Posts by Tamar Chugoshvili:

Opinion

Constitutional Reform in Georgia – a Step Forward

by | May 6

In total, 33 amendments have been made to the Constitution of Georgia, adopted in 1995, however, only two rounds of these amendments have been of fundamental importance

Opinion

Violence against journalists on World Press Freedom Day

by | May 7

TBILISI, DFWatch - During several days, while the whole world was celebrating World Press Freedom Day, journalists have been violated, insulted, beaten or deprived of their cameras and belongings in Georgia, writes Tamar Chugoshvili, leader of Georgian Young Lawyer's

Opinion

Legislative Novelties Leading to the Absurd

by | Jan 30

An election reform which started out with the aim to create an equal and fair election environment in Georgia ended up creating discriminatory regulations, violating freedom of speech and property rights; imposed real threats for voters, media, NGOs and business organizations, writes Tamar Chugoshvili, chair of Georgian Young Lawyer's Association. Amendments made to the law on Political Union of Citizens and the Criminal Code of Georgia in December 2011 have a restrictive effect on civil and political activities. It imposes unreasonable prohibitions and disproportionate sanctions. The Law imposes unequal restrictions for the ruling party and the opposition in terms of vote buying. The newly adopted law provides unreasonably restrictive regulations for voters. Both a party representative and a voter will be charged with up to 3 years’ imprisonment in case of vote buying, while there are no liabilities for the cases when activities that would lead to vote buying are funded from the state or local budget. The law imposes significant restrictions for expression of political views by citizens, whereas civil servants and state officials are subject to minimum restrictions on political agitation. ...

Opinion

Brief Overview of Human Rights Problems in Georgia 2011

by | Dec 10

Human Rights Day is celebrated on December 10. In order to mark the celebration, I would like to offer the public a brief overview of human rights problems revealed throughout the year in Georgia. The human rights protection of which was the most problematic in Georgia during 2011: Right to a fair trial – the problem of violation of the right to a fair trial remained to be acute throughout last year. Cases that involved criminal and administrative violations were problematic. Use of restrictive measures are particularly noteworthy with regard to criminal cases, as frequently pre-trial detention was applied without any substantiation and in violation of legal requirements. Furthermore, administrative cases, and administrative imprisonment in particular, have also proven problematic. Generally, the right to defense is not ensured, courts’ decisions lack substantiation, frequently courts deliver their decisions on the basis of statements of police officers, without examining or upholding other important evidence;   Equality before law – during the year 2011, we witnessed unequal treatment by the authorities in the process of administration of justice. Frequently, criminal law policy is too strict and provides ...

Opinion

Strictest Punishments for Minor Violations and Ignored Human Rights

by | Nov 8

Around 4 000 people are sentenced to administrative imprisonment in Georgia every year. Administrative imprisonment is a purely Soviet mechanism, which remains in effect only in some post-Soviet countries (with the exception of Germany and Austria, where it operates in a different way) and which is broadly used and utilized to the full extent in Georgia. As a result more than ten people a day are sentenced to up to 3 months of imprisonment for minor violations. More importantly, not even minimum protections for human rights are ensured in this process. For instance, those sentenced to administrative imprisonment have to serve their prison terms under the harshest conditions and can be subject to inhumane treatment. It is rather difficult to explain the meaning of “administrative imprisonment” to the civilized world. In essence, it means that for minor violations that do not amount to crimes, individuals can be punished as though they have committed a crime, e.g. for violations of traffic rules, rules for assembly and protest, etc. Due to the presence of administrative imprisonment in Georgian legislation, persons who commit such minor ...

Opinion

Improving the election environment in Georgia

by | Oct 15

Georgian society has a history of discussions, disputes, criticism and disagreements around the election environment and election legislation. As an new election approaches, the Parliament of Georgia starts a process of amending the Election Code, and as a rule, a few months prior to the elections significant amendments are made to the legislation. Again the county is in the same process. On September 19, 2011 parliament initiated a new draft of the Election Code, which mostly concentrates on an agreement between the political parties made prior to the initiation but also refers to some other issues, which have never been a subject of political agreement. Both the content and the process of creating the draft law deserve attention. During several months, political discussions around the improvement of the election environment were pending in the different formats. All public interest was concentrated on this process; NGOs were actively involved in both observing it and making recommendations. Despite the high public interest Georgian society discovered, that the new draft code has been written in parliament in a secret manner. Although the topics of the ...

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