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Activities by year: 2020

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

11/12/2020 - 12/12/2020
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

70th meeting of the Council for Democratic Elections

10/12/2020
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

Constitutional Justice - Southern Africa

2020
Arusha – The Venice Commission is invited to participate in the Conference of the Southern African Chief Justices Forum.

HUNGARY - Constitutional Court - 30th anniversary celebration

12/10/2020 - 14/10/2020
Budapest - celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Constitutional Court of Hungary.

124th Plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

08/10/2020 - 09/10/2020
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

69th meeting of the Council for Democratic Elections

07/10/2020
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

Austria - Constitutional Justice

01/10/2020 - 02/10/2020
Vienna - The Austrian Constitutional Court will celebrate its 100th anniversary.

Ibero-American Conference of Constitutional Justice - virtual meeting

25/09/2020 - 26/09/2020
Cartagena, Colombia - XIII Congress of the Ibero-American Conference of Constitutional Justice.

Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC)

27/08/2020 - 28/08/2020
Nur-Sultan - IV Congress of the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC)

Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa -

10/08/2020 - 12/08/2020
Maputo, Mozambique - 3rd International Symposium of the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa (CCJA)

POLAND – 2nd round of the presidential election – legal assistance to the PACE election observation delegation

11/07/2020 - 13/07/2020
Warsaw - 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 second round of the presidential election held on 12 July 2020 in Poland.

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

ARMENIA – Council of Europe Action plan 2019-2022 - Steering Committee

07/07/2020
Yerevan – Strasbourg – A representative of the Venice Commission will participate in a videoconference between representatives of the national authorities of Armenia and their Council of Europe interlocutors. He will introduce the opinions on the judicial code and on the constitutional implications of the Istanbul Convention (on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence). The purpose of the event is to review the progress of the implementation of the Council of Europe Action Plan 2019-2022 for Armenia and programming future co-operation between the Council of Europ... read more

Modalities of elections during a pandemic - Hearing in the Georgian Parliament

03/07/2020
The Estonian member of the Commission Mr Oliver Kask and the Irish member Mr Richard Barrett participated in the exchange of views between the PACE President Mr Rick Daems and the Georgian Parliament. The purpose of the event is to look at the concrete modalities of elections in the context of health emergencies such as the COVID19 pandemic.

The event was organised by the PACE and the Legal Committee of the Parliament of Georgia.

Council of Europe Monitoring and Advisory Bodies - Videoconference of the Chairs

29/06/2020
The President of the Venice Commission participated in the video meeting of the Chairs of the Council of Europe Monitoring and Advisory Bodies.

The meeting was followed by a thematic discussion focusing on the
(1) contribution of the monitoring bodies to the implementation of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) in view of its 70th Anniversary, including an exchange of experiences, and
(2) lessons to be learnt from the COVID-19 crisis for the work of monitoring bodies.

PACE Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights – exchange of views

29/06/2020
The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the PACE held an exchange of views with Mr Nicos Alivizatos, member of the Venice Commission in respect of Greece, on the Commission’s Opinion on draft amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation related to the execution in the Russian Federation of decisions by the European Court of Human Rights (CDL-AD(2020)009).

POLAND - Presidential election – legal assistance to the PACE election observation delegation

26/06/2020 - 29/06/2020
Warsaw - 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 election held on 28 June 2020 in Poland.

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

UKRAINE - 24th anniversary of the Constitution – international online conference

25/06/2020
The Constitutional Court of Ukraine in cooperation with the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe and with the support of OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine, organised an international online conference on the occasion of the 24th anniversary of the Constitution of Ukraine and the 30th anniversary of Venice Commission of the Council of Europe.

The conference title is „Mutual Achievements of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) and Bodies of Constitutional Justice; the problems of interpretation in constitutional adjudication“. The Commissio... read more

A Call to Defend Democracy – President Buquicchio signs the open letter

25/06/2020
More than 500 political, civil leaders, Nobel Laureates and pro-democracy institutions, including the President of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, have signed an open letter to defend democracy.

