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Recent and Current Events

Austria - Constitutional Justice

01/10/2020
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.

IFES – Webinar Series: Administering Elections in Europe During a Pandemic - Webinar 4: inclusion of persons with disabilities in the electoral process

24/09/2020
The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) organises Webinar Series on “Administering elections in Europe during a pandemic”.

On 24 September 2020 the 4th online session on “How to Build a Democracy That’s Designed for All? Promoting Access and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities“ will be held and a representative of the Venice Commission will participate in this session.

This event will focus on innovative approaches for persons with disabilities to equally participate during the upcoming elections scheduled across Europe and practical recommendations ... read more

Association of the Asian Constitutional Courts - Conference

23/09/2020 - 25/09/2020
The Venice Commission will participate in a video Conference of the Association of the Asian Constitutional Courts (AACC) "Freedom of expression: experience of the AACC members", organised by the Secretariat for Research and Development established by the AACC.

PACE Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy - Exchange of views on Belarus

23/09/2020
The President of the Venice Commission Mr G. Buquicchio participated in an exchange of views on the current situation in Belarus with the members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The hearing was organised by the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy.

UZBEKISTAN - forthcoming opinion - video meetings

21/09/2020
In view of the preparation of the draft opinion on the draft law on “Freedom of conscience and religious organisations” of Uzbekistan, a joint Venice Commission - OSCE/ODIHR delegation participated in a series of videoconference meetings with:

• the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Mazhlis,
• the Committee for Religious Affairs under the Cabinet of Ministers,
• the Ministry of Justice,
• representatives of religious / belief communities,
• non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other stakeholders.

The draft opinion is on the agenda of the Octo... read more

GEORGIA – Request for opinion

21/09/2020
The Parliament of Georgia requested an opinion from the Venice Commission on the draft Amendments to the Law on Common Courts of Georgia.
The draft opinion is on the agenda of the October plenary session of the Commission.

KOSOVO – forthcoming opinion – video meetings

14/09/2020 - 15/09/2020
On 21 August 2020 the Prime Minister of Kosovo requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law on public gatherings.

In the framework of the preparation of the draft opinion on this draft law, the rapporteurs of the Venice Commission held a series of online meetings with the Kosovar authorities and other stakeholders on 14 and 15 September 2020.

The draft opinion will be submitted to October 2020 Plenary Session for adoption.

29th ACEEEO Annual Conference - Elections and Communications - The role of Electoral Management Bodies in conducting and facilitating effective communication

10/09/2020
Tbilisi – The Association of European Election Officials (ACEEEO) invited the Venice Commission to participate in its 29th Annual conference online entitled "Elections and Communications - The role of Electoral Management Bodies in conducting and facilitating effective communication".

A representative of the Commission shared the information on the work of the Venice Commission on digital technologies and elections.

ICELAND – forthcoming opinion – video meetings

10/09/2020
On 31 July 2020 the Office of the Prime Minister of Iceland requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on four draft constitutional bills on the protection of the environment, on natural resources, on referendums and on the President of Iceland, the Government, the functions of the executive and other institutional matters.

In the framework of the preparation of the draft opinion on these draft bills, the rapporteurs of the Venice Commission held a series of online meetings with the Icelandic authorities and other stakeholders on 10 September 2020.

The draft opinion w... read more

HAITI – Request for co-operation in the fields of electoral legislation and practice and constitutional reform

10/09/2020
By a letter of 10 September 2020, the Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS), in application of the co-operation agreement signed between the OAS and the Venice Commission in June 2020, transmitted the request from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Haiti, Hon. Claude Joseph inviting the Commission to co-operate on constitutional and electoral reforms in Haiti.

The Venice Commission plans to prepare a draft opinion on the electoral legislation and examine it at its December 2020 Plenary session.

IRELAND - Special Committee of Dáil Éireann on COVID-19 Response - hearing

09/09/2020
Dublin - The President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio participated online in a hearing of the Special Committee on COVID-19 Response appointed by Dáil Éireann the Irish House of representatives.

The President shared the Commission’s acquis on the emergency situations in the member States of the Commission and answered questions of the MPs.

UKRAINE – forthcoming opinion – video meetings

09/09/2020
By letter of 7 August 2020, the Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament requested an opinion on Amendments to the Law 'On the Judiciary and the Status of Judges' and certain laws on the activities of the Supreme Court and Judicial Authorities.

