98th Plenary Session of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe

24 March 2014 - Professor Jasna Omejec, President of the Court and a member of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) from the Republic of Croatia together with Judge Slavica Banić, substitute member of the Commission, participated in its 98th Plenary Session, held in Venice from 21 to 22 March 2014. In addition to regular activities of the Commission related to the constitutional assistance, elections and referendum issues, the Agenda also entailed the deliberations on an opinion, made upon a request of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on "whether the decision taken by the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in Ukraine to organize a referendum on becoming a constituent territory of the Russian Federation or restoring Crimea’s 1992 Constitution is compatible with constitutional principles".

Furthermore, the agenda also included the opinion made again upon a request of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on the compatibility with international law of Draft Federal Constitutional Law No. 462741-6 of the Russian Federation on "Amending the Federal Constitutional Law on the Procedure of Admission to the Russian Federation and creation of a new subject of the Russian Federation in its Composition". The Venice Commission concluded that this Draft Federal Constitutional Law is not compatible with international law. It violates in particular the principles of territorial integrity, national sovereignty, non-intervention in the internal affairs of another state and pacta sunt servanda. On 17 March 2014, the authors of the Draft Law requested its withdrawal and on 20 March 2014 the Draft Law was removed from the agenda of the Duma (Russian Parliament).

The next session is scheduled for June 2014.