The discussions between the Venice Commission and the Azerbaijani Government regarding the improvement of the law On freedom of Assembly in Azerbaijan was conducted in a serious and constructive manner, the Representative of the Secretariat of the Venice Commission, Tatiana Mishelova, exclusively informed Trend.
She said that the sides discussed the articles of the law by proceedings from the recommendations of the Venice Commission regarding amendments to the document, which were passed at the 68th plenary session of the Commission on October 13-14, 2006.
The conclusion was made on base of the commentaries of the reporters of the Venice Commission for this question, Bogdan Aurescu (Romania) and Finola Flanagan (Ireland) and Peter Pakzolay (Hungary).
The conclusion says that the experts came to the decision that it is possible to consider it as positive the facts that the main principles of the freedom of assembly have been reflected in the Constitution and other legislative acts of Azerbaijan. The main shortfall is that it defines as needless the difference among the assembly categories in a stage that does not correspond with the reasons for limitation. The requirements for notification regarding the process are burdensome and take a lot of time.
The law provides excessive authorities to the Government and creates conditions for the conduct of the actions. The law does not adequately reflect the fact of State interference in ensuring the security to hold legal demonstration. It is important to improve the text of the law, linked with the progress in its implementation that may warrant measures for information and appropriate trainings for the government representatives. The interpretation and implementation of the law should correspond with international standards.
Tatiana Mishelova said that the Azerbaijani authorities expressed readiness to prepare draft amendments to the law of 1998 in accordance with the recommendations of the Venice Commission. These draft amendments would be submitted by the Azeri Authorities and examined by the Venice Commission next year.
The meeting was attended by Bogdan Aurescu, Member of the Venice Commission, and Finola Flanagan, Vice-President of the Venice Commission. Azerbaijan was represented at the meeting by the representatives of the Executive Apparat of the President Chingiz Asgarov, Fuad Aleskerov and Shahin Aliyev. In addition, the meeting was attended by Andreas Busch, representative of the OSCE Office in Baku.