulletin on Constitutional Case-law.

The Commission publishes the e-Bulletin three times a year in English and in French. Each issue contains important judgments handed down by constitutional courts and courts with equivalent jurisdiction. Some 100 liaison officers from around the world, specially appointed by such courts, contribute to the e-Bulletin.

MONTENEGRO – Request for opinion

17/05/2019
By a letter dated 17 May 2019, the Minister of Human and Minority Rights of Montenegro requested the Venice Commission’s opinion on the draft law on freedom of religion and beliefs and legal status of religious communities.

The draft opinion is on the agenda of the June 2019 plenary session of the Commission.

In the framework of the preparation of the draft opinion, a Venice Commission delegation will travel to Podgorica on 23 - 24 May 2019 to exchange views with the authorities, representatives of religious communities and civil society organisations.

ALBANIA – Request for opinion

14/05/2019
By a letter dated 6 May 2019, the Speaker of the parliament of Albania requested the Venice Commission’s opinion on the draft law on the finalisation of transitional ownership processes.

The draft opinion is on the agenda of the October 2019 plenary session.

CANADA - Request for a full membership

14/05/2019
Ottawa/Strasbourg - In a letter addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Mr Th. Jagland, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Canada Honourable Crystia Freeland, P.C.,M.P., expressed her government’s wish to join the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe as a full member.

In accordance with the Statute of the Commission, such requests are dealt with by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. Canada’s accession to the Venice Commission will be discussed by the Ministers’ Deputies on 12 June 2019.

Canada has enjoyed the status of an o... read more

RUSSIA - International Conference «Constitutional identity and universal values: the art of balance»

14/05/2019
Saint-Petersburg - The International Conference «Constitutional Identity and Universal Values: the Art of Balance» will be held on 14 May 2019 within the framework of the IXth St. Petersburg International Legal Forum. The event is organised by the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. Vice President of the Commission Veronika Bilkova will deliver a keynote report on the “Human rights and populism”.

UniDem Conference - “The state of democracy thirty years after the fall of the Iron Curtain”

06/05/2019 - 07/05/2019
Lund - The Venice Commission, Finland’s Presidency of the Council of Europe and the Faculty of Law at Lund University (Sweden) organised a scientific conference entitled “The state of democracy thirty years after the fall of the Iron Curtain”.

This conference in Lund is a follow-up to a seminar held in Lund in May 2000, which featured discussions on the development of the young democracies in Central and Eastern Europe.

NORTH MACEDONIA – Legal assistance to PACE election observation mission - presidential election (2nd round)

05/05/2019
Skopje - A delegation 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 2nd round of the presidential election held on 5 May 2019 in North Macedonia.

The delegation observed the opening, voting and counting processes of the 1st round of the elections.

Association of Constitutional Courts using the French Language

01/05/2019 - 03/05/2019
Montreal - The President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni BUQUICCIO participated in the 8th Congress of the Association of Constitutional Courts using the French Language (ACCPUF).

HUNGARY – Exchange of letters with the Minister of Justice

30/04/2019
Budapest / Strasbourg - In an exchange of letters with President Buquicchio the Minister of Justice of Hungary, Mr Laszlo Trocsanyi, stated that according to his interpretation of the law, the procedural guarantees provided by the Act on Administrative Courts for the procedure of appointing judges, in particular the possibility for judicial review of the decisions of the Minister, were applicable also during the transitional period.

This interpretation provided also on the web-site of the Ministry, if it were followed by the courts, would remove concerns about insufficient guarant... read more

UZBEKISTAN - Law Spring Forum

25/04/2019
Tachkent - The Vice-President of the Venice Commission, Mr M. Frendo took part in the Tashkent Law Spring Forum organised by the Ministry of justice of Uzbekistan.

ROMANIA - forthcoming opinion - visit to the country

24/04/2019 - 25/04/2019
Bucharest - in the framework of the preparation of the draft opinion on the Emergency Ordinance (EGO 7(2019)) on amendments to “the laws of justice” of Romania, a Venice Commission delegation traveled to Bucharest to exchange views with the authorities, representatives of civil society and international organisations present on the spot.