This open letter was initiated by the Stockholm-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) and the Washington-DC-based National Endowment for Democracy.

TUNISIA - Meeting with representatives of the independent public bodies

25/06/2020
Tunis - In the framework of the Support Project for Independent Bodies in Tunisia (PAII-T), a joint European Union - Council of Europe project (2019-2021), representatives of the Venice Commission participated in a meeting with representatives of the Ligue of the Tunisian independent public bodies (LIPI). Discussions focused on the overall mission of the Coordinator of the LIPI as well as on cooperation between the Commission and the independent bodies in 2020.

UKRAINE – forthcoming opinion – video meetings

24/06/2020
In May 2020, the Chairman of The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Mr Dmytro Razumkov requested an opinion of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe on the draft Law on democracy through all-Ukrainian referendum.

In the framework of preparation of the draft opinion, experts from the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR participate in consultations with the Ukrainian stakeholders from 19 to 25 June 2020. On June 24, 2020 experts will meet with deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, chairmen of profile Committees of the Verkhovna Rada and members of the working group on drafting ... read more

Organisation of American States (OAS) – cooperation agreement

23/06/2020
The Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS) Mr Luis Almagro and the President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio signed a cooperation agreement in Washington DC, on 6 June 2020, and in Strasbourg on 9 June 2020, respectively.

UKRAINE - Zero Corruption Talk – online discussion

23/06/2020
Mr Thomas Markert, Director, Secretary of the Venice Commission, was invited to participate in the online discussion devoted to the judicial reform in Ukraine: “Zero Corruption Talk: The High Time for the Real Judiciary Reform in Ukraine”.

The event was organised by the Ukrainian NGO Anti-corruption Action Centre.

Along with Vice-President Jourova of the European Union, representatives of the IMF as well as of the national authorities, Mr Markert acted as a panellist in the discussions on possible ways of accelerating the reforms in the country.

MONTENEGRO – forthcoming opinion – online meetings

23/06/2020 - 24/06/2020
In the framework of the preparation of the joint Venice Commission - OSCE/ODIHR opinion on the draft Law on elections of members of the Parliament and councillors of Montenegro, a number of video meetings were held with the authors of the draft law and other representatives of national authorities and stakeholders.

The draft opinion is prepared at the request of the Parliament of Montenegro.

MALTA – Request for opinion

23/06/2020
The Minister for Justice, Equality and Governance requested a Venice Commission opinion on Bills implementing concepts for reforms.

PACE Monitoring Committee – elections and COVID-19

22/06/2020
The Venice Commission participated in a remote Hearing on “Membership obligations and the conduct of democratic elections in the context of the pandemic of COVID-19”. This meeting was organised by the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

123rd Plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

18/06/2020 - 19/06/2020
The Venice Commission adopted a number of opinions through a written procedure on 18-19 June, in replacement of the actual meeting of 123rd plenary session in Venice that did not take place due to the continued COVID-19 concerns.

The following opinions were adopted by a written procedure:
18 June:
• Albania – Opinion on the Law no 97/2013 on Audio-visual Media Service;
• Latvia – Opinion on the recent amendments to the legislation on education in minority languages;
• Russian Federation – Opinion on the draft Amendments to the Constitution Federation relatin... read more

Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe - Presentation of the 2019 Annual Report of Activities of the Commission

17/06/2020
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - The President of the Venice Commission, Mr Gianni Buquicchio, presented the annual report of activities of the Commission accomplished in 2019.

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

MALTA – forthcoming opinion - video meetings

16/06/2020
As a follow-up to the Opinion of the Venice Commission of December 2018, the Maltese Government prepared Proposals for legislative changes and on 20 April 2020 requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on those Proposals.

As part of preparation of the opinion, the Commission organised a series of virtual meetings with the Maltese authorities. Most recently, on 12 June, the rapporteurs exchanged views with the Minister of Justice.

