Anna A. Kashirkina
Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4269-8262
Abstract. The review is dedicated to the review of the 125th plenary session of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), held on December 11—12, 2020 in an online format. During the current session of the Venice Commission, its members and experts discussed and adopted opinions on the legislation of Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Kosovo, Ukraine, and Albania, as well as considered procedural issues related to the functioning of the Venice Commission in 2021.
The subject matter of the requests under consideration, on which the VC opinions were prepared, was mainly related to the implementation of constitutional and other legislative reforms in the states, including the organization of elections. Thus, during the session, the Venice Commission, in addition to the conclusions on specific states, adopted a number of important comprehensive documents, namely: Revised joint guidelines on the regulation of political parties, Principles on the use of digital technologies in electoral processes in accordance with fundamental human rights, a Revised report on individual access to constitutional justice, a Compilation of the VC opinions and reports on the stability of electoral legislation.
The main trend of the opinions and other documents adopted at this session was a critical assessment of the constitutional reforms in the states and related processes. At the same time, the VC members paid special attention to the observance and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, both in the context of a “renewed democracy” and taking into account modern challenges, including the pandemic and mass digitalization. The VC experts rightly noted that states consider their constitutional models, including the constitution itself, as the main guidelines for improving legislation and the entire legal system of the state. At the same time, it is necessary to correlate all the constitutional changes taking place in the state with the global humanistic values, including the generally recognized principles of international law, international human rights treaties, focusing on compliance with the provisions of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms for the member states.
Keywords: Venice Commission, legislation, constitution, elections, political parties, digitalization
For citation. Kashirkina A. A. Review of the 125th Plenary Session of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) (11—12 December 2020). Journal of Foreign Legislation and Comparative Law, 2021, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 157—166. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.12737/jflcl.2021.025