On June 22, 2020, the Committee on Legal Affairs of the Parliament of Georgia discussed draft law on amendments to the Law of Georgia on Information Security at the third hearing. Based on the proposal of the initiator of the bill, MP Irakli Sesiashvili, the Committee supported the issue of returning the draft law from the third hearing to the second hearing at a plenary sitting.
The existence of an independent and credible judiciary is important not only for rule of law and protection of human rights, but also for a country’s economic development. During almost 30 years since the declaration of Georgia’s independence, the country still has not managed to build an independent judiciary.
On June 21, the Parliament of Georgia passed the constitutional amendments in the first reading, with 136 MPs voting in favor and 5 against. We welcome this decision of the Parliament of Georgia, which was made possible with support of the ruling party, as well as opposition parties and majority of independent MPs.
Today, Tamta Mikeladze, one of the founders of the ‘the Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC)’ was summoned to be questioned by the State Security Service of Georgia related to the investigation launched on May 30. According to the SSSG’s particularly vague statement, the investigation is carried out into the fact of racial discrimination, as “[…] certain individuals are trying to stir up ethnic strife between ethnic Georgians and Azeris in the Kvemo Kartli and Kakheti regions”
Member organizations of the Coalition for Euro-Atlantic Georgia would like to respond to media reports of June 15, according to which, the Georgian State Security Service had arrested an alleged assassin who was planning to execute an ordered killing of a Georgian TV presenter Giorgi Gabunia.
Today, the Georgian Parliament discusses Draft Amendments to the Law of Georgia on Information Security, initiated by MP Irakli Sesiashvili for second reading. Civil society organizations issued a statement concerning the problematic issues in the proposed version of the amendments as soon as the bill was initiated.
The parliament of Georgia is considering the draft amendments to the Law of Georgia on Public Health in an accelerated manner. The noted draft law is related to the threats caused by the spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) and after its adoption, relevant agencies will be able to take organizational, legal and other measures aimed to handle the challenges.
In response to the crisis caused by the COVID-19, on March 21, 2020 Georgia declared the state of emergency, which was later extended until May 22. Certain constitutional rights are restricted during the state of emergency.
Based on the appeals of “Institute for Development of Freedom of Information” and “Media Development Foundation” the Constitutional Court of Georgia, by its decision of June 7, 2019, ruled that the provisions of the Law of Georgia on Personal Data Protection, specifically Article 5 and paragraphs 1 and 3 of Article 6 were unconstitutional as they prohibited access to the full text of court decisions delivered within the scope of public hearings by Common Courts of Georgia. The Court held that the disputed norms would be void from May 2020 and thus gave the Parliament of Georgia time to harmonize existing legislation with the requirements of the Constitution.
On March 13, 2020, prior to the declaration of a state of emergency, the High Council of Justice (HCOJ) adopted recommendations to prevent spreading of the Novel Coronavirus. The recommendations are related to the measures to be implemented in the court system to ensure a gradual transition of court proceedings to a remote regime. This is a positive development. However, it is important to ensure openness of court proceedings and enable court monitors and other interested parties to observe trials