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Legislationline.org provides direct access to international norms and standards relating to specific human dimension issues (see list of topics on left-hand column) as well as to domestic legislation and other documents of relevance to these issues. These data and other information available from the site are intended for lawmakers across the OSCE region.     






OSCE/ODIHR has recently produced the following reviews and guidelines: 

Joint Opinion on the Draft Law Amending the Law of the Republic of Armenia on “Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organisations” (20 March 2018)

The OSCE/ODIHR and the Venice Commission welcome Armenia’s efforts to amend its existing legal framework with a view to bringing it into compliance with international standards on freedom of religion or belief and note a number of improvements compared to the existing 1991 Law that reflect some of the recommendations made in previous OSCE/ODIHR-Venice Commission joint opinions on Armenian legislation pertaining to freedom of religion or belief. At the same time, it is noted that some positive aspects of the Draft Law as reviewed by the OSCE/ODIHR in its 2017 Opinion have been removed from the current version of the Draft Law. Moreover, some key recommendations from previous opinions have not been addressed and the Draft Law still raises issues on several points that should be carefully addressed prior to adoption, especially regarding the scope and wording of the provisions on limitations to the manifestation of freedom of religion or belief, the rights enjoyed by all, registered or unregistered, religious or belief communities, and the requirements for registering religious organisations.

Joint Opinion on Two Draft Laws (no. 6674 and no. 6675) of Ukraine on Public Transparency of Information on Finance Activity of Public Associations and on the Use of International Technical Assistance (16 March 2018)  

First, the OSCE/ODIHR and the Venice Commission welcome Ukraine’s plans to cancel the e-declaration requirements for ‘anti-corruption activists’, which were introduced by Law No. 6172 of 3 March 2017 amending the Law on Prevention of Corruption and which raise serious human rights issues; they also urge the authorities to ensure that the cancellation enters into force before the deadline of 1 April 2018 for submission of the first e-declarations. At the same time, the Joint Opinion notes that the new financial reporting and disclosure requirements proposed by the draft laws no. 6674 and no. 6675 are unnecessary and unduly burdensome and would conflict with human rights and fundamental freedoms, namely, the freedom of association, the right to respect for private life and the prohibition of discrimination. The Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR therefore recommend that such requirements be reconsidered in their entirety or, at a minimum, substantially narrowed down, while ensuring that potential sanctions are proportionate to the different types and degrees of violations of the rules.

Joint Opinion on Draft Law No. 140/2017 of Romania on Amending Governmental Ordinance No. 26/2000 on Associations and Foundations (16 March 2018)

The OSCE/ODIHR and the Venice Commission conclude that the new reporting and disclosure requirements that would be introduced by the draft law, which would apply to all associations and foundations, and the sanctions of suspension of activities and dissolution in case of non-compliance, are clearly unnecessary and disproportionate, and should therefore be repealed. While welcoming the objective of the draft law to be more specific in what is considered to be in “the general or community interest” to obtain public utility status, the Joint Opinion expresses some concerns about the fact that organizations working on certain areas not listed in the draft law, such as democracy, human rights, rule of law and fight against corruption, may accordingly be excluded from the benefit of public utility status.

Opinion on the Draft Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the Professional Activities of Advocates and Legal Assistance (28 February 2018)

The Opinion notes that any measures aimed at improving the quality of, and increasing access to, legal services should not be detrimental to the independence of the legal profession. It reminds that, as a cornerstone of the right to a fair trial and an essential element of effective protection of all human rights, the principle of the independence of the legal profession is essential to the rights and interests of every member of society and not just lawyers. The Opinion addresses a number of the Draft Law’s provisions that pose a threat to the independence of lawyers in Kazakhstan, such as the executive branch’s power to coordinate the activities of legal service providers, the licensing system, the state’s involvement in disciplinary commissions for advocates, and the exceptionally broad powers of the executive branch to oversee and control the newly established profession of legal consultant. The Opinion further recommends a fundamental rethinking of the Draft Law’s system of regulation for legal consultants and a considerably more detailed approach to regulating state guaranteed legal aid (which, preferably, done through a separate law). Finally, noting the Government’s efforts to involve the legal community in the drafting process, the Opinion recommends that the reforms proposed in the Draft Law undergo further broad and inclusive consultations with all interested parties, including the public at large.

Comments on the draft Law on Prevention and Protection Against Discrimination of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (21 February 2018)

The Comments conclude that the Draft Law on Prevention and Protection against Discrimination in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia would be a positive step in combating discrimination and an improvement to the existing law. It is better aligned with the EU aquis communautaire and appears to generally comply with international obligations.

However, there remain areas of concern that should be enhanced, in particular related to some vague language and compliance with certain international commitments and standards. These should be reconsidered based on the recommendations made in these Comments. It is also noted that the long list of sometimes vague or broadly defined discrimination grounds contained in the draft law may make it difficult to prove that discrimination occurred.

In spite of the two-fold purpose reflected in title of the draft law (protection and prevention), it seems to place greater emphasis on protection against discrimination than on prevention. The draft fails to envisage adequate awareness-raising and other measures to prevent discrimination, aside from public dissemination and educational activities of the Commission. This is a different approach than that taken, for example, by the 2012 Law on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, which envisages many basic and special measures for achieving equal opportunities.

 ODIHR's work on regulatory reform:

Assessment of the Legislative Process in the Kyrgyz Republic (October 2015)

Based on a Memorandum of Understanding, signed between the OSCE/ODIHR and the Presidential Administration of the Kyrgyz Republic on 7 January 2015, the OSCE/ODIHR conducted a comprehensive assessment of the legislative process in the Kyrgyz Republic, which analyzed all the legislative and practical aspects of the law-making process in the country, and provided recommendations for reform. 

ODIHR's assessment report recommends, among other measures, to introduce unified evidence-based drafting and law-making standards in the Kyrgyz Republic, including public consultations on draft laws. It further advises law-makers to enhance policy discussions at the start of the legislative process, and to introduce more realistic procedural deadlines. 

Assessment of the Legislative Process in Georgia (January 2015)  

Based on a Memorandum of Understanding, signed between the OSCE/ODIHR and the Parliament of Georgia on 24 February 2014, the OSCE/ODIHR conducted a comprehensive assessment of the legislative process in Georgia, a situational analysis of both the formal procedures and the actual practices in Georgia that apply to the preparation, drafting, enactment, publication, communication and evaluation of legislation.

The assessment report discusses the salient aspects of the legislative drafting / law-making process in the country and identifies the existing concerns and risks as well as a number of goals to be achieved in order to enable the law-making system to function in a more effective, transparent and efficient way. 


Legal Reviews

Joint Opinion on the Draft Law Amending the Law of the Republic of Armenia on Freedom of Conscience and on Religious Organisations (in English)

Date : 20 March 2018 English [0.85 MB]

Joint Opinion on the Draft Law Amending the Law of the Republic of Armenia  on Freedom of Conscience and on Religious Organisations (in Armenian)

Date : 20 March 2018 Armenian [0.82 MB]

Joint Opinion on the Law for Amending and Completing Certain Legislative Acts (Electoral System for the Election of the Parliament) (in English)

Date : 19 March 2018 English [0.33 MB]
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Lawmaking surveys

Assessment of the Legislative Process in the Kyrgyz Republic

Date : 08 December 2015 English [0.56 MB]

Assessment of the Legislative Process in Georgia

Date : 30 January 2015 English [0.37 MB]

Assessment of the Legislative Process in Georgia (in Georgian)

Date : 30 January 2015 Georgian [0.45 MB]
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