Skip to content

U.S. Joins Venice Commission Today

April 15, 2013
State Department Acting Legal Advisor Mary McLeod hands letter of acceptance to Venice Commission President Gianni Buccquichio as U.S. Consul General Evan Reade (left) and Commission Director Thomas Markert (right) look on.

State Department Acting Legal Advisor Mary McLeod hands letter of acceptance to Venice Commission President Gianni Buccquichio as U.S. Consul General Evan Reade (left) and Commission Director Thomas Markert (right) look on. (Photo: Council of Europe)

(Photo: Council of Europe)

On April 15, 2013, the United States became the 59th full member of the Council of Europe’s European Commission for Democracy through Law, better known as the Venice Commission. Colombia Law School Professor Sarah Cleveland has been appointed as the U.S. member, and University of Oklahoma College of Law Professor Evelyn Aswad is the substitute member.

The Venice Commission was established in 1990 to assist new democracies in Eastern Europe to draft constitutions in line with European constitutional culture. The United States has been an observer member since 1991. Over the years, the Commission has become a highly respected and trusted independent organization, known for its expertise in identifying, developing, and promoting European legal standards for democratic institutions, human rights, electoral laws, and constitutional justice. Today, its opinions are sought not only in Europe, but also in the emerging democracies of North Africa and elsewhere.

The decision of the United States to seek full membership after many years participating as an observer represents a commitment to the use of rule of law to address all range of constitutional issues, and we look forward to making a positive contribution based on our own legal scholarship, experience, and expertise. The U.S. respects and appreciates the influential work the Commission has accomplished in Europe since its creation in 1990 and notes with satisfaction that in addition to its continued relevance in advancing democracy in Europe, its expertise is now being recognized and sought by countries outside Europe seeking to strengthen the rule of law in their systems of government. For more information on the Venice Commission, visit its web site at http://www.venice.coe.int

Evan G. Reade
Consul General
U.S. Deputy Permanent Observer at the Council of Europe

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: