ODIHR Legal Reviews, Assessments and Guidelines

Legal reviews

ODIHR supports legal reform in participating States by reviewing, upon request, individual pieces of draft or existing legislation to assess their compliance with OSCE commitments, international human rights standards and established good practices.

In this section you can find all legal reviews prepared by ODIHR on variety of topics and countries - filtering options can be used to display relevant documents.

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

Opinion on Draft Amendments to the Law on Funding of and Control of Funding of Political Campaigns of Lithuania (13 November 2018)

The scope of this Opinion focuses on the draft amendments to the Law on Financing of and Control of Funding of Political Campaigns. These amendments introduce several changes, focusing on the role and authority of the Central Election Commission in relation to supervising the donations and expenditures of political campaign financing. Several of the proposed changes align the terms used in the law to make it internally consistent. This is a positive step in clarifying provisions in the law and making sure that terms used are done consistently. However, a number of aspects warrant improvement, including a clear definition and regulation on third parties and concrete timeframes for interim disclosure. Five key and a number of additional recommendations, which are included throughout the text of this Opinion, are aimed at further improving the compliance of the legal framework governing the funding of political parties and electoral campaigns in the Republic of Lithuania with OSCE commitments, Council of Europe and other international human rights standards and obligations, as well as recommendations contained in previous Opinions and ODIHR election observation reports.

Comments on the Draft Law on Prevention of Violence and Misbehaviour at Sports Events of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (6 November 2018)

The Draft Law is an important tool in the prevention of violence at sports events and contains many elements prescribed by international standards, recommendations and good practices. However, there are instances in which the Draft Law needs to be clearer and more accessible to ensure an effective and human rights-compliant approach to preventing and punishing violence at sports events. 

Opinion on the Law on Prevention of Corruption of Montenegro (29 October 2018)

The OSCE/ODIHR Comments emphasize that many aspects of the Law on Prevention of Corruption adhere to international standards in this area. Any future amendment of the Law should be undertaken carefully and ensure that the legal framework currently in place is not weakened. That being said, there are several ways in which the law could be enhanced to close existing loopholes, in particular, to safeguard the autonomy and independence of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption, the protection of whistle-blowers and ensuring that definitions throughout the Law do not leave gaps, which could end up weakening the entire anti-corruption legislative framework. 

Joint Opinion on the Draft Election Code in Uzbekistan (22 October 2018)

This Joint Opinion is provided with the aim of assisting the authorities of Uzbekistan, political parties, and civil society in their efforts to bring the legal framework for elections into line with OSCE commitments, Council of Europe’s standards and other international obligations for democratic elections. It was prepared in response to a request from the Chairperson of the Central Election Commission of Uzbekistan addressed to the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission in July 2018. The Joint Opinion was adopted by the Council for Democratic Elections at its 63rd meeting (Venice, 18 October 2018) and by the Venice Commission at its 116th Plenary Session (Venice, 19-20 October 2018).

Joint Opinion on the Draft Law of Albania on the Legislative Initiative of the Citizens (22 October 2018)

The scope of this Opinion focuses on the draft law on the legislative initiative of the citizens of the Republic of Albania. In general, ODIHR and the Venice Commission welcome Albania’s efforts to adopt legislation on the legislative initiative of citizens in order to implement the related provision of the Constitution, as well international obligations. The citizens’ legislative initiative and the petition are the typical instruments provided by many Constitutions with the aim of directly involving the people in the country’s decision-making process, and could therefore be called instruments of direct democracy. However, in order to further improve the compliance of this draft law international human rights obligations and OSCE commitments, a number of recommendations have been extended. In addition, relevant stakeholders were encouraged to ensure that the draft law undergoes extensive consultation processes throughout the drafting and adoption process, to ensure an open and transparent process, and thereby increase confidence and trust in the adopted legislation, and in the relevant state institutions in general.

Opinion on the Law on the High Judicial Council of the Republic of Uzbekistan(1 October 2018)

The Law on the High Judicial Council commendably defines the independence of the judiciary as a primary objective of the work of the High Judicial Council and also stipulates that the principles of the rule of law, independence, impartiality and transparency must be respected. However, certain provisions of the Law in fact   undermine the independence, transparency and impartiality of the body and thus of the judicial institutions as well. The Law provides the President of Uzbekistan, who is a head of the executive branch, with significant and unjustified powers to influence the composition of this body; the President, can directly appoint 8 members and significantly influence the appointments of the remaining 13 members, without or with extremely limited involvement of the judiciary. Such influence over the High Judicial Council from another branch of power is not compatible with accepted standards and good practices for an independent judiciary. Several other provisions of the Law are unclear and need to be revised, such as how the list of candidates proposed by the Head of the High Judicial Council is created or grounds for dismissal based on “misconduct defaming his/her honesty”.

 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.