NORTH MACEDONIA – Legal assistance to PACE election observation mission - presidential election (1st round) 21 April 2019

19/04/2019 - 22/04/2019
Skopje - A delegation of the Venice Commission will accompany the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) election observation delegation to advise on the legal framework of the 1st round of the presidential election held on 21 April 2019 in North Macedonia.

The delegation will observe the opening, voting and counting processes of the 1st round of the elections.

TUNISIA – forthcoming opinion - visit to the country

17/04/2019
Tunis – as part of the preparation of the Venice Commission's draft opinion on the "Draft organic law on the Authority for Sustainable Development and the Rights of Future Generations ", a Commission’s delegation visited Tunis in order to exchange views with the authorities, representatives of civil society and international organisations present on the spot.

GEORGIA - Urgent opinion on the nomination of Supreme Court judges

16/04/2019
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - Today, the Venice Commission, under its new Protocol on the preparation of urgent opinions, has issued an Urgent Opinion for Georgia on the selection and appointment of Supreme Court judges. The request for this urgent opinion was made on 11 March 2019 by the Chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia.

BULGARIA - 140th anniversary of the Constitution of Veliko Tarnovo

15/04/2019
Sofia / Veliko Tarnovo - The President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio participated in the celebration of the 140th anniversary of the Constitution that had been enacted in Veliko Tarnovo, former capital of Bulgaria. On this occasion the President held meetings with the government officials.

Call for tenders – ENGLISH / FRENCH PROOF-READERS for e-Bulletin and database CODICES

15/04/2019
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - the Venice Commission is looking for a maximum of 10 proof-readers for the provision of consultancy services for e-Bulletin and on constitutional case-law and database CODICES to be requested on an as needed basis.

The Venice Commission publishes the e-Bulletin on Constitutional Case-law three times a year in English and in French. Each issue contains important judgments handed down by constitutional courts and courts with equivalent jurisdiction. The regular issues are supplemented by a series of special bulletins on various topics.

The... read more

Meeting with the Prime Minister of ARMENIA

11/04/2019
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - Mr Gianni BUQUICCHIO and Mr Thomas MARKERT, the President and the Secretary of the Venice Commission respectively, exchanged views with Mr Nikol PASHINYAN, the Prime Minister of Armenia, on the recent cooperation between the Commission and Armenia and the latest developments in that country. The Prime Minister was attending the session of the Parliament Assembly of the Council of Europe.

BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA – TAIEX Workshop on Judicial review

11/04/2019
Sarajevo - The Venice Commission participated in the workshop on “Judicial review of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council decisions on appointment and appraisal”. The event was organised and funded by the EU TAIEX – the Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Instrument of the European Commission in co-operation with the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of the country.

Exchange of views with the Prime Minister of GEORGIA

10/04/2019
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - Mr Gianni BUQUICCHIO and Mr Thomas MARKERT, the President and the Secretary of the Venice Commission respectively, exchanged views with Mr Mamuka BAKHTADZE, the Prime Minister of Georgia, on the recent cooperation between his country and the Commission. The Georgian Prime Minister was attending the session of the Parliament Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Georgia is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its membership to the Council of Europe this year.

IX Forum of Latin American democracy “Challenges of politics and democracy in the digital age”

04/04/2019 - 05/04/2019
Mexico City – The President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio co-opened the IXth edition of the prestigious Forum of Latin American Democracy. This year the topic is “Challenges for politics and democracy in the digital age”.

The Forum was organised by the National Electoral Institute of Mexico. Many international organisations such as OAS, International IDEA, IFES, IIDH as well as prominent representatives of the Latin American countries are also involved in the Forum.

MALAYSIA – Electoral Reform Committee - Study visit to Germany

02/04/2019
Berlin – A representative of the Venice Commission is invited to address a Delegation of the Electoral Reform Committee of Malaysia during their study visit to Germany 30 March - 4 April 2019. He will introduce the members of the delegation to the work of the Venice Commission in the field of elections, referendums and political parties.

GEORGIA – forthcoming opinion – country visit

01/04/2019 - 02/04/2019
Tbilisi - As part of the preparation of the urgent opinion following the request from the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament regarding the selection and appointment of Supreme Court judges, a delegation from the Venice Commission will travel to Georgia.

The rapporteurs will exchange views with the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia and representatives of various fractions of the Georgian Parliament, the Public Defender, the Ministry of Justice, the High Council of Justice, the Supreme Court as well as hold meeting with the Georgian Bar Association, the Association of judges and... read more

UKRAINE – legal assistance to PACE election observation mission - First round of Presidential elections

30/03/2019 - 01/04/2019
Kiev - A delegation 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 Presidential elections held on 31 March 2019 in Ukraine.

The delegation observed the opening, voting and counting processes of the elections.

UKRAINE - Trainings on election dispute resolution for judges of administrative courts

21/03/2019
During February-March 2019, a series of all-Ukrainian trainings for national judges on election dispute resolution took place in different cities of Ukraine:

- Vinnytsia, Kyiv, Chernivtsi, Kramatorsk, Kharkiv, Dnipro and Odessa.

During these trainings, 117 judges from 30 Ukrainian administrative courts of appeal and regional administrative courts discussed peculiarities of application of electoral legislation in resolution of election disputes in view of upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine.

Throughout these trainings the judges examined the practical... read more

25 “Venice Principles” - Democratic ABCs for ombudsman institutions

19/03/2019
Council of Europe, Strasbourg – Today the Venice Commission published a set of guidelines to protect ombudsman institutions, following various threats to these institutions in recent years. Ombudsman institutions are important for democracy, their services are free, and are thus accessible to individuals who cannot afford to pursue their complaints through the courts. They can take action independently against maladministration and alleged violations of human rights and hence play a crucial role with regard to the governments and parliaments which must accept criticism. As an interface betwee... read more

European Parliament – hearing on the rule of law

18/03/2019
Brussels – The President and the Secretary of the Commission attended a hearing on the rule of law at the European Parliament organised by the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) and Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs (LIBE).

118th Plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

15/03/2019 - 16/03/2019
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista - In its first plenary session of 2019, the Venice Commission adopted the opinion on the introduction of a separate system of administrative courts in Hungary. Hungarian Justice Minister László Trócsányi attended the session on Friday 15 March.

Other adopted opinions concern the revision of Luxembourg’s constitution, legal provisions on the relationship between the prosecution and the police in Georgia and on the Judicial Council of North Macedonia.

The Venice Commission also adopted four thematic texts concerning: prin... read more

Statement by the President of the Venice Commission Mr G. BUQUICCHIO regarding GEORGIA

11/03/2019
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - "The Venice Commission has received a request for an opinion from the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament regarding the appointment of Supreme Court judges. I welcome the willingness of the Georgian authorities to cooperate with us in order to establish clear and transparent criteria and procedures for the selection and appointment of these judges.

The Venice Commission will deal with this request speedily as it is conscious that it is urgent to have a full composition of the Supreme Court to ensure its effective functioning.

As concerns... read more

EU Political and Security Committee – visit to the Council of Europe

11/03/2019
Council of Europe, Strasbourg – The President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio was invited to meet with the members of the EU Political and Security Committee. He gave a detailed picture of the Commission’s work in Europe and beyond, stressed the importance of the synergies between EU foreign policy and the Commission’s activities.

This Committee is a permanent EU body responsible for the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CSFP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The PSC is composed of member states' ambassadors based in Brussels and is chaired by t... read more

HUNGARY - „Constitutional EUdentity 2019: unity in diversity – common and particular values“ - International Conference

08/03/2019
Budapest – The Venice Commission was invited to participate in an international conference organised by the Constitutional Court of Hungary entitled “Constitutional EUdentity 2019: unity in diversity – common and particular values”.

The President and the Minister of Justice of Hungary, the President of the European Court of Justice, the presidents of the Constitutional Courts of Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Latvia, Republic of Slovenia as well as the President of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands and Vice President of the Italian Constitutional Court, addressed the Conferen... read more

Capacity building of the High Judicial Councils of the southern Mediterranean – Interactive seminar organised by EuroMed Justice

07/03/2019
Strasbourg – The Venice Commission participated in the interactive seminar organised by EuroMed Justice – a programme funded by the EU – for the High Judicial Councils of the Southern Partnership Countries (SPCs), i.e. Algeria, Egypt, Israel Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine* and Tunisia. The seminar covered the following topics:

• European standards on the rule of law, independence, and impartiality of justice;
• Best practices and recommendations regarding the role of High Judicial Councils in defending judicial independence, impartiality, and self-governance;
• Curre... read more

Request for opinion - PACE/ Romania

06/03/2019
Paris - The Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly) has decided to seek the opinion of the Venice Commission on the emergency ordinance ( EGO 7 (2019) on amendments to the "laws on justice" of Romania.

