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 the Draft Amendments to the Act on Establishment of the Slovak National Centre for Human Rights (21 January 2019)

It is welcomed that the Draft Amendments seek to bring the Act of the National Council of the Slovak Republic on Establishment of the Slovak National Centre for Human Rights in line with the requirements of the Paris Principles. The Draft Amendments contain a number of positive developments in this respect. However, regarding issues such as the NHRI’s mandate and competencies, its funding and the selection and appointment of its leadership, adjustments are recommended to bring the Draft Amendments in line with international standards.

Note on International Standards and Good Practices of Disciplinary Proceedings against Judges (27 December 2018)

In line with a request received from the Chairman of the High Council of Judges of Kazakhstan, the Note focuses on particular key aspects of disciplinary proceedings against judges, namely the relevant institutions conducting such proceedings, types of disciplinary action taken against judges, the impact of disciplinary proceedings on judges’ careers and appeals against decisions taken in such proceedings. When looking at these issues, the Note makes reference to key international principles such as the independence of the judiciary, other fair trial standards such as the right to be heard and the equality of arms, and the right to an effective remedy. Furthermore, the Note stresses that legal provisions on disciplinary proceedings against judges need to be formulated clearly and with adequate precision, and that the grounds on which they are based, and the ensuing sanctions need to be equally clear, and proportionate to the respective wrongdoing. In addition to outlining international standards, commentaries and case law, the Note also provides good practice examples from a large variety of different OSCE participating States, to showcase how relevant international human rights provisions have been transformed into domestic law.

Comments on the Supreme Court Commentary on the Code of Judicial Ethics of Kazakhstan (27 December 2018)

The Comments look at a Commentary prepared by the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan on the national Code of Judicial Ethics and analyze the compliance of both the Commentary and underlying Code with international human rights standards and OSCE commitments. While the Commentary’s attempts to interpret the provisions of the Code of Judicial Ethics are generally welcomed, the Comments also outline the differences between codes of ethics on the one hand, and disciplinary offences on the other, and stress that breaches of ethics codes should not lead to disciplinary sanctions.  Moreover, the Comments, among others, raise concerns with respect to certain provisions that are unclear or that contain extensive instructions on how to behave off-duty, including as regards the way in which judges exercise their religious faith. Another of a total of seven main recommendations suggests that the Commentary to the Code be validated by a wide representation of judges in Kazakhstan. These Comments were prepared at the request of the Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Astana.

Preliminary Comments on the Draft Law on Integration of Foreigners in the Republic of Moldova (19 December 2018)

These Preliminary Comments focus on the Draft Law on Integration of Foreigners in the Republic of Moldova to assess its compliance with international human rights obligations and OSCE commitments. This Draft law covers a wide range of integration issues, which aim to strike a balance between outlining migrants’ responsibilities and rights, and corresponding State obligations. Some aspects of the Draft Law represent good human rights practice on integration, in compliance with International obligations and OSCE commitments, however some require further clarification or improvement. Five key and a number of additional recommendations, which are included in these Comments, are aimed at further improving the compliance of the legal framework governing the integration of foreigners with OSCE commitments, and other international human rights obligations and standards.

Joint Opinion on Section 253 on the Special Immigration Tax of Act XLI of 20 July 2018 of Hungary Amending Certain Tax Laws and Other Related Laws and the Immigration Tax (17 December 2018)

Section 253 of the Act imposes a 25 per cent tax (1) on financial support to an immigration supporting activity carried out in Hungary or (2) on the financial support to the operations of an organisation with a seat in Hungary that carries out immigration supporting activity. ODIHR and Venice Commission in this Join Opinion note that the special tax on immigration constitutes an unjustified interference with the right to freedom of expression and of association of the NGO affected. The Opinion further adds that the imposition of this special tax will have a chilling effect on the exercise of basic human rights and on individuals and organisations who defend them, as well as it deters potential donors from supporting these NGOs and puts more hardship on civil society engaged in legitimate human rights’ activities. For all these reasons, ODIHR and Venice Commission recommends to repeal the provision as examined in the present opinion.


 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.