Legal reform

Legal reform

CoE official dismayed over Georgia’s constitution ‘crisis’

By | June 30th, 2017|Categories: Legal reform|Tags: , , |

Gianni Buquicchio. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A Council of Europe official is in despair over the way Georgian leaders have handled the drafting of a new constitution, calling the debacle a ‘crisis’. “I’m disappointed and become more and more disappointed for every hour,” head of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio […]

Georgian president slams blueprint for new Constitution

By | June 24th, 2017|Categories: Legal reform|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–President Giorgi Margvelashvili rejects a draft new Constitution presented by the ruling GD government because it is not based on a consensus. “The entire Georgian society believes we need a consensus document, but Georgian Dream […]

Georgia’s ruling GD party demurring on electoral reform

By | June 19th, 2017|Categories: Legal reform|Tags: , |

Speaker of Parliament Irakli Kobakhidze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s ruling party will defer until 2024 to fulfill one of its main promises: to overhaul an election system that has favored the incumbent force for decades. The system of single-mandate districts, so-called majoritarians, was supposed to have been phased out […]

Georgia’s ruling party bans sale of agricultural land to foreigners

By | June 9th, 2017|Categories: Legal reform|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s ruling party has decided to ban the sale of agricultural land to foreigners by adding a clause to the Constitution. PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced Thursday that a passage will be added to the Constitution to ban the sale of land […]

Escalating rhetoric between Georgia’s parliament and president

By | March 9th, 2017|Categories: Legal reform|Tags: , |

Speaker of Parliament Irakli Kobakhidze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A meeting summoned by the Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has become the latest episode in the downward spiral of deteriorating relations between him and the ruling Georgian Dream party. On Thursday, Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze […]

Georgia’s ruling party postpones switch to indirect election of president

By | March 3rd, 2017|Categories: Legal reform|Tags: |

Irakli Kobakhidze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian Dream is backing down on a previous pledge to phase out the use of direct elections to select a president already from next year. Instead, the ruling coalition plans to introduce the change from the 2023 election. “The rules of presidential […]

Georgian parliament overturns president’s veto of judicial bill

By | February 13th, 2017|Categories: Legal reform|Tags: , , , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Opposition parties in the former Soviet republic of Georgia warn that the independence of the courts will be weakened after the ruling party overturned the president’s veto against a judicial reform bill. The so-called third wave of judicial reform was vetoed […]

Georgian govt plans controversial new control mechanism in the courts

By | May 25th, 2015|Categories: Legal reform|Tags: , |

Head of Supreme Court Nino Gvenetadze doesn’t see any threats in the new bill. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia is planning a new court reform, which will involve creating a new body to conduct oversight over the judges. Georgia already has an control mechanism over the court system. It is called the High Council of Justice, […]

Local government reform modified after criticism from patriarch

By | December 11th, 2013|Categories: Legal reform, News|Tags: , , |

Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili has managed to convince the government to amend a disputed passage in a draft bill about local government reform, as promised. The government prepared a draft law to regulate the country’s territorial […]

Georgian patriarch against local government reform

By | December 6th, 2013|Categories: Legal reform, News|Tags: , |

Ilia II, Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian parliament has postponed the adoption of a landmark bill that will drastically change local government, after the draft Self-Governance Code was harshly criticized by the influential head of the Georgian Church. The bill should have been […]

The justice minister will no longer have added role as prosecutor

By | June 26th, 2013|Categories: Legal reform, News|Tags: |

Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia has taken away the justice minister’s added role as a prosecutor in a new regulation that came into force from Tuesday morning. Speaking at a press conference, Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani explained that before, as justice minister […]

Two seats still vacant in Georgia’s court oversight council

By | June 15th, 2013|Categories: Legal reform, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–In Georgia, two seats still remain vacant in the High Council of Justice after an election that has been going on for two weeks. Four more members were elected by parliament in the second round, but due to objections by representatives from […]

Saakashvili vetoes amendments to Criminal Procedure Code

By | May 30th, 2013|Categories: Legal reform, News|Tags: |

President Mikheil Saakashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–President Mikheil Saakashvili has again blocked a bill. This time it was a set of amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code. The president has remarks about two aspects of the draft: First about the dates when certain regulations will come into force. […]

Court reform set to be enforced against Saakashvili’s veto

By | May 2nd, 2013|Categories: Legal reform, News|Tags: |

Deputy Justice Minister Sandro Baramidze, one of the people behind the bill, says it will free the courts from political influence. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Parliament in Georgia has overturned President Saakashvili’s veto against legislative amendments about judicial reform. Those behind the amendments claim that they serve to depolarize the court system. According to the draft, which has been passed […]

Ivanishvili alliance to overturn Saakashvili’s veto

By | April 26th, 2013|Categories: Legal reform, News|Tags: |

The session hall in parliament in Kutaisi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The parliament in Georgia will overturn President Saakashvili’s veto against two judicial reform bills on May 1. Irina Imerlishvili, chair of the committee on procedural issues, said at a press conference Thursday that parliament will […]

New criminal procedure law doesn’t work: lawyers

By | February 7th, 2012|Categories: Legal reform, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – It is one of Georgia’s most touted reforms abroad, but now lawyers who have experienced it in practice warn that the overhauled Criminal Procedure Code of 2010 isn’t working. The reform saw deep involvement by top legal expertise from […]

Confusion sets in over Georgian election reform

By | January 27th, 2012|Categories: Legal reform, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - As Georgia is heading for potentially the first real competitive election, confusion arose Friday over different versions of the same law. A think tank says the government significantly changed a draft law which was sent to the Council of Europe (CoE) for advice. The Georgian Development Research Institute, which was founded [...]

