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Part of pending amendments to the Law on “Assembly and Manifestation” contradict with the Constitutional Court decision

On June 13, Members of the Parliament of Georgia initiated a draft envisaging significant revision of the Law of Georgia on Assembly and Manifestation. It should be noted that the submitted draft contains unclear provisions as well as contains potential risks of human rights’ violation.   Firstly, we should emphasize the conflict between the draft and the Constitutional Court decision of April 18, 2011 that invalidated certain provisions of the Law of Georgia on “Assembly and Manifestation” including the provision with blanket rule imposing limitation on organization of assemblies to the individuals who have no Georgian citizenship and the statement which deprived one person of the right to be the initiator of the Assembly and Manifestation.  The Article of the draft imposing 20 meters radius principle with regard to certain buildings partially contradicts with the Constitutional Court decision. We consider that the suggested formulation in a blanket restriction and in the process of regulating assemblies and manifestations the attention should be paid on restrictions to block the entrances rather than on formal radius. Introducing back partially or completely the norms that were considered by the Constitutional  Court unconstitutional shall be considered as absolute ignorance of the significance of Constitutional justice, that is unforgivable. 

2011-06-16 07:32 See more

GYLA will challenge constitutionality of the applicable legal incapacity model before the Constitutional Court

June 14Th is the day for protecting persons with limited capacities. This group also includes mentally retarded persons, who jointly with individuals who have mental disorder are considered to be the most vulnerable among the persons with limited capacities, since legislation deprives them of legal capacity completely. Full legal incapacity entails prohibition to make decision of legal importance (simple sale and so on). According to the Georgian model of legal incapacity, from the moment of its establishment mentally retarded person is deprived of opportunity to make any decision regarding him/herself independently. Persons without legal capacity have guardians appointed, who make all decisions alone, independently from legally incapable person.      Certainly, mentally retarded persons cannot make adequate decisions in all cases regarding their private life. Moreover, they are vulnerable and may become subject of manipulation if they act independently. Obviously they are in need of persons to assist them, they require some other individuals who will help them realize the situation adequately and express their will. This approach is something different from the applicable model of guardianship. It envisages substitution of the will of legally incapable person, rather than their assistance in revealing  determination.

2011-06-14 13:31 See more

GYLA reacts on the statement of the Supreme Court

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association reacts on the statement of the Supreme Court of 10 June 2011 regarding the published Research   “Legal Analysis of the Cases of Criminal and Administrative Offences with Alleged Political Motive”.  The Research mainly entails legal analysis of the cases of detained/arrested persons during and following spring 2009 protest rallies. We saw the necessity of doing the research after the topic of political prisoners in Georgia became widely discussed in public and among international community. Following served as criteria for case selection: high public interest in a particular case, as well as alleged political motive of criminal prosecution or administrative responsibility.    The Research was not aimed at establishing either culpability or innocence of certain individuals.  We intended to define to what extent the legislative norms were observed in the process of administration of justice and whether the requirements of fair trial were considered by the investigative /judiciary organs.  Legal analysis of cases reviewed in the research determined serious gaps in the execution of criminal justice. The fact is reinforced by legislative flaws and wrong interpretation of procedure legislation, as well as malpractice upheld by inaccurate practice of the applicable law.

2011-06-11 14:24 See more

Presentation of the Legal Analysis –“Cases of Criminal and Administrative Offences with Alleged Political Motive”

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association arranged presentation of the Legal Analysis –“Cases of Criminal and Administrative Offences with Alleged Political Motive” on June 10, 2011 at 12:00 in hotel “Courtyard Marriott. The Research funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Georgia, mainly entails legal analysis of the cases of detained/arrested persons during and following spring 2009 protest rallies. We saw the necessity of doing the research after the topic of political prisoners in Georgia became widely discussed in public and international community. Following served as criteria for case selection: high public interest in a particular case, as well as alleged political motive of criminal prosecution or administrative responsibility.   Legal analysis of cases reviewed in the research determined methodical errors in the execution of criminal justice in relation to individuals who can be considered as possible opponents of the authority due to political or public activities of these persons or their friends and family. The analysis discovered both legislative flaws and wrong interpretation of procedure legislation, as well as malpractice reinforced by inaccurate practice of the applicable law.  24 cases were selected for the research, including 6 cases involving administrative violations and 18 criminal cases. Representatives from international organizations, foreign embassies, non governmental organizations and state authorities were invited at the meeting.

2011-06-11 09:44 See more

General Analysis of Violations of Human Rights during and following the Dispersal of May 26, 2011 Protest Rally

GYLA publishes a report about preliminary and brief evaluation of general trends of human rights violation that were identified during and after the dispersal of May 26, 2011 rally, during detention of protesters or other persons that were present at the rally site and review of their cases by court. This analysis is based on statements obtained by GYLA from eye-witnesses and persons under its legal protection, as well as video and photo material disseminated by open sources.

