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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 Legal Framework of the Republic of Moldova Governing the Funding of Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns (11 December 2017)

The opinion concludes that the series of amendments introduced to the Law on Political Parties, the Electoral Code and other laws relevant to the financing of political parties and electoral campaigns in the Republic of Moldova during 2015-2017 brought improvements in a number of issues and some previous recommendations of the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR were taken into account. The amendments strengthened inter alia disclosure and reporting requirements on political parties and electoral contestants, supervision and sanctions available in case of violation of the rules. That said, there remain several unaddressed recommendations from the 2013 and 2017 Joint Opinions and from past election observation reports. Furthermore, several concerns have been raised following the above-mentioned reforms. Moreover, the different amendments have led to some inconsistencies in the legal framework and introduced some provisions that are difficult to apply in practice and, thus, fail to be effective.
The Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR recommend, inter alia, to permit private contributions, within clearly defined limits, by citizens of Moldova from their revenues obtained outside of the country, subject to adequate requirements of transparency and close supervision; to further reduce annual ceilings for private donations to political parties and to electoral contestants; and to strengthen the regime of sanctions available for infringements of party and campaign funding rules. Overall, a lack of comprehensive monitoring and insufficient enforcement of the rules seem to be the main concerns and the system of supervision and enforcement of the rules on party and campaign financing should be significantly enhanced.

Opinion on Certain Provisions of the Draft Act on the Supreme Court of Poland (as of 26 September 2017) (13 November 2017)

The Opinion concludes that some of the provisions reviewed are inherently incompatible with international standards and OSCE commitments on the independence of the judiciary and would, if the Draft Act is adopted in its current version, seriously undermine the separation of powers and the rule of law in Poland. Therefore, the OSCE/ODIHR recommends that certain provisions be removed from the Draft Act, particularly those pertaining to the Supreme Court’s “extraordinary appeals” jurisdiction, the immediate application of the new retirement age to existing Supreme Court judges, the compulsory retirement of all judges of the Military Chamber, the establishment of a body of Supreme Court lay judges elected by the Senate, and the President of Poland’s prerogative to intervene in disciplinary proceedings and determine the Rules of Procedure of the Supreme Court.

While the OSCE/ODIHR recognizes that every State is entitled to reform its judicial system, reforms of the judiciary must respect longstanding international standards on the independence of the judiciary, the separation of powers and the rule of law.


 

  

Opinion on the Draft Federal Law on the support to the National Human Rights Institution of Switzerland (31 October 2017)

While welcoming Switzerland’s willingness to establish a national human rights institution (NHRI) in compliance with the UN Principles relating to the Status of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (Paris Principles), the Opinion notes that the Draft Law does not include important aspects pertaining to its status and functioning, especially those at the core of the institution’s basic guarantees of independence. The fact that the NHRI will be attached to universities or higher education institutions and be governed by a contract between an administrative unit of the Federal Council and the NHRI also raises concerns, as this approach could call into question the permanence and independence of this new entity. ODIHR thus provides a number of concrete recommendations to ensure full compliance with the Paris Principles, particularly with regard to the expansion of the NHRI’s mandate and specific safeguards to protect the NHRI’s independence, while guaranteeing that the NHRI has the powers to perform its mandate and ensuring its pluralist and gender-balanced composition at all levels.

Opinion on Laws Regulating the Funding of Political Parties in Spain (30 October 2017)

At the outset, it is noted that the current legal framework of political party financing in Spain, especially following the latest round of legal reforms pertaining to the Political Party Funding Law, presents a significant improvement over earlier legislation and contains many positive additions. If adequately implemented, these additions will help contribute to fighting corruption and increasing transparency in the funding of political parties.

However, there remain areas of concern that should be enhanced in order to ensure that the relevant legislation effectively closes potential loopholes that could be used to circumvent regulations on party funding. Additionally, the balance between public and private funding could be reviewed and the legislator should ensure that the system of public funding of both statutory and campaign-related activities of political parties does not disproportionally favor larger, established parties to the detriment of smaller and/or new political parties. In some areas, the legislation could be rendered more accessible and contradictions and overlaps resulting from regulation of the same topic in different pieces of legislation should be eliminated.

Opinion on the Draft Law of the Republic of Armenia Amending the Law "On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations" (16 October 2017)

Overall, the Opinion welcomes the fact that the Draft Law reflects 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, further amendments are needed to ensure the Draft Law’s full compliance with international standards and OSCE human dimension commitments, particularly regarding some unjustified restrictions to the right to freedom of religion or belief which should be removed or limitations which should be more strictly circumscribed.

  

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 Legal Framework of the Republic of Moldova Governing the Funding of Political Parties and Electoral Campaigns (in English)

Date : 11 December 2017 English [0.65 MB]

Opinion on Certain Provisions of the Draft Act on the Supreme Court of Poland (as of 26 September 2017) (in English)

Date : 13 November 2017 English [1.63 MB]

Opinion on Certain Provisions of the Draft Act on the Supreme Court of Poland (as of 26 September 2017) (in Polish)

Date : 13 November 2017 Polish [1.85 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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