In the framework of the preparation of the draft opinion on these amendments a delegation of the Venice Commission held a series of meetings online with the Ukrainian authorities and other stakeholders starting on 9 September 2020.

The adoption of the draft opinion is planned for the October 2020 plenary session.

European Union - European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) hearing

08/09/2020
The Venice Commission participated online in a hearing entitled “The rule of law and its impact on economic growth”, organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), a consultative body of the European Union (EU).

Global Network on Electoral Justice - Webinar on digital electoral justice and COVID-19

08/09/2020
Representatives of the Venice Commission participated in the Third Webinar of the Global Network on Electoral Justice entitled “Digital Electoral Justice and COVID-19: Challenges, Opportunities, and Implications of Incorporating New Technologies”.

GEORGIA - Technical webinar: preparation for elections security

04/09/2020
The Venice Commission took part in a Technical webinar on “Preparation for elections security”, in the framework of the CyberEast project on cybercrime and electronic evidence in the Eastern Partnership countries, managed by the Cybercrime Programme Office of the Council of Europe (Bucharest).

The purpose of the webinar for the Georgian authorities was to bring together all relevant national stakeholders, and to focus on awareness raising, inter-institutional coordination, information sharing, best practices, previous experiences, and lessons learnt in terms ensuring cyber-security... read more

TURKEY – forthcoming opinion – video meetings

04/09/2020
In the framework of the preparation of the draft opinion on the amendments to the Law on Bar associations of Turkey, the Commission organises a series of meetings online with the Turkish authorities and other stakeholders on 4, 9 and 10 September 2020.

The adoption of the draft opinion is planned for the October 2020 plenary session.

INDONESIA - 17th anniversary of the Constitutional Court

02/09/2020
Jakarta – the President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio addressed a short video message to the Constitutional Court of Indonesia at the occasion of its 17th anniversary.

MALTA – forthcoming opinion - video meetings

01/09/2020
The Maltese Government prepared Bills implementing concepts for reforms and on 23 June 2020 requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on those Bills.

As part of preparation of the opinion, the Commission organised a series of virtual meetings with the Maltese authorities. Most recently, on 1 September, the rapporteurs exchanged views with the Minister of Justice, Equality and Governance. Other meetings were held on 3 and 4 September 2020.

The adoption of the opinion is planned during the October 2020 plenary session of the Venice Commission.

IVth Congress of the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC)

27/08/2020
Nur-Sultan - The Venice Commission was invited ot the online IV Congress of the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC).

The President of the Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio delivered an opening speech.

Meeting of the members of the courts associations AACC and EACRB

26/08/2020
Nur-Sultan - The Venice Commission and the World Conference on Constitutional Justice participated on-line in the meeting of the Board of Members of the Association of the Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions (AACC) and the meeting of the Eurasian Association of Constitutional Review Bodies (EACRB).

MONTENEGRO - “Holding elections during a pandemic” - Webinar

25/08/2020 - 25/08/2020
The Venice Commission and the State Election Commission of Montenegro co-organised a webinar dedicated to “Holding elections during a pandemic”, which took place online on 25 August 2020.

The participants exchanged views on theoretical aspects and practical implications of holding elections during a pandemic, including in the context of the Montenegrin elections.

KOSOVO – Request for opinion

21/08/2020
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law on public gatherings.

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA – Urgent opinion published

19/08/2020
Strasbourg/Warsaw - Today, the Venice Commission, jointly with OSCE/ODIHR, has issued an urgent opinion on the draft Law no. 263 amending the Electoral Code, the Contravention Code and the Code of Audiovisual Media Services.

The Commission and the ODIHR positively assessed inter alia the following provisions of the draft Law:

• clearer definitions of “electoral campaign” and clarifications regarding the timeline for campaigning in the second round,
• additional provisions aimed at preventing the misuse of administrative resources;
• expanding the range of sa... read more

UKRAINE - Request for opinion

14/08/2020
The Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament requested an opinion on Amendments to the Law 'On the Judiciary and the Status of Judges' and certain laws on the activities of the Supreme Court and Judicial Authorities.

BELARUS - International electoral standards must be respected - Statement by President Buquicchio

12/08/2020
Council of Europe, Strasbourg - Democratic elections are an expression of the sovereignty belonging to the people of a country. It is the free expression of the will of the people that provides the basis for the authority and legitimacy of government. The rights of citizens to vote and to be elected at periodic, democratic elections are internationally recognised human rights.

