Membership in international organisations
The European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) is the Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional matters. The role of the Venice Commission is to provide legal advice to its member states and, in particular, to help states wishing to bring their legal and institutional structures into line with European standards and international experience in the fields of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. It also helps to ensure the dissemination and consolidation of a common constitutional heritage, playing a unique role in conflict management, and provides “emergency constitutional aid” to states in transition.
The Commission has 61 member states: the 47 Council of Europe member states, plus 14 other countries. Its individual members are university professors of public and international law, supreme and constitutional court judges, members of national parliaments and a number of civil servants. The individual member from Latvia is the first President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia Mr Aivars Endziņš, substitute member – the former President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia Mr Gunārs Kūtris.
The Constitutional Court organizes, together with the Venice Commission, various international conferences and seminars which deal with the problems of constitutional jurisprudence in member states.
The Constitutional Court regularly prepares information for the Bulletin of Constitutional Case-Law, the official publication of the Venice Commission and contributes to studies published by the Venice Commission.
Conference of European Constitutional Courts
At the European level, the Conference of European Constitutional Courts, founded in 1972, has established itself as the most important European forum for the exchange of experience and opinions on constitutional issues among its full members. The activities of the Conference primarily serve to allow regular contacts among constitutional courts and to promote an exchange of experience on constitutional practice and jurisprudence within the framework of regular specialized congresses. The aim of the Conference is to enhance the independence of constitutional courts as an essential factor in guaranteeing and implementing democracy and the rule of law, in particular with a view to securing the protection of human rights.
The association currently numbers 41 European constitutional courts and other similar European institutions exercising constitutional jurisdiction. The Conference organizes regular specialized conferences with the aim of experience exchange with respect to constitutional practice and jurisprudence in the general European context.
The chairmanship of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts, rotating every three years, can only be held by a court that is a full member of the Conference. In the period from 2014 to 2017 the Conference is chaired by the Constitutional Court of Georgia.
The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia has been a full member of the Conference since 2000.
World Conference on Constitutional Justice
The World Conference on Constitutional Justice was founded in 2011 thanks to a highly commendable initiative of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe. It unites 112 constitutional justice institutions from Africa, the Americas, Australia, Asia, and Europe. The World Conference is the highest-level conference in the field of constitutional justice.
It promotes constitutional justice – understood as constitutional review including human rights case-law – as a key element for democracy, the protection of human rights and the rule of law.
The World Conference pursues its objectives through the organization of regular congresses, by participating in regional conferences and seminars, by promoting experiences and case-law and by offering good services to members on their request.
The main purpose of the World Conference is to facilitate judicial dialogue between constitutional judges on a global scale.
The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia has been a full member of the World Conference since 2011.