TBILISI, DFWatch – Citizens of Georgia will be allowed to apply for an alternative service to the military, based on religious, ethical and other grounds.

The change comes after a ruling by the Constitutional Court, which decided in favor of the country’s Public Defender, who had sued the parliament for being in breach of the constitution.

Ombudsman Giorgi Tugushi had argued that the law on Reserve Military Service conflicts with parts of the Georgian constitution.

Specifically, the appeal pointed out that the law deprives people who hold certain religious, ethical or other views of their freedom of belief, guaranteed by the constitution, as long as they are not offered an alternative way to serve.

The Public Defender in his appeal wrote that ‘the Military Reserve Service, alike the Compulsory Military service, creates legitimate grounds for good faith resistance stipulated by the good faith of people’

The Constitutional Court agreed with Tugushi, and accordingly, the law on Reserve Military Service was found unconstitutional.