Public Administration Reform in the southern Mediterranean - 4th UniDem Med coordination meeting

05/03/2019
Rabat - The 4th coordination meeting of the UniDem project for the southern Mediterranean took place in Rabat of the 5th March gathering the national coordinators of the following partner countries : Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Mauritania, Palestine* and Tunisia. The participants took stock of the 2018 seminars and discuss the priorities as regards the modernisation of the public administration. During the meeting the participants determined the topics, dates and venues of upcoming 2019 UniDem Med seminars.

The UniDem seminars were established for the Southern Mediterranean region i... read more

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA - Parliamentary elections - Legal assistance to PACE elections observation mission

22/02/2019 - 25/02/2019
Chisinau - A delegation 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 24 February 2019 in the Republic of Moldova.

The delegation observed the opening, voting and counting processes of the parliamentary elections.

20th anniversary of the Greek Ombudsman institution

21/02/2019 - 22/02/2019
Senate Hall of the Hellenic Parliament, Athens – A delegation of the Venice Commission participated in the international conference devoted to the 20th anniversary of the Greek Ombudsman.

LUXEMBURG – forthcoming opinion – country visit

15/02/2019
Luxembourg - As part of the preparation of the opinion on the draft constitutional revision requested by the President of the Chamber of Deputies, a delegation from the Venice Commission travelled to Luxembourg to meet the Committee on Institutions and Constitutional Review, the Minister of Justice, the State Council, the judiciary, the mediator and NGOs.

New technologies in elections - International conference by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS)

11/02/2019
Brussels – The Venice Commission was invited to the conference entitled « Europe votes 2019: How to unmask and fight online manipulation”, organised by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS).

With the European Parliament elections in May this year, and numerous other national elections in EU Member States scheduled for 2019, by means of inter alia this conference the EDPS is facilitating a conversation between data protection authorities, electoral regulators, audio-visual regulators, media and platforms in the fight against online manipulation and abuse of personal data in... read more

GEORGIA – forthcoming opinion – country visit

11/02/2019
Tbilisi - As part of the preparation of the opinion on the Concept paper on the reform of the Criminal Procedure Code concerning the relationships between the prosecution and the police, a delegation from the Venice Commission travelled to Georgia. The aim of the visit was to exchange views on the Concept Paper with inter alia the Ministry of Justice, prosecution services and the police.

The draft opinion was on the agenda of the March 2019 plenary session.

Elections in EU - combatting online manipulation – international event

11/02/2019
Brussels – the Venice Commission participated in the event organised by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) on the fight against online manipulation and abuse of personal data in political campaigning. With the European Parliament elections in May this year, and numerous other national elections in EU Member States scheduled for 2019, the EDPS facilitated a discussion between data protection authorities, electoral regulators, audio-visual regulators, media and various platforms active in the field.

Independence of judges and lawyers – Conference on global contemporary challenges

09/02/2019 - 11/02/2019
New York City – The Secretary of the Commission Mr Thomas Markert attended a conference “Contemporary Challenges to the Independence of Judges and Lawyers from a Global Perspective”. The event was organised by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of the judges and lawyers Mr Diego Garcia-Sayan, and the New York City Bar Association.

The purpose of this meeting was to assess the challenges and threats vis-á-vis the existing United Nations Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary, adopted in 1985.

World Conference on Constitutional Justice - 14th meeting of the Bureau

08/02/2019
Santo Domingo - The 14th meeting of the WCCJ Bureau was dedicated to the organisation of the 5th WCCJ Congress on on the topic “Peace and Constitutional Justice" (Algiers, September 2020) and support for Member Courts whose independence is endangered.

World Conference on Constitutional Justice - 1st training on CODICES and the Venice Forum

07/02/2019 - 08/02/2019
Santo Domingo, WCCJ organised a training for liaison officers on contributing to the CODICES database and the Venice Forum, followed by the 14th meeting of the WCCJ Bureau.

The Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic was hosting this event together with the Venice Commission acting as the Secretariat of the WCCJ. The training session was organised specifically for liaison officers from constitutional courts and equivalent bodies (constitutional councils and supreme courts) on using and contributing to the CODICES database and the restricted Venice Forum. Following a presenta... read more

SPAIN - Multi-project Voluntary Contribution

06/02/2019
Council of Europe, Strasbourg – Mr Manuel Montobbio, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Spain, and Ms Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, signed a Multi-project Voluntary Contribution Contract.

This document foreseed a voluntary contribution of 50.000€ for the activities of the Venice Commission.

7th Annual meeting of Presidents of Monitoring and Advisory Bodies

04/02/2019
Palais de l’Europe, Strasbourg – The 1st Vice-President of the Venice Commission Ms Herdis Thorgeirsdottir participated in the 7th annual meeting between the Presidents of Monitoring and Advisory Bodies and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

HUNGARY – forthcoming opinion (administrative courts) – country visit

04/02/2019 - 05/02/2019
Budapest – A delegation of the Venice Commission visited Hungary in the framework of the preparation of an opinion - requested by the Minister of Justice of Hungary - on the recent legislation introducing an administrative court system.

The delegation had exchanges with the Minister of Justice, the National Office for the Judiciary, the National Judicial Council, the Constitutional Court, relevant parliamentary committees, professional associations of judges, the Hungarian Bar Association, as well as the civil society.

The draft opinion was presented to the Venice Comm... read more

3d General Assembly of the Arab EMBs and international conference - electoral complaints and appeals

03/02/2019 - 05/02/2019
Sweimeh, Jordanie - The Venice Commission, the UN Development Programme’s Regional Electoral Support Project (UNDP) and the Independent High Electoral Commission of Jordan, assisted the Organisation of Electoral Management Bodies of Arab countries in the preparation of the 3rd General Assembly of Arab EMBs and of the international conference on the electoral dispute resolution.

The conference gave an opportunity to the Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) from the Arab States to exchange views about the international principles and standards in the field of electoral complaints and ... read more

Obituary – Mr Mourad Medelci, member of the Venice Commission in respect of Algeria

28/01/2019
Algiers - The Venice Commission is saddened by the sudden death of its Algerian member, Head of Algeria's Constitutional Council Mr Mourad Medelci.

He was a widely recognised expert in constitutional law at home and abroad and an extremely appreciated member of the Venice Commission. He led the country's highest judicial body since September 2013 and sat in the Venice Commission since 18 October 2016.

At the meeting of the Bureau of the World Conference of the Constitutional Justice in Saint Domingo on 8 February 2019 and March 2019 plenary session of the Venice Commiss... read more

TUNISIA – 5th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution

24/01/2019 - 25/01/2019
Tunis - The President of the Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio attended the ceremony of the 5th anniversary of the adoption of the Tunisian Constitution.

The Constitution currently in force was adopted on 26 January 2014 by the National Constituent Assembly elected on 23 October 2011 in the wake of Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution. The Basic text of Tunisia was adopted by an overwhelming majority of 200 votes in favour, 12 against and 4 abstentions. On 27 January 2014, the Constitution was promulgated by the then President of the Republic, Mr Moncef Marzouki, the President of the NCA Mr ... read more

e-Bulletin on Constitutional Justice and its database CODICES – call for tenders – proofreaders

23/01/2019
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - The Venice Commission is looking for English/French proof-readers for its e-Bulletin on Constitutional Justice and its database CODICES.
Deadline for applications is Friday, 22 February 2019 by the end of the business day.
Details can be found in the link below.

“The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” – Request for opinion

23/01/2019
Prime Minister of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” Mr Zoran Zaev requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the Law on the Use of Languages.

PACE - Debate on fair referendums – Intervention by the President of the Commission

22/01/2019
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has debated the report on "Updating guidelines to ensure fair referendums in Council of Europe member States ", before adopting it. In this debate Mr Gianni BUQUICCHIO, President of the Venice Commission, presented the Commission’s work in the field.

GEORGIA – Request for opinion

14/01/2019
Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia requested the Venice Commission‘s opinion on the concept of the legislative amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia concerning the relationship between the prosecution and the police.

The draft opinion was on the agenda of March 2019 plenary session of the Commission.

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