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GYLA Held Presentation of the Report on Human Rights Violations Observed During the Dispersal of the May 26 Assembly

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association concluded the series of human rights events by holding a presentation of the report on dispersal of the May 26 assembly.  The report – “Analysis of Facts of Human Rights Violations During and Related to the Dispersal of the May 26 Assembly” contains facts of human rights violations against participants detained during and following the dispersal of the May 26 assembly, as well as analysis of the practice of mass detentions of persons linked to assemblies held prior to May 26. Issues analyzed by the Report include -    Excessive use of force by the police during the assembly dispersal;-    Facts of deprivation of lives related to the developments of the assembly dispersal; -    Interference with journalistic reporting during the assembly dispersal;-    Ill-treatment of detained assembly participants.

2011-12-23 11:17 See more

GYLA Welcomes the Decision of the Constitutional Court to Recognize the Right to Good Faith Resistance in Reserve Military Service

GYLA welcomes the decision of the Constitutional Court delivered on December 21, 2011, in Public Defender v Georgia which was decided in favor of the applicant’s constitutional claim. In the noted case, GYLA submitted its written legal opinion as amicus curiae. GYLA expresses satisfaction over the decision of the Constitutional Court to apply the right good faith resistance based on religious or non-religious (pacifist) believe, derived from Article 19 of the Constitution of Georgia, to Reserve Military Service as well. In its written legal opinion GYLA noted that in compulsory military service, recruits enjoyed the right to good faith resistance and the right to request alternative military service based on the good faith resistance; however, the same exception did not apply to persons who were subject to serving in Reserve Military Service. In its written opinion GYLA noted that similar to the compulsory military service, in Military Reserve Service, there are legitimate grounds for good faith resistance. Based on the constitutional practice of foreign countries, GYLA also noted that the obligation of an able citizen of Georgia to protect the country can be carried out by means of non-military, public labor of civil nature which is necessary for respecting the religious or non-religious belief of an individual.  

2011-12-22 17:42 See more

Parliament of Georgia Plans to Tighten Sanctions for Political Parties

On December 20, 2011, draft of changes to the Criminal Code of Georgia, Code of Administrative Offences, Criminal Procedure Code and the Law of Georgia on Chamber of Control was introduced in Parliament. The changes mostly aim at tightening sanctions imposed on political parties. It is noteworthy that the draft law is considered by the parliament in complete violation of its Regulations. More specifically, the parliamentary bureau made the decision to start consideration of the draft law on the very same day it was initiated. According to the Regulations, a draft law should be referred to the bureau 72 hours after it has been initiated. The draft law contains the following changes: •    Formulation of Article 1641 of the Criminal Code of Georgia (vote buying) will be revised. If the crime has been committed by a legal person, the law envisages its liquidation. We believe that this type of sanction is disproportionate and unreasonably strict, which ultimately threatens the work of political parties.

2011-12-22 16:39 See more

Statement of GYLA, Transparent International – Georgia, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy about the Draft Law on Funding Parties

On December 12, 2012, draft of changes to the organic law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens was initiated in the parliament of Georgia. Some of the changes proposed by the draft law are positive and reflect reccomendations of international and local non-governmental organizations. However, there are certain gaps and uncertainties that should be further elaborated and revised, including particularly issues related to political parties and legal persons connected to them. According to the proposals, financial limitations and obligations of accountability envisaged for political parties also apply to legal persons connected to them, including non-commercial entities. Such restrictions also apply to legal persons who, by means of a representative or through any other person, call on voters to support or refrain from supporting any political force. For example, under the draft law, a representative of an NGO who voices a proclamation in support an election subject can be deprived of the right to receive a contribution from any legal person.  

2011-12-22 15:07 See more

Georgian Young Lawyers Association Held a Public Presentation of the Labor Rights Research

On December 19, 2011, within the series of human rights events, Georgian Young Lawyers‘ Association held a public presentation of the labor rights research. Since late 2010, GYLA has been implementing the EU-funded project Young Lawyers for Effective Protection and Promotion of Basic Labor Rights in Georgia. Under the project auspices, GYLA provided free legal assistance to victims of labor rights violations. As one of the key objectives of the project is to improve national legislation and harmonize it with European standards, the analysis of the Georgia labor law covers the following: •    Analysis of key problems in national legislation; •    Reccomendations in consideration of international standards.

