CDL-AD(2011)034 -2- Introduction 1. By letter dated 21 June 2011, Mr Dick Marty, Chair of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, requested an opinion on the Draft Law on the Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms of Montenegro (CDL-REF(2011)041). Mr Ranko Krivokapic, Speaker of the Parliament, requested also an opinion on this same Draft on 7 July 2011. 2. The Commission invited Messrs Hüseynov and Tuori to act as rapporteurs on this issue. Their comments are contained in documents CDL(2011)057 and CDL(2011)056 respectively. The Commission further invited the OSCE/ODIHR to produce a joint opinion on this issue. Mr Rafael Ribó, Chairman of the International Ombudsman Institute-European Chapter, provided comments for the rapporteurs on the Draft Law. 3. The Commission had previously issued an opinion on a former draft of the Law on the Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms of Montenegro (CDL-AD(2009)043). 4. As the Law on the Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms of Montenegro was adopted by the Parliament of Montenegro on 29 July 2011, the scope of this draft joint opinion focuses on the adopted Law. The draft joint opinion thus does not constitute a full and comprehensive review of all available framework legislation governing human rights protection mechanisms in the Montenegro. 5. The present joint opinion was adopted by the Venice Commission at its 88th plenary session (Venice, 14-15 October 2011). Relevant texts 6. The present joint opinion has been made in the light of relevant Council of Europe and OSCE documents, especially Recommendation 1615 (2003) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the institution of ombudsman, the Venice Commission’s opinions on relevant national legislative texts, the United Nations Principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the so-called “Paris Principles”), the provisions of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) relating to national preventive mechanisms, and the Council of Europe standards concerning specialised national anti-discriminatory bodies (ECRI’s General Policy Recommendation No. 7 on National Legislation to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination adopted on 13 December 2002). 7. The comments are based upon the English translation of the text of the Law, as it was submitted to the Venice Commission. It may be that some of the observations originate from a misunderstanding of the Law due to an unclear or inaccurate translation.