Transnational constitutional advice, established democracies and the Venice Commission

This paper examines how modern Western democracies relate to the availability of external constitutional advisors, using the Venice Commission (VC) as a case study. Since the early 2000s, the VC has been able to provide guidance on constitutional questions to established democracies, in what should be seen as a transformation from its original raison d’être of supporting pro-democratic transitions in CEE. Little is known about this dimension of the VC’s mandate. To begin to rectify this gap, three fundamental questions are considered. 1. What arguments can be marshalled in favour of transnational advice for countries that traditionally do well in rule-of-law-rankings and can be said to have good domestic reservoirs of constitutional expertise? 2. How do established European democracies interact with the VC? 3. If support for and from established democracies can play an important role in boosting the VC's effectiveness, what can be done to harness such support?