The adoption of the opinion is scheduled on 19 June, by special written procedure in the framework of the June plenary session of the Veni... read more

68th meeting of the Council for Democratic Elections

15/06/2020
The meeting was held by videoconference.

Albania – forthcoming opinions – virtual meetings

11/06/2020 - 12/06/2020
In the framework of the preparation of two draft opinions on the draft amendments to law N° 97/2013 on the Audiovisual Media Service and on the appointment of members of the Constitutional Court, the Commission’s rapporteurs held video conferences with the Albanian authorities.

MONTENEGRO - Request for opinion

10/06/2020
The Venice Commission is preparing, jointly with OSCE/ODIHR, at the request of the Parliament of Montenegro, an opinion on a proposal for a new Law on elections of members of Parliament and councillors.

KOSOVO - forthcoming opinion - virtual meetings

11/05, 29/05, 3-5/06/ 2020
By letter of 13 February 2020 then Prime Minister Kurti of the Republic of Kosovo requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). In particular, the request is to assess whether the proposed amendments concerning trial in absentia (Article 306) and suspension of officials from office (Article 177) are compatible with the provisions of the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Its adoption is foreseen for the upcoming plenary session to take part from 18 to 19 June in written procedure.

As part of... read more

TURKEY - Request for opinion by the PACE

05/06/2020
At its meeting by videoconference on 27 May 2020, the Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee) decided to request the opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law on Bar Associations of Turkey.

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA - Request for opinion

05/06/2020
The Minister of Justice of the Republic of Moldova, Mr F. Nagacevschi, requested a follow-up opinion of the Venice Commission and Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law on the revised draft law on amending and supplementing the Constitution (the role and composition of the Superior Council of Magistracy).

30th ANNIVERSARY OF THE VENICE COMMISSION OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE

10/05/2020
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, President Gianni Buquicchio made the following statement:

"On 10 May 1990, eighteen ambassadors of Council of Europe member states took the decision to establish the European Commission for Democracy through Law, better known as the Venice Commission. What looked at the time like the creation of just another technical advisory body proved to be an event of major significance for the development of the rule of law and democracy in Europe an... read more

Greek Chairmanship of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers – exchange of view on pandemics

03/06/2020
The Greek Chairmanship of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers invited Mr Gianni Buquicchio, President of the Venice Commission, to take part in an organisation-wide exchange of views by videoconference on the following theme:

"Protection of human life and public health in the context of a pandemic – Effectively responding to a sanitary crisis in full respect for human rights and the principles of democracy and the rule of law ".

Protecting electoral integrity in the digital age – virtual presentation

29/05/2020
The National Electoral Institute of Mexico, in cooperation with the Kofi Annan Foundation, organised a presentation of the Report "Protecting electoral integrity in the digital age", prepared by the Commission on Elections and Democracy in the Digital Age of that Foundation. The event was attended by representatives of electoral management bodies of several Latin American countries. A representative of the Venice Commission participated in the discussions.

RUSSIA - Request for opinion by the PACE

29/05/2020
At its meeting by videoconference on 27 May 2020, the Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee) decided to request the opinion of the Venice Commission on the constitutional amendments and the procedure for their adoption in the Russian Federation.

PACE - the role of national parliaments and the holding of elections during emergency situations

28/05/2020
The Venice Commission participated in an exchange of views on the role of national parliaments and the holding of elections during emergency situations with the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy of the PACE.

Covid-19: states of emergency and democratic values - New contribution to the debate

26/05/2020
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - Today five Venice Commission members have published a new report on the respect for democracy, human rights and the rule of law during states of emergency.

