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Content updated: 13-05-2020 15:47

Dainius Žalimas: recommendations from the Venice Commission constitute one of the principal sources for the development of the official constitutional doctrine

13-05-2020

The President of the Constitutional Court, Dainius Žalimas, congratulated the President of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), Gianni Buquicchio, and the members of the Commission on the 30th anniversary of the activity of the Venice Commission.

The Venice Commission is the Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional matters, providing legal advice to its Member States wishing to bring their legal and institutional structures into line with European standards and international experience in the fields of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. The Venice Commission was established on 10 May 1990 with the aim of providing constitutional assistance upon the change in the political situation in Central and Eastern Europe. The Commission is composed of experts delegated by the Member States. According to the decision making and coordination mechanism provided for in the Statute of the Venice Commission, decisions are discussed and adopted by the Venice Commission at plenary sessions held at least four times a year.

In his congratulatory letter to the Venice Commission, Dainius Žalimas emphasised that the Commission stands out as being capable of holding its firm position, while at the same time maintaining a balance between differing points of view; it is also notable for its capacity to find a common understanding, a common denominator. Moreover, all this is achieved by the Venice Commission without departing from – the overarching goal – the protection of European democratic values and principles. The President of the Constitutional Court also wrote:

“Each and every time I think of the activities of the Venice Commission, I recall what has always seemed to me to be most important – discussions in the search of the truth and of the best possible solution. It is this characteristic that is inherent in democracy, whose essence is not to impose the will of the majority, but to give consideration to all opinions.

This year, a 30th anniversary is also celebrated by Lithuania – thirty years ago the independent democratic state of Lithuania was restored. I have no doubt that our democracy would not have been so mature if, in solving constitutional justice cases, we had been unable to make such extensive use of the recommendations from the Venice Commission and its compiled database of constitutional case law. These recommendations by the Venice Commission can confidently be called the European standards of constitutional jurisprudence, thus also one of the principal sources for the development of the official constitutional doctrine.

We have also been pleased to be able to share our own experience, participate in discussions, and provide our opinion. Most importantly, we all have awareness that, regardless of fervent disagreements that occur at times, the ultimate solution will always be based on the principle of the rule of law.”