“For the past thirty years, the Venice Commission, whose official name is the Commission for Democracy through Law, has provided expertise in support of constitutional, legislative, or administrative reforms to ensure the progress of democracy, the protection of fundamental rights and the respect for the rule of law.
It is composed of independent experts from each of the Council of Europe member states and from non-member states or institutions that have acceded to the Enlarged Agreement which created it, and currently has 61 members. In this way, the Venice Commission provides support in a vast field of expertise through the contributions of each of these experts with different legal and cultural backgrounds, as well as the collective experience accumulated since its establishment."
Claire Bazy Malaurie, President of the Venice Commission
“The Commission's primary mandate is to provide constitutional and legal 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 thorough, 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 reaches its conclusions after extensive dialogue with the authorities, the opposition, state institutions, relevant stakeholders including civil society. The Commission’s recommendations and suggestions are largely based on common European experience in this sphere.
The Commission also prepares general reports and guidelines which identify and develop standards in specific, topical fields. These reports have contributed to defining and updating Council of Europe standards."
Simona Granata-Menghini, Director and Secretary of the Venice Commission
The members of the Venice Commission 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.