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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

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

Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions

08/2019
Kuala-Lumpur - Congress of the Association of Asian Constitutional Courts and Equivalent Institutions

119th Plenary session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

21/06/2019 - 22/06/2019
Venice, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista

65th meeting of the Council for Democratic Elections

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

Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa (CJCA)

10/06/2019 - 13/06/2019
Luanda - 5th Congress of the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa.

  CCJA

Joint Council on Constitutional Justice

23/05/2019 - 24/05/2019
Rome - The Constitutional Court of Italy will host the 18th meeting of the Joint Council on Constitutional Justice of the Venice Commission.

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”.

Association of Constitutional Courts using the French Language

01/05/2019 - 03/05/2019
Montreal - 8th Congress of the Association of Constitutional Courts using the French Language (ACCPUF)

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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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