The Commission has previously produced general reports and country-specific opinions on both constitutional provisions and emergency legislation in its member States; a recent compilation of the Commission’s work in this area provided guidance into its specific findings. The Commission has also launched an Observatory of the implementation of declarations of states of emergency and of emergency le... read more

ARMENIA - forthcoming opinion - virtual meetings

25/05/2020 - 27/05/2020
In the framework of the preparation of an opinion on three legal questions in the context of the draft constitutional amendments concerning the mandate of the judges of the Constitutional Court of Armenia, a delegation of the Venice Commission held a series of videoconference meetings with the representatives of the Constitutional Court, of three parliamentary fractions including the opposition, with the Chairperson of the State and Legal Committee of the Parliament, the Minister of Justice and the diplomatic community in Erevan as well as representatives of civil society organisations. ... read more

MALTA – forthcoming opinion – virtual meetings

25/05/2020
As a follow-up to the Opinion of the Venice Commission of December 2018, the Maltese Government prepared Proposals for legislative changes and on 20 April 2020 requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on those Proposals.

As part of preparation of the opinion, the Commission organised a series of virtual meetings with the Maltese authorities.

Following a video-conference with the Minister for Justice, Equality and Governance of Malta on 5 May 2020, the rapporteurs of the Venice Commission had a series of video-conferences on 20, 21 and 25 May 2020 with the President... read more

The impact of COVID-19 on electoral process - Organisation of Arab EMBs - Virtual meeting of the members and cooperation partners

20/05/2020
Representatives of the Venice Commission participated in a meeting organised by the Organisation of the Electoral Management Bodies of Arab countries (Arab EMBs) on the impact of COVID-19 on electoral process. During the meeting among other issues the participants discussed the results of the questionnaire prepared by the organisation on the impact of Covid-19 on EMBs and on additional measures that have to be taken by the electoral administration in order to ensure the electoral process. Members of the Arab EMBs and representatives of the international organisations participating in the even... read more

UKRAINE - Request for opinion

19/05/2020
On 13 May 2020 the Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft Law of Ukraine “On All-Ukrainian Referendum”.

123rd Plenary Session of the Venice Commission

14/05/2020
The Bureau of the Commission decided to hold the 123rd Session of the Commission on 18-19 June 2020 by means of a written procedure.

ARMENIA – Request for Opinion

13/05/2020
The Minister of Justice of Armenia asked for the opinion of the Venice Commission on how to best implement the new model of the Constitutional Court as contained in the amendments to the Constitution adopted in 2015, on the scope of the review of constitutional amendments by the Constitutional Court and on the power of parliament to cancel a referendum already called.

ARGENTINA - 1st mandatory presidential debate

07/05/2020
On 7 May 2020 the President of the Commission participated in the virtual seminar on "Evaluation of the first mandatory presidential debate and its implementation" in Argentina, organised by the Cámara Nacional Electoral of Argentina.

TUNISIA - Legislative and regulatory framework of the Tunisian independent bodies

04/05/2020
The Venice Commission held a videoconference on 4 May 2020 on the theme "Legislative and regulatory framework of Tunisian independent bodies: state of play and challenges".

This meeting provided an opportunity to reflect on the legislative and regulatory provisions governing independent bodies and brought together the presidents of the bodies, Tunisian and European experts as well as representatives of the Council of Europe and the European Union.

The event is part of the project to support independent bodies in Tunisia (PAII-T) which is a joint project between the Coun... read more

Global Network on Electoral Justice

30/04/2020
Mr José Luis VARGAS VALDEZ, Venice Commission substitute member in respect of Mexico, Mr Josep Maria CASTELLA ANDREU, Venice Commission member in respect of Spain, Mr Rafael RUBIO NUÑEZ, substitute member in respect of Spain and the Deputy Secretary of the Commission participated on 30 April 2020 in the (virtual) Fifth Scientific Committee Meeting of the Global Network on Electoral Justice.

Kyrgyz Republic - Expert discussion on amendments to the Law on non-commercial organisations

30/04/2020
Bishkek - Representatives of the Venice Commission participate in a videoconference on proposed amendments to legislation on non-commercial organisations (NCOs) organised by the Delegation in Kyrgyz Republic and the Regional Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Central Asia.

Representatives of the authorities, NCOs, national and international experts will exchange views on proposals to change national legislation and introduce new reporting rules for NCOs.