2011-12-19 12:21 See more

GYLA files against Abolishment of Monthly Subsistence Allowance in Constitutional Court

On behalf of former employee of Kutaisi machine installation bureau Beniamin Abramidze, GYLA filed in Constitutional Court of Georgia, seeking certain provisions of the Resolution of the Government of Georgia N53 on the Procedure for Compensating Health Injuries Sustained by Workers in the Course of their Job to be deemed unconstitutional. GYLA believes that the Resolution of the Government of Georgia N53 contradicts para. 1 and 2 of Article 21, Article 39 and para. 9 of Article 42 of the Constitution of Georgia. Instead of reasonably decreasing the amount of pecuniary assistance, necessary for saving budget funds, the disputed normative act completely abolished the monthly subsistence allowance. Furthermore, this state was not authorized to fully reject the right of an individual to receive a monthly subsistence allowance, as the request was based on a legal expectation derived from court’s decision or an administrative act. Legal expectation of social welfare from the state derives from the principle of legal security, which is an essential characteristic of a rule of law based state envisaged in the Preamble of the Constitution.

2011-12-16 10:19 See more

NGOs Respond to the Statement of the Georgian National Communications Commission Concerning Conflict of Interests

The Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) with its December 2011, 14 statement strongly disagrees with the assessment of NGOs regarding the conflict of interests of the GNCC chairperson. Furthermore, the statement also notes that the company Magi Style Media “produces and places advertising”, while “placement of advertising is not regulated by the Georgian National Communications Commission”.We believe that the noted statement of the commission fails to clearly explain the field of work of Magi Style Media and the Commission’s powers with regard to placement of advertising in television broadcasting. More specifically, the statement does not specify where the company is placing advertising and whether the Commission is able to influence unlawful placement of advertising in any way.Therefore, the civil monitoring group of GNCC addresses the Commission with the request to elaborate to public on the following:

2011-12-16 08:30 See more

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association Traditionally Presented the December 10 Reports to Public

Within the series of human rights event, GYLA traditionally presented the December 10 reports to public. Freedom of information is a fundamental right, and one of the legal grounds for government control and informed participation in the process of decision making. Obligation of public entities to submit to parliament and the president of Georgia detailed reports about practice of the noted right at the entity concerned, is one of the important guarantees for its protection. The fact that public entities are accountable to both executive and legislative branches of the government highlights particular importance of realization of freedom of information. GYLA regularly observes and examines practice of stipulations of Article 49 of the law. Report of the outcomes of the December 10 Reports was published in 2010, covering the reports submitted from 2000 to 2009.

2011-12-15 10:37 See more

GYLA held a Roundtable on Problems related to Administrative Imprisonment

On December 14, 2011, within the series of human rights events, Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association organized a meeting on the topic of administrative imprisonment. At the meeting GYLA presented opinions on key problems in law and practice of administrative imprisonment. The fact that use of administrative imprisonment as a sanction violates most of the human rights was highlighted. Furthermore, administrative imprisonment is sentenced by evading necessary procedural guarantees. Judges of city court and court of appeals, representatives of various state entities, including the Interior Ministry and the High Council with the Ministry of Justice participated in the meeting; the meeting was also attended by representatives of local and international organizations.  

2011-12-14 14:39 See more

Young Lawyers for Constitutional Rights

In frames of the series of human rights events, the Foundation for Support of Legal Education established by Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association traditionally held an Olympiad “Young Lawyers for Constitutional Rights” at the Constitutional Court of Georgia. The Olympiad has been held annually for the last five years, in cooperation with the Constitutional Court, concurrently with GYLA’s traditional Human Rights Week. This year the Olympiad was financially supported by the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation (IRZ). This year total of 8 teams participated in the Olympiad, representing 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of BA program of different schools. The Olympiad was guided by the jury composed of members of the Constitutional Court, field specialists, professors, teachers and a judge from Germany. Qualifying rounds of the Olympiad where semi-finalist teams were selected was held on December 9;

2011-12-14 12:56 See more