Oops! Gov’t backtracks on election reform

By | November 11th, 2011|Categories: Legal reform, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - The government is retracting on several of its eleventh-hour changes to the Georgian election law, but  stands firm on not allowing video surveillance in polling stations and defends the right of governors to participate in the election campaign. This emerged Friday in comments made by a member of the editorial group which has [...]

Public Defender to get more power

By | November 4th, 2011|Categories: Legal reform, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - The Public Defender in Georgia is to get a more active role in the courts and will also do more monitoring of conditions in social institutions. The slightly increased powers comes following a decision by the government, after a bill was introduced to amend the Law about the Public Defender, prepared by Lasha [...]

West to Georgia: More Balanced Labor Regulations Needed

By | October 28th, 2011|Categories: Legal reform, News|Tags: |

TBILILSI, DFWatch - Georgia has received a stern message from Western diplomats to amend its Labor Code during a conference dedicated to facilitate social dialogue held in Tbilisi on Thursday. The European Union's mission in Georgia made its position quite clear: If Georgia doesn't change its Labor Code, it will get neither EU Association Agreement nor [...]

Groups boycott right-to-vote reform

By | October 15th, 2011|Categories: Elections, Legal reform, News|Tags: |

Three rights groups refuse to take part in a new system meant to guarantee every Georgian the right to vote, because they think the reform may make things worse. Parliament has just decided to establish a new system for going through the voters rolls and make sure that every citizen who has a right to vote [...]

CoE to Georgia: No more surprises, please

By | October 13th, 2011|Categories: Elections, Legal reform, News|Tags: |

Two observers from the Council of Europe (CoE) have asked Georgia's ruling party to stop coming up with surprise changes in a draft law without going through the normal democratic procedures. At least according to one of the opposition politicians, two rapporteurs from the Monitoring Committee of the CoE's Parliamentary Assembly asked Georgia's ruling party to [...]

Competition watchdog must do more with same budget

By | October 10th, 2011|Categories: Legal reform, News|Tags: |

Government wants to reform the antimonopoly service and give it new tasks. But its budget is to stay the same next year. Experts think it's doubtful whether there will be any real change in how the service operates, which the European Union is demanding from Georgia. A well-functioning antimonopoly service is the most important [...]

Confusion over parliament’s first session in Kutaisi

By | October 6th, 2011|Categories: Legal reform, News|Tags: |

There is rising confusion after President Saakashvili said that the first parliamentary session in Kutaisi will be on the next national day, May 26, 2012. He said this two days ago at the opening of a new House of Justice in the city. But according to the Georgian constitution, parliament can only convene in Kutaisi after [...]

New law may restrict consumers’ rights in Georgia

By | October 6th, 2011|Categories: Legal reform, News|Tags: |

Parliament is to consider a new law about product safety which might require scrapping an old law, and a big chunk of the country's consumer rights with it. The new bill is called "Code on Product Safety and Free Flow" which envisages to set up a special commission to monitor product safety in the market. "This [...]

Georgian government to boost civil society

By | October 5th, 2011|Categories: Legal reform, News|Tags: |

The Georgian government is to start handing out funds to select players in the whole non-public sector, after a decision in parliament. Power to hand out money will reside with ministries. The effort is not limited to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), but may also include educational institutions and branch offices of foreign think tanks as well as [...]

Political Tbilisi skeptical to proposed new election system

By | October 3rd, 2011|Categories: Elections, Europe, Legal reform, News, Politics|Tags: |

Work to improve the Georgian election environment has ended as a draft has been sent off to the Council of Europe's Venice Commission for review and the government promises that parliament will not start its review until the results of the review are clear. It's hard to say what the Venice Commission's conclusions will be and [...]

Ruling party’s latest election law maneuver a setback for democracy

By | October 2nd, 2011|Categories: Elections, Europe, Legal reform, News|Tags: |

Three non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are seriously concerned after the government's sudden changes to the draft for a new election law. Now that rights advocates have had time to look closer at the changes, which were worked out behind everyone's backs and revealed a week ago, their conclusion is that this is a disappointment to everyone who [...]

Government introduces surprise changes in new election law

By | September 23rd, 2011|Categories: Elections, Legal reform, News, Politics|Tags: |

After reaching a hard-fought agreement with several opposition parties, the ruling party has introduced significant changes in the draft for a new Georgian Election Code. According to lawmakers, the eleventh-hour changes were only made in order to ensure a democratic election environment in the country, however many opposition parties remain skeptical. Some of the changes in [...]