Democratic elections cannot be achieved without respect for human rights, in particular freedom of expression and of the press, freedom of circulation inside the country, freedom of assembly and freedom of... read more

UZBEKISTAN - Samarkand Human Rights Web Forum

12/08/2020 - 13/08/2020
Samarkand – The President of the Venice Commission Mr Gianni Buquicchio delivered a speech at the opening of the Samarkand Human Rights Web Forum. The event was dedicated to the International Youth Day in the framework of the UN75 Initiative of the UN and was organised by the National Centre for Human Rights of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

UZBEKISTAN - Request for opinion

06/08/2020
The First Vice President, Legislative Chamber of the Parliament (Oliy Majlis) has requested an opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft law on “Freedom of conscience and religious organisations”.

The opinion will be adopted at the October plenary session.

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA – Forthcoming opinion – Online meetings

06/08/2020
In the framework of the preparation of the joint Venice Commission - OSCE/ODIHR opinion on the draft Law no. 263 amending the Electoral Code, the Contravention Code and the Code of Audiovisual Media Services, a number of video meetings took place with various Moldovan stakeholders, including the State Secretary of Justice, the Legal Committee of the Parliament, the Central Election Commission and the Ombudsperson.

The draft opinion was prepared at the request of the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Moldova. It was issued as part of the Partnership for Good Governance, co-fund... read more

ICELAND - Request for opinion

05/08/2020
The Venice Commission is preparing, at the request of the Prime Minister of Iceland, an opinion on four draft constitutional bills on the protection of the environment, on natural resources, on referendums and on the President of Iceland, the Government, the functions of the executive and other institutional matters.

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA – Request for opinion

24/07/2020
The Venice Commission is preparing, jointly with OSCE/ODIHR, at the request of the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Moldova, an urgent opinion on the draft Law no. 263 amending the Electoral Code, the Contravention Code and the Code of Audiovisual Media Services. This opinion will be produced as part of the Partnership for Good Governance, co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe, through the Quick Response Mechanism.

UKRAINE – Urgent Opinion published - Draft Law on All-Ukraine Referendum

22/07/2020
Strasbourg - The Venice Commission adopted an “urgent joint opinion” with ODIHR on Ukraine’s Draft Law 3612 concerning Democracy Through All-Ukraine Referendum.

The opinion, requested in May by the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, was published already on 21 July 2020 before the next Venice Commission plenary session, given the need for legal expertise before possible passage in the Ukrainian parliament.

The joint opinion welcomes Ukraine’s efforts to amend its legal and institutional framework relating to national referendums and to bring it into compliance with relevan... read more

“Using new technologies in the electoral process” - Online conference

21/07/2020
The Venice Commission in cooperation with the Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania held an online conference entitled ““Using new technologies in the electoral process”. The Council of Europe’s reflections and work on e-voting as well as relevant national experiences were discussed.

TUNISIA - Strengthening the electoral legal framework : videoconference

16/07/2020
The Venice Commission organised a videoconference on 16 July 2020 in cooperation with Tunisia’s Independent Higher Election Authority (ISIE) on improving the country's electoral legal framework.

This event, where national and international experts, representatives of the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe and the European Union participated, was aimed at discussing the current legal framework in the light of the questions raised in the report of the European Union Election Observation Mission during the 2019 Tunisian presidential and legislative elections.

The even... read more

Request for an opinion - the European Parliament - the legal framework and practices of EU member states during the Covid-19 crisis

15/07/2020
On 11 June 2020, the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament decided to support the request from the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) for a report from the Venice Commission on the measures taken in the EU member states since the Covid-19 crisis and their impact on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights.

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA - 25 years at the Council of Europe

13/07/2020
Strasbourg, Council of Europe - On the occasion of the online celebration of the 25th anniversary of Moldova's accession to the Council of Europe, the President of the Venice Commission Mr. Gianni Buquicchio delivered a message.

Venice Commission launches its Observatory on the emergency situations

10/07/2020
Strasbourg, Council of Europe – Today the Venice Commission has published its Observatory on the emergency situations in Venice Commission member States.

The aim of this Observatory on the situations of emergency, created by the Scientific Council, is to collect country-specific information on constitutional and extra-constitutional emergency powers, on relevant mechanisms of parliamentary and judicial oversight and on electoral experiences. The Observatory will thus provide systematised comparative information which may be used by lawyers, scholars, State officials, international... read more

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 accompanied 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 observed 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 participated in a videoconference between representatives of the national authorities of Armenia and their Council of Europe interlocutors. He introduced 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 was 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 Europe and A... 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.

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