The GYLA has submitted its written opinions on the legislative package – which was drafted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and initiated by the Government of Georgia – to the Parliament. According to the draft law, it is planned to amend to Articles 166 and 173 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of Georgia and to considerably increase the amounts of fines – from GEL 100 to GEL 500-1,000 in the case of Article 166 and from GEL 250-2,000 to GEL 1,000-4,000 in the case of Article 173.
The GYLA believes that in a situation when the procedural part of examination of cases established by the legislation on administrative offenses has yet to be brought in line with the Constitution of Georgia and with Georgia’s international obligations, toughening sanctions is unjustified and is going to increase the risk of unlawful interference with human rights. In addition, stricter sanctions are going to have a chilling effect on the realization of freedom of peaceful assembly and expression, the more so when the normative content of the aforementioned articles is unconstitutional. It should also be taken into consideration that systemic reform of the Code of Administrative Offenses has been discussed for years, and there is an expectation that the Parliament of Georgia will start discussions on the fundamental revision of the legislation on administrative offenses in the nearest future. Accordingly, we think that considerable toughening of the repressive part of the Code before the initiation of the reform is not going to bring positive results in terms of either rights or practice.