News
03.04.2020
We inform you that for the purpose of avoiding the danger of Covid-19 spread, due to the State of Emergency in the country, from the 2nd of April till the 21st April, all types of procedures concerning International Protection (Asylum) onsite are suspended.

We also inform you that applications on International Protection (Asylum) will be received on the following e-mail address: dipi@mia.gov.ge.

Read this statement in Arabic, Azerbaijani, French, Hindi, PersianRussian and Turkish.


In case of existing/originating additional questions/problems on International Protection (Asylum), please, contact us in the Division by calling the following hotline number: 598 08 00 97 (available24/7) or via the following e-mail address: dipi@mia.gov.ge or call UNHCR on the following number: 577 41 56 10 (available24/7)
 
13.03.2020
 
On March 10, 2020, the High Council of Justice (HCOJ) nominated Nino Kadagidze to the Parliament as a candidate for the Chair position. She was one of those 10 candidates  who the HCOJ nominated to Parliament for the Supreme Court without any public hearing and discussion at the end of December, 2018. The Coalition believes that the candidates on the list were leaders, members or sympathizers of the influential group within the judiciary. In case of Nino Kadagidze, this was well illustrated during her hearing at the Legal Affairs Committee, when she found it difficult to discuss internal threats to judicial independence and practically denied the existence of the influential group, or the “clan,” within the judiciary.
 
She was also one of the 14 persons who were appointed to the Supreme Court last year, amid significant shortcomings. This process was not assessed positively by any independent observer, domestic or international.
 
Significantly, the HCOJ made the decision of nominating her upon consultations with Supreme Court judges only, behind closed doors. Judges from the first and second instance courts, as well as civil society representatives and other interested parties were not involved in these discussions. While the HCOJ does not have a legal obligation for such open consultation, it would have been advisable to have an open and inclusive selection process, given the high public interest, and in order to secure more legitimacy for this process.
 
Given the above questions towards the selection process and the history of judge Kadagidze’s appointment to the supreme court, the Coalition considers nomination of Nino Kadagidze’s candidacy for the high post of Chair of the Supreme Court of Georgia unjustifiable and calls on members of Parliament not to support her candidacy.
12.03.2020
Due to virus COVID-19 outbreak “Article 42 of the Constitution” NGO to perform the work remotely to 20 March 2020.
 
Legal assistance and legal consultations for asylum seekers, refugees, and humanitarian status holders are available through the following contact information:
 
The UNHCR Project Staff HOTLINE: 593 111 405
Email: a.gudadze@article42.ge
Working hours: 10:00 - 18:00
 
Web-page: www.article42.ge
Facebook: “Article 42 of the Constitution”
 
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"Статья 42 Конституции" 
В связи со вспышкой вирусного COVID-19 "ст. 42 Конституции" выполнять работу онлайн до 20 марта 2020 года.
 
Правовая помощь и юридические консультации для просителей убежища и беженцев, предоставляются через следующую контактную информацию:
 
The UNHCR Project Staff HOTLINE: 593 111 405
Email: a.gudadze@article42.ge
Pабочее Bремя: 10:00 - 18:00
 
Web-page: www.article42.ge
Facebook: “Article 42 of the Constitution”
 
 
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المنظمة غير الحكومية "المادة 42 من الدستور"
بسبب اندلاع COVID-19 منظمة غير الحكومية "المادة 42 من الدستور" ستؤدي العمل عبر الإنترنت حتى 20 مارس 2020.
المساعدة القانونية والمشورة القانونية لطالبي اللجوء واللاجئين والأشخاص ذوي الوضع الإنساني متاحة من خلال معلومات الاتصال التالية:
 
الخط الساخن لموظفي المفوضية: 593111405
البريد الإلكتروني: a.gudadze@article42.ge
ساعات العمل: 10:00 حتي 18:00
 
صفحة الويب: www.article42.ge
فيسبوك: "المادة 42 من الدستور"
 
02.03.2020
 
“Article 42 of the Constitution”, a Tbilisi-based human rights organization, released a study report on execution of rulings of the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations treaty bodies in Georgia. The report was introduced to the representatives of the Government and the Parliament of Georgia, members of civil society, academia and international organizations. Tbilisi Open University hosted the event which took place on February 27, 2020. 
 
The report was released with the assistance of the USAID and the East-West Management Institute. The document reflects some comments and suggestions made by the Ministry of Justice of Georgia and the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee of the Parliament of Georgia. 
 
Vladimer Mkervalishvili, Executive Director of “Article 42”, and Giorgi Chkheidze, Chief of party of the USAID funded PROLoG project, opened the event. