Bailiffs’ age limit recognized unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court

On December 14, The Constitutional Court of Georgia made decision on the case “Citizens of Georgia – Jimsher Tskhadadze and Mamuka Chanturia vs The Parliament of Georgia”; The lawyer of the organization “Article 42 of the Constitution” - Archil Chopikashvili was protecting the rights of the claimant at the Constitutional Court.

According to the dispute norm, age limit for serving as a bailiff is 50 years. As per claimants’ position, quality of performing bailiff’s duties is connected with specific skills and does not depend on person’s age. Appropriately, the dispute norm under which persons exceeding 50 years of age are restricted to work as bailiffs is discriminative and violates the right to occupy and serve at relevant position in public service.

The Constitutional Court has clarified that in certain circumstances envisaged by law, bailiffs are authorized to use physical force, special means and firearm; accordingly, complete fulfillment of bailiff’s duties is significantly related to person’s physical training and health conditions. Though, evidence examined on this case did not prove that achieving the age of 50 by itself meant the loss of skills required for performing bailiff’s duties. According to the Court, it was also possible to assess the person’s physical conditions in every certain case and determine whether he/she satisfied requirements for performing bailiff’s duties. Consequently, mentioned circumstances excluded the need of releasing bailiffs based on their age. The Court has also determined, that the dispute norm is discriminative, unfairly treating substantially equal persons under and over 50 years of age.

Based on all the above, the Constitutional Court found that the dispute norm violated the right to equality before the law on the one hand, and right to occupy and serve at relevant position in public service on the other.