In its final plenary session, on 8-9 December, the Council of Europe's European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) elected its president and vice presidents to two-year terms.
Re-elected President for the fourth time in a row, Gianni Buquicchio (Italy) has presided over the Venice Commission since 2009. A widely recognized public law expert, Mr. Buquicchio helped to ensure the commission’s founding in 1990. He first joined the Council of Europe in 1971.
Icelandic lawyer and political scientist Herdis Kjerulf Thorgeirsdottir was elected First Vice-President. She has developed an international reputation in promoting freedom of expression, women's rights and human rights in general.
Additionally, two members were elected Vice Presidents: Michael Frendo, a former Maltese politician who served as Foreign Affairs Minister from 2004 to 2008 and Speaker of the House of Representatives from 2010 to 2013 and Veronika Bílková (Czech Republic), a renowned international lawyer.
Full election results, including for other members of the commission's bureau, can be found here.
The Venice Commission provides legal advice to its member states and more generally helps states wishing to bring their legal and institutional structures into line with European standards.
Commission member states include the 47 Council of Europe member states, plus 14 other countries (Algeria, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Israel, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Korea, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Mexico, Peru, Tunisia and the USA).