ARMENIA - Legislation on political parties - Implementation of the recommendations

27/04/2020
On 27 April 2020 a videoconference was held between representatives of OSCE/ODIHR and the Venice Commission on the one side, and a delegation of the National Assembly of Armenia on the other side, on the implementation of the Joint opinion of the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR on draft amendments to the legislation concerning political parties.

The Armenian authorities are planning to adopt revised legislation which should follow the recommendations of the opinion.

'The impact of Covid-19 on human rights and the rule of law' - Webinar

27/04/2020
On Monday 27 April 2020, Mr Nicos Alivizatos, member of the Venice Commission in respect of Greece, took part in an exchange of views with Mr Boris Cilevics, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Assembly Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Mr Vladimir Vardanyan, Chairperson of the Sub-committee on Human Rights and Ms Dunja Mijatovic, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights on 'the impact of Covid-19 on human rights and the rule of law'.

This webinar was organised by PACE Secretariat.

KAZAKHSTAN - “Presidential government. Constitutional practice and political practices” – international video conference

24/04/2020
On 24 April 2020 the President of the Venice Commission, Gianni Buquicchio, will participate in a video conference on “Presidential government. Constitutional practice and political practices” organised by the Foundation of the 1st President of Kazakhstan, the Constitutional Council and the Ministry of Justice of Kazakhstan.

UNITED KINGDOM - “Council of Europe, the conscience of Europe in a time of crisis” - webinar

21/04/2020
On 21 April 2020 two Venice Commission members participated in a webinar on “Council of Europe, the conscience of Europe in a time of crisis” organised by the University of Leeds and the University of Liverpool.

MALTA – request for opinion

20/04/2020
On 20 April 2020 the Maltese Government asked for the opinion of the Venice Commission on the concept prepared by the Government for legislative changes and reforms in order to implement the recommendations of the Opinion of the Venice Commission of December 2018.

Emergency Situations - New compilation

16/04/2020
The Scientific Council of the Venice Commission has prepared a compilation of the Commission’s general reports and country-specific opinions on constitutional provisions and legislation on emergency situations. This document facilitates access to the Commission’s analysis of the compatibility of emergency powers with the fundamental principles of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law.

122nd Plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe - Opinions adopted by written procedure

20/03/2020 - 21/03/2020
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - Following the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Enlarged Bureau of the Venice Commission decided not to hold the scheduled 20-21 March 2020 plenary session in Venice.
Instead, today, three opinions were adopted by a written procedure, as follows:

• Armenia: the Joint Opinion with the OSCE/ODIHR on draft amendments to the legislation concerning political parties;
• Kyrgyzstan: the Joint Opinion with the OSCE/ODIHR on the amendments to some legislative acts related to sanctions for violation of electoral legislation;
• Republic of M... read more

World Conference on Constitutional Justice (WCCJ)

20/03/2020
Strasbourg - Following the spread of COVID-19, the 15th meeting of the Bureau of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice was replaced by a written procedure.

UKRAINE - The President of the Venice Commission Buquicchio welcomes the judgment of the Constitutional Court

12/03/2020
Council of Europe, Strasbourg – Today the President of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe Mr Gianni Buquicchio made the following statement:

“I welcome that the judgment of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine of 11 March declares unconstitutional the amendment to the Law on the Judiciary and the Status of Judges which reduced the maximum number of judges in the Supreme Court from 200 to 100. In its Opinion of December 2019 the Venice Commission asked for this provision to be removed.

The Commission was deeply worried that this amendment would have led to ma... read more

4th General Assembly of the Arab EMBs and international conference –“Role of the media in election”

04/03/2020 - 06/03/2020
Nouakchott, Mauritania - the Organisation of Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) of Arab countries, assisted by the UN Development Programme’s Regional Electoral Support Project (UNDP), the National Independent Election Commission of Mauritania and the Venice Commission, organised the 4th General Assembly of Arab EMBs and the international conference on the role of media in elections.

The conference gave the EMBs from Arab counties an opportunity to exchange views on international principles and standards in the field of media coverage of elections and identify key challenges facin... read more

122nd Plenary session of the Venice Commission cancelled

03/03/2020
Strasbourg - Following the spread of the COVID-19 in the north of Italy, the Enlarged Bureau of the Venice Commission decided not to hold the plenary session or the other usual meetings in Venice but instead, the most urgent opinions requested by states and uncontroversial texts will be adopted by a written procedure to be established by the Bureau.

Russian Federation – forthcoming opinion – country visit

02/03/2020 - 03/03/2020
Moscow – A delegation of the Venice Commission, within the framework of the preparation of the Opinion on some draft Amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation (as proposed by the President of the Russian Federation on 15 January 2020) relating to the execution of decisions by international bodies, travelled to Moscow on 2 and 3 March 2020.

The members of the delegation held meetings with representatives of the authorities of the Russian Federation, with representatives of the Russian academic community and with members of the civil society.

ARMENIA – forthcoming opinion – country visit

02/03/2020 - 03/03/2020
Yerevan – a delegation of the Venice Commission and OSCE/ODIHR representatives is in Armenia in the framework of the preparation of the joint opinion on draft amendments to the legislation concerning political parties.

“The legal limits of direct democracy” – International workshop

28/02/2020
Zurich - A Venice Commission delegation participated in an international workshop entitled “The legal limits of direct democracy” by presenting the Code of good practice on referendums and its revision process.

The event was organised by the Institute for International and Comparative Constitutional Law of the University of Zurich with the support of the European Research Council.

Global Judicial Integrity Network - High Level Meeting

25/02/2020 - 27/02/2020
Doha, Qatar – The Venice Commission participated in the High-level Meeting of the UN Global Judicial Integrity Network, organised with the assistance of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

EGYPT - National Human Rights Council

25/02/2020 - 26/02/2020
Cairo - The Venice Commission, in co-operation with the National Human Rights Council of Egypt, organised a conference on “Open government”; The general principles of open government, civic participation and the role of the judiciary, the administration and the Ombudsman were on the agenda.

This is the first time that the Venice Commission and the National Human Rights Council of Egypt have co-organised an event.

ALGERIA – Constitutional Council

23/02/2020 - 24/02/2020
Algiers - A Venice Commission delegation participated in the Conference on "the protection of rights and freedoms by the Constitutional Council" on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Constitutional Council of Algeria.

LATVIA – forthcoming opinion concerning education in minority languages – country visit

20/02/2020 - 21/02/2020
Riga - In the framework of the preparation of the opinion on the recent amendments to the legislation on education in minority languages, the Venice Commission delegation participated in a series of meetings in Riga on 20-21 February 2020.

The exchanges of views with the following interlocutors have been scheduled: the President of the Republic, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Speaker of Parliament, the President of the Constitutional Court and other relevant authorities as well as the civil society including the representatives of the national minorities.

This op... read more

ARMENIA - Request for opinion

19/02/2020
On 17 February 2020 the Speaker of Parliament of the Republic of Armenia requested a Venice Commission opinion on draft amendments to the legislation concerning political parties.

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA – forthcoming opinion – country visit

19/02/2020 - 20/02/2020
Chisinau – Chisinau – In the framework of the preparation of the joint opinion on the draft law on amending the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, a Venice Commission delegation held a series of meetings in Chisinau.

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA - Constitutional Court

19/02/2020 - 21/02/2020
Chisinau - The Venice Commission participated in the International conference on “Constitutional justice and the society’s reaction: When the solutions of the Constitutional Courts are in disagreement with the majority opinion of the society”.

ALBANIA - forthcoming opinion on the appointment of judges – country visit

13/02/2020 - 14/02/2020
Tirana - In the framework of the preparation of the opinion on the appointment of judges of the Constitutional Court, the Venice Commission delegation held a series of meetings in Tirana, on 13 and 14 February 2020.

