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Contact:legislationline@odihr.pl

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 Provisions of the So-called “Stop Soros” Draft Legislative Package which Directly Affects NGOs (in particular Draft Article 353A of the Criminal Code on Facilitating Illegal Migration) in Hungary(25 June 2018)

The OSCE/ODIHR and the Venice Commission note that Draft Article 353A criminalises a new category of content related restrictions and organisational activities which are not directly related with the materialization of the illegal migration. This on the one hand it runs counter to the role of assistance to victims by non-governmental organizations restricting disproportionally the rights guaranteed under international obligations and on the other hand, criminalizes advocacy and campaigning activities which constitutes an illegitimate interference with the freedom of expression guaranteed under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR note that Current draft Article 353A lacks the requisite precision, and does not appear to meet the foreseeability criterion as understood in the ECtHR case-law and thus is not in line with European standards. Joint Opinion further recommends that in its current drafting, this Article should not be adopted since it entails a risk of criminal prosecution for individuals and organisations providing lawful assistance to migrants and asylum seekers.

Opinion on Definition of Torture and its Absolute Prohibition in Polish Legislation (22 May 2018)

The scope of this Opinion covers the definition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in the Penal Code of Poland in relation to international human rights law, OSCE commitments and recommendations of the United Nations Committee against Torture. The Opinion does not constitute a full and comprehensive review of the entire legal framework; however it touches upon a number of essential elements pertaining to the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment.
Central issues for consideration by Polish authorities relate to the obligation of States to ensure that acts of torture are serious criminal offences within its legal system. Opinion recommends, among other measures, to introduce the definition of torture which would be broad enough to encompass all acts against person’s integrity that have been qualified as torture and other ill-treatment under international law, and which would include all the elements envisaged by Article 1 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture.

Comments on the draft law on Public Assembly in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (24 April 2018)

OSCE/ODIHR welcomes this draft law proving an intention for a federation wide law on Public Assembly (Freedom of Peaceful Assembly). This is step to avoid fragmented legislation on the cantonal level. However, this draft law has, generally, a restrictive approach to Freedom of Assembly and does not facilitate for enjoyment of this fundamental human right. OSCE/ODIHR finds that the current text places heavy burdens on organisers of assemblies, such as providing very a very detailed request for holding an assembly. Furthermore, there is also a requirement that the organiser must have a clear structure, and the draft law also contains severe restrictions on venue of assemblies. In conclusion, the draft law does not reflect the duty of the state to facilitate for Freedom of Assembly.

Opinion on Certain Provisions of the Criminal Code of Bulgaria Pertaining to Bias-Motivated Crime, “Hate Speech” and Discrimination (17 April 2018)

The Opinion appreciates Bulgaria’s efforts to tackle bias-motivated crime, expression labelled as “hate speech” and discrimination, inter alia, through means of criminal legislation. Many of the provisions contain the main elements prescribed for these types of legislation by international human rights standards. However, the protected characteristics should be expanded and made consistent in all provisions dealing with bias-motivated crime. Specific penalty enhancements for a number of crimes which currently do not have such a clause, coupled with a general penalty enhancement explicitly referring to bias motivation would be a way to more effectively combat bias-motivated crimes and consider bias in sentencing for a wide variety of crimes, while specifically emphasizing the importance of correct identification, registration, investigation and punishment of such crimes. It is crucial that all criminal provisions avoid overly vague terms and are accessible, specific and foreseeable. 

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.

 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 Provisions of the So-called “Stop Soros” Draft Legislative Package which Directly Affects NGOs (in particular Draft Article 353A of the Criminal Code on Facilitating Illegal Migration) in Hungary (in English)

Date : 25 June 2018 English [0.56 MB]

Joint Opinion on the Provisions of the So-called “Stop Soros” Draft Legislative Package which Directly Affects NGOs (in particular Draft Article 353A of the Criminal Code on Facilitating Illegal Migration) in Hungary (in Hungarian)

Date : 25 June 2018 Hungarian [0.51 MB]

Opinion on Definition of Torture and its Absolute Prohibition in Polish Legislation (in English)

Date : 22 May 2018 English [0.64 MB]
Search all Legal Reviews
 
 

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]
Search all Lawmaking surveys