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PDF - The rule of law checklist

PDF - The rule of law checklist (2016)

Venice Commission

ISBN 090416GBR
Type of document : Document
Format : PDF
Size : 1.04 MB
Language : English
Number of pages : 78

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PDF - The rule of law checklist

PDF - The rule of law checklist

The principle of the Rule of Law is enshrined in legal texts – whether at national constitutional level or at the level of the Council of Europe or the European Union. The Rule of Law is often and easily used in political debate, as it lacks a clear definition. However, is it implemented in an objective, thorough, transparent and equal manner? The Venice Commission’s checklist aims to address these issues. It contains detailed questions to assess the degree of respect for the Rule of Law in any given country. This assessment will not merely consist of counting the right answers, but provide a global overview of the situation, while focusing on the respect for the most important criteria.

The Rule of Law Checklist is a tool that is available to all stakeholders, including international organisations, national authorities and civil society.

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The principle of the Rule of Law is enshrined in legal texts – whether at national constitutional level or at the level of the Council of Europe or the European Union. The Rule of Law is often and easily used in political debate, as it lacks a clear definition. However, is it implemented in an objective, thorough, transparent and equal manner? The Venice Commission’s checklist aims to address these issues. It contains detailed questions to assess the degree of respect for the Rule of Law in any given country. This assessment will not merely consist of counting the right answers, but provide a global overview of the situation, while focusing on the respect for the most important criteria.

The Rule of Law Checklist is a tool that is available to all stakeholders, including international organisations, national authorities and civil society.

Table of contents

I. Introduction
     A. Purpose and scope
     B. The Rule of Law in an enabling environment
II. Benchmarks
     A. Legality
          1. Supremacy of the law
          2. Compliance with the law
          3. Relationship between international law and domestic law
          4. Law-making powers of the executive
          5. Law-making procedures
          6. Exceptions in emergency situations
          7. Duty to implement the law
          8. Private actors in charge of public tasks
     B. Legal certainty
          1. Accessibility of legislation
          2. Accessibility of court decisions
          3. Foreseeability of the laws
          4. Stability and consistency of law
          5. Legitimate expectations
          6. Non-retroactivity
          7. Nullum crimen sine lege and nulla poena sine lege principles
          8. Res judicata
     C. Prevention of abuse (misuse) of powers
     D. Equality before the law and non-discrimination
          1. Principle
          2. Non-discrimination
          3. Equality in law
          4. Equality before the law
     E. Access to justice
          1. Independence and impartiality
          2. Fair trial
          3. Constitutional justice (if applicable)
     F. Examples of particular challenges to the Rule of Law
          1. Corruption and conflict of interest
          2. Collection of data and surveillance
III. Selected standards
     III.a. General Rule of Law Standards
          1. Hard Law
          2. Soft Law
     III.b. Standards relating to the Benchmarks
          A. Legality
          B. Legal certainty
          C. Prevention of abuse of powers
          D. Equality before the law and non-discrimination
          E. Access to justice
          F. Examples of particular challenges to the Rule of Law

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