The European Commission for Democracy through Law, better known as the Venice Commission, is a Council of Europe independent consultative body on issues of constitutional law, including the functioning of democratic institutions and fundamental rights, electoral law and constitutional justice. Set up 25 years ago by 18 Member states of the Council of Europe in 1990 it has since subsequently played a decisive role in the adoption and implementation of constitutions in keeping with Europe’s constitutional heritage. In 2017, it has 61 full members and 11 other entities formally associated with its work. More than 3 billion people are “covered” by the expertise of the Commission."

Gianni Buquicchio, President

The members of the Venice Commisssion are independent experts. The Commission holds four plenary sessions a year in Venice, working mainly in three fields: constitutional assistance, constitutional justice and election and referendum issues. It has extended its expertise also beyond Europe.



Thomas Markert
Director and Secretary

“The Commission has the prime function of providing constitutional assistance to States, mainly, but not exclusively, those which participate in its activities. Such assistance takes the form of opinions prepared by the Commission at the request not only of States, but also of organs of the Council of Europe. The Commission has thus made an often crucial contribution to the development of constitutional law, mainly, although not exclusively, in the new democracies of central and eastern Europe.

The aim of the assistance given by the Venice Commission is to provide a complete, precise, detailed and objective analysis not only of compatibility with European and international standards, but also of the practicality and viability of the solutions envisaged by the States concerned. The Commission’s recommendations and suggestions are largely based on common European experience in this sphere.”


We promote, protect and develop human rights and justice through standard setting, monitoring and co-operation


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