Appeal of Member Organizations of the Campaign 'It Affects You Too - Surveillance Continues' to the Government and Parliament of Georgia

29 Apr, 2014

In accordance with parliamentary procedure, plenary sessions will not be held in the Parliament of Georgia a month before the election of local self-government bodies. Accordingly, discussion and adoption of legislative regulations regarding secret surveillance may be postponed.

The first committee hearings on the above-mentioned project were launched on April 3rd. It has been discussed in the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committees, the Social Affairs and Health Committees and in Procedural Committees as well. According to media reports, the next day it became known that the National Security and Crisis Management Council proposed to create a temporary interagency task force, which would unite the representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Justice and the General Prosecutor’s Office. The aim of the task force was to develop the strategy for securing personal information and to reconsider the draft law on secret surveillance. A special task force set up under the Legal Committee of the Parliament, together with non-governmental organizations and international experts, has been working on refining the draft law for almost ten months. The Ministry of Internal Affairs has also been involved in this special task force process but has not submitted any comments or recommendations regarding the draft law.

 It is obvious that due to the temporary interagency task force, the draft law review process has been hindered and delayed. There are some doubts that the executive branch of government, law enforcement agencies in particular, are deliberately trying to prolong and hamper the legislative process.

Non-governmental organizations that are involved in the campaign “It Affects You Too – Surveillance Continues” once again call upon the Parliament of Georgia to resume the discussion of a legislative package and to facilitate the implementation of legislative changes regarding the secret surveillance. The discussion of the draft law should be completed prior to the municipal elections.

We also call on the Government of Georgia not to drag out the review process for the amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code and to contribute the implementation of the legislative changes regarding the secret surveillance that will ensure the protection of the constitutional right to privacy and its compliance with international standards.

Appointment, Promotion, Assignment, Waitlist and the Number of Staff of Judges

The Association – Unity of Judges of Georgia has published its report highlighting the problems and shortcomings in the judicial system, as well as the issues related to judicial appointment, promotion, assignment, reserve judges and number of employees.

The first section of the report represents the analysis of legal and practical gaps related to the management of the above-mentioned processes. The report concludes with a series of recommendations that should be considered while resolving the problems.

The Association – Unity of Judges of Georgia was founded in 2013 with the support of the Open Society Georgia Foundation. The report was also prepared with the support of the Foundation. 

“I am pleased with the fact that the Open Society Georgia Foundation, together with our partners, supports such an important report, which is particularly vital in the ongoing process of the judicial system reform in Georgia. This project will be a positive step forward in increasing the role of judges in the process of establishing an independent and transparent judicial system. Judges can now express their opinions at the sessions of the High Council of Justice. They attend conferences, meetings, express their opinions openly, they can be contrary to the opinions expressed by the authorities of the court”-  said Keti Khutsishvili, the executive director of Open Society Georgia Foundation.