Published online by Cambridge University Press: 13 August 2009
This book is the fruit of an intense collaboration between the European Commission for Democracy through Law (the ‘Venice Commission’) and academia. The Venice Commission is the Council of Europe's advisory body on constitutional matters. Established in 1990, the Commission has played a leading role in the adoption of constitutions that conform to the standards of Europe's constitutional heritage. It contributes to the dissemination of the European constitutional heritage while continuing to provide ‘constitutional first-aid’ to individual states. The Venice Commission also plays a role in crisis management and conflict prevention through constitution building and advice.
The Venice Commission is composed of independent experts. The members are senior academics, particularly in the fields of constitutional or international law, supreme or constitutional court judges or members of national parliaments. Acting on the Commission in their individual capacity, the members are appointed for four years by the participating countries. All Council of Europe member states are members of the Venice Commission; in addition, Kyrgyzstan joined the commission in 2004. Argentina, Canada, the Holy See, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, the United States and Uruguay are observers. South Africa has a special cooperation status similar to that of the observers. The European Commission and OSCE/ODIHR participate in the plenary sessions of the Commission.
The work of the European Commission for Democracy through Law aims at upholding the three underlying principles of Europe's constitutional heritage: democracy, human rights and the rule of law which represent the cornerstones of the Council of Europe.
- European and US Constitutionalism , pp. ix - xPublisher: Cambridge University PressPrint publication year: 2005