2011-06-06 14:43 See more

GYLA expresses concern about the limitation of the right to defence of the detainees

GYLA Ozurgeti Office revealed yet another fact of the interference in the exercise of the right to legal assistance of the detainees, which is guaranteed under the Georgian Constitution and the International Human Rights Law. One of the participants of the May 26th rally, Mr. Nugzar Burchuladze, is represented by GYLA Ozurgeti Office. Ozurgeti District Police Department summoned Mr. Burchuladze as a witness.  He appeared before the Police Department while being accompanied by GYLA lawyer.  Police Department Officials did not allow the lawyer to be present at his client's questioning. Our lawyer submitted a written complaint to the Head of District Police Department asking for non-interference with Mr. Burchuladze's right to defence. In response, the lawyer was told that Mr. Burchuladze rejected the need for legal protection. However, no written proof was provided and the lawyer was not allowed to communicate with the client either. GYLA emphasizes that the above-mentioned is the interference with the fundamental human rights of the detainee. We urge Ozurgeti Police Department to ensure Mr. Burchuladze's access to lawyer. We also call on Ozurgeti investigative bodies to examine thoroughly these facts.

2011-05-30 15:58 See more

GYLA lawyers found out whereabouts of several missing

On 27 May 2011 GYLA Telavi office lawyers visited members of rally held in Telavi pre-trial detention centre. Conditions of detention in Telavi Isolator are critical and urgent measures are required.According to the detainees and the lawyers:-    The following detainees have been brutally beaten up by police officers: Andrei Gora, Murman Dumbadze and Aleko Chubinidze. It has to be noted that Murman Dumbadze was brutally beaten up when brought to Tbilisi Chief Police Office; -    They are denied access to medical treatment;-    For already 2 days they are not provided with any food;

2011-05-28 16:55 See more

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association makes statement on infringement of the rights of detainees

The Ministry of Interior of Georgia has officially announced that as a result of dispersal of peaceful manifestation there are 90 detainees, some of them has already been sentenced to administrative detention and the others were fined.GYLA provides legal assistance to the detainees. GYLA lawyers until now are in search of certain individuals and/or are seeking information about identities of those detained in pre-trial detention centers. However, access to such information is strictly limited. GYLA lawyers are not allowed to visit the persons under their defense in the pre-trial detention centers.GYLA calls upon the Ministry of Interior to publish the list of those detained on 26 May 2011 as a result of dispersal of the demonstration taking place in front of the Parliament of Georgia in order to ensure that their rights to defense is fully respected. GYLA also calls upon the Ministry to establish the whereabouts of those missing since last night.GYLA would like to comment on court proceedings held in the Tbilisi City Court against the detainees. GYLA lawyers faced serious difficulties in getting information about those brought in the Tbilisi City Court. In the beginning GYLA lawyers were even refused to exercise their professional duties.Some of the detainees brought before the Court had visible physical injuries. However, judges usually did not pay attention on this – they never expressed interest in clarifying what were the circumstances of a person being injured.

2011-05-26 16:58 See more

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association and Transparency International – Georgia make their preliminary statement about the dispersal of manifestation on 26 May

At about 00:12 on 26 May 2011 forces of the Ministry of Interior started dispersal of manifestation taking place on the Rustaveli Avenue. Even if the decision of dispersal of the demonstration had been legitimate, video footages disseminated through various media sources clearly show use of excessive force by police. This is in breach of the Georgian Law on Police. These facts of violence could not be left without legal assessment and adequate investigation.Relying on the information disseminated by media sources, dispersal of manifestation was followed by disproportionate use of force, beating of detained demonstrators, who did not show resistance towards police. On the basis of the information broadcasted, journalists were not allowed to perform their professional duties; some of them are injured and detained.On the basis of the above-mentioned, according to GYLA and TI-Georgia there are signs of excessive use of force and crimes committed by police. Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association would like to express its readiness to provide legal assistance to any detainee and are open to such requests made by their family members and/or relatives.

2011-05-25 23:23 See more

Statement by Local Non‐Governmental Organizations about the Resumption of Negotiations on Election Reform

Negotiations between the ruling and opposition parties about election reform have resumed. Both sides have agreed to individual consultations. We, as organizations observing negotiations between the ruling and opposition parties on election reform, welcome the decision by both sides to resume consultations. We are Transparency International– Georgia, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy, Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association, and New Generation – New Initiative. We think, however, that changing the consultations to a closed format will decrease their transparency.

2011-05-13 13:35 See more