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Recent and Current Events

65th meeting of the Council for Democratic Elections

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

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

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.

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 is invited to participate 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”.

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".

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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”.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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