Independent Investigative Function of the State Inspector’s Service

30 Oct, 2019

On November 1, an independent investigative mechanism will be launched in Georgia. The authority and competence of implementing this function have been assigned to the State Inspector  Service. We welcome this new capacity of the Inspector’s Service facilitating independent and timely investigation of crimes committed by law enforcement officials as this has become a significant challenge in recent years amid the climate of impunity. Five years after the release of the prison video footage, when summarizing the steps taken in previous years for combating torture and other ill-treatment and for addressing the systemic challenges, we once again saw the need for establishing such a mechanism.

As early as in 2015, on the initiative of the Open Society Georgia Foundation and with support of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, a draft law was produced that envisaged setting up an independent investigative mechanism, separate from the Prosecutor’s Office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Since 2015, the Foundation, together with its partner organizations, has been actively advocating for the creation of such a mechanism on local and international levels. As a result of this advocacy, the creation of an independent mechanism became a part of the Georgia-EU Association Agenda.

Consequently, based on the Law on the State Inspector’s Service adopted by the Parliament of Georgia on July 21, 2018, a mechanism has been created, according to which the Inspector’s Service only has a right to investigate and it remains under the procedural oversight from the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia. Nevertheless, the creation of such a mechanism indicates acknowledgment of the problem by the state and represents a step forward in combating impunity within the system.