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Declaration by the Venice Commission on undue interference in the work of Constitutional Courts in its member States

16/03/2016

At its 106th plenary session (Venice, 11-12 March 2016), the Venice Commission had to discuss several cases of undue interference in the work of Constitutional Courts in its member States, a topic which will also be a focus of the 4th Congress of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice (Vilnius, 10-13 September 2017).

A specific opinion, adopted at the 106th plenary session, dealt with amendments to the Law on the Constitutional Tribunal of Poland.

The Venice Commission expresses serious concern over statements made by the President of Turkey who has declared that he will not respect a recent judgment of the Constitutional Court of Turkey and has moreover threatened to abolish this Court. As a Member State of the Council of Europe, Turkey is bound by the Council’s fundamental principles, that of democracy, the protection of human rights and the rule of law. These threats against the Constitutional Court of Turkey are in clear violation of the Council of Europe’s fundamental principles.

Furthermore, the Venice Commission is concerned about problems and delays in appointing judges to the Constitutional Courts of Slovakia and Croatia based on information it has received.

As concerns Georgia, the Commission is concerned about public calls from the executive to terminate the mandate of the President of the Constitutional Court, which risks undermining the authority of this Court.

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