KYRGYZSTAN – forthcoming opinion concerning sanctions for electoral violations – country visit

11/02/2020 - 12/02/2020
Bishkek - In the framework of the preparation of the opinion on the amendments to some legislative acts of the Kyrgyz Republic related to sanctions for violation of electoral legislation, the Venice Commission delegation participated in a series of meetings with the Kyrgyz authorities and national experts in Bishkek, on 11 - 12 February 2020.

This opinion is on the agenda of the March 2020 Plenary session of the Commission (20-21 March 2020).

ALBANIA – forthcoming opinion concerning the Audiovisual Media Service – country visit

10/02/2020 - 11/02/2020
Tirana - In the framework of the preparation of the opinion on the draft amendments to the Law no 97/2013 on the Audiovisual Media Service, the Venice Commission delegation participated in a series of meetings in Tirana, on 10 and 11 February 2020.

This opinion is on the agenda of the March 2020 Plenary session of the Commission (20-21 March 2020).

AZERBAIJAN - Early parliamentary elections – legal assistance to the PACE election observation delegation

09/02/2020
Baku - 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 early parliamentary elections held on 9 February 2020 in Azerbaijan.

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

ROMANIA - request for opinion by PACE

07/02/2020
Strasbourg - At its meeting on 29 January 2020, the Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe (Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly) decided to request an opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft laws of Romania amending:

- Law No. 115/2015 on the Elections of the Authorities of the Local Public Administration,
- Law No. 215/2001 on Local Public Administration and
- Law No. 393/2004 on the Status of Local Elections.

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA - request for opinion

07/02/2020
On 5 February 2020, the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Moldova, Mr Fadei Nagacevschi, requested the Opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law on amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova as to the Supreme Council of Magistracy.

Summaries of key constitutional courts judgments – e-Bulletin’s 2/2019 issue released

07/02/2020
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - Today the Venice Commission published Issue 2019/2 of its e-Bulletin on Constitutional Case-Law, sharing the summaries of key judgments delivered by constitutional courts and courts with equivalent jurisdiction with the world-wide legal community.

BELGIUM - Voluntary Contribution

06/02/2020
Council of Europe, Strasbourg – On 22 January 2020 the government of the Kingdom of Belgium has generously allocated 1.000.000 Euros to the Venice Commission’s budget for the period of four years (2020-2023).

The funds are destined for the modernisation of the Commission’s database on the constitutional case law CODICES and the website as well as the preparation of opinions.

Modernisation of the civil service in the southern Mediterranean - UniDem Campus Med - 5th coordination meeting

06/02/2020
Rabat - The 5th coordination meeting of the UniDem project for the southern Mediterranean took place in Rabat of the 6th February 2020. This annual meeting gathers the national coordinators of the following partner countries: Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine* and Tunisia. The participants took stock of the 2019 UniDem Med seminars and discussed the priorities as regards the modernisation of the public administration in their respective countries. During the meeting the participants determined the topics, dates and venues of 2020 UniDem Med seminars.

The UniDem seminars were est... read more

TURKEY - Opinion on replacement of elected candidates and mayors - country visit

06/02/2020 - 07/02/2020
Ankara - In the framework of the preparation of the opinion regarding the replacement of elected candidates and mayors, the Venice Commission delegation participated in a series of meetings in Ankara, on 6 and 7 February 2020.

This opinion will be discussed at the March 2020 Plenary session of the Commission (20-21 March 2020).

Stop “worrying trend” of election winners abusing power - the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe endorses the Commission's Checklist

05/02/2020
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - Today the Committee of Ministers has endorsed the Venice Commission's checklist aimed at ensuring that election winners uphold democratic practices.

The Checklist gives governments guidelines on how to maintain the checks and balances of democracy, no matter what kind of system is used in that country.

It follows a warning by the Commission, echoed by former Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland in his 2016 report, that some governments, on gaining power in an election, are trying to dismantle democratic safeguards, rushing... read more

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA - Request for opinion

05/02/2020
On 5 February 2020, the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Moldova, Mr Fadei Nagacevschi, requested the Opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law on amending and supplementing the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova.

ARMENIA – All sides need to exercise restraint, mutual respect and constructive institutional co-operation - Statement by President Buquicchio

03/02/2020
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - "Following my statement of 29 October 2019, I remain preoccupied about the open conflict involving the Constitutional Court of Armenia. I share the concerns of the rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in this respect.

I would like to recall the recommendations made in the opinion of the Venice Commission adopted in October 2019 that any early retirement scheme at the Constitutional Court has to remain truly voluntary, exclude any undue political or personal pressure on the judges concerned and must be designed not to inf... read more

WCCJ - Supreme Court of Somalia becomes 117th member

31/01/2020
The Supreme Court of Somalia joined the World Conference on Constitutional Justice, which now has 117 members.

PACE session - Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy

30/01/2020
Strasbourg - Mr Michael Frendo, member of the Bureau of the Venice Commission, took part on behalf of the Commission in a hearing of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the topic «Countering ill democracies in Europe».

UKRAINE – visit of the Supreme Court Chair

30/01/2020
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - The Secretary of the Venice Commission, Director Thomas Markert met with the President of the Supreme Court of Ukraine Ms Valentyna Danishevska.

UKRAINE – visit of the Constitutional Court judges

30/01/2020
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - The President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio and the Commission’s Secretary, Director Thomas Markert met with a delegation of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine led by its President Oleksandr Tupytskyi.

RUSSIAN FEDERATION – request for an opinion

29/01/2020
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights requested the Venice Commission’s opinion on the draft amendment to
the Constitution of the Russian Federation (as proposed by the President of the Russian Federation on 15 January 2020) according to which, international agreements and treaties, as well as decisions by international bodies may apply only to the extent that they do not entail restrictions on the rights and freedoms of people and citizens, and do not contradict the Constitution.

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA – Meeting with President Dodon

29/01/2020
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - President Buquicchio exchanged views with Mr Igor Dodon, President of the Republic of Moldova in the presence of Mr Fadei Nagacevschi, Minister of Justice, and Ambassador Ms Corina Calugaru, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Moldova to the Council of Europe. The Venice Commission’s Urgent Opinion on the Superior Council of Magistracy ( prepared jointly with the Directorate of Human Rights of the DG-I), the constitutional reform, the strategy for the judicial reform and the electoral legislation were discussed.

EU TAIEX Workshop on Political party financing

27/01/2020 - 28/01/2020
Sarajevo - A representative of the Venice Commission took part in the TAIEX Workshop on “Political party financing – experience so far and next steps”, organised by the European Commission in co-operation with Bosnia and Herzegovina Election Commission, which took place in Sarajevo on 27 and 28 January 2020.

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA – Urgent opinion published

22/01/2020
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - The Minister of Justice of Moldova requested a Venice Commission urgent opinion on the draft amendments to the Law of the Republic of Moldova No. 947/196 on Superior Council of Magistracy.

The urgent opinion was made public on 22 January 2020.

ALBANIA - Request for opinion

21/01/2020
The President of Albania requested a Venice Commission opinion on the appointment of judges to the Constitutional Court.

ALBANIA - request for opinion by PACE

20/01/2020
The Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly requested a Venice Commission opinion on Albanian Law no. 97/2013 “on Audiovisual Media Service”.

Urgent request for opinion / country visit - POLAND

09/01/2020 - 10/01/2020
The Marshal of the Senate of Poland, Mr Tomasz Grodzki, requested a Venice Commission opinion on the amendments to the Law on Organisation of Common Courts, the Act on the Supreme Court and some other acts, adopted by the Polish Sejm on 20 December 2019.
These amendments were to be examined by the Senate at the upcoming January Session. For this reason, the Bureau of the Venice Commission authorised the preparation of an urgent opinion by the rapporteurs.

A Venice Commission delegation visited Warsaw on 9 and 10 January 2020 and met with the requesting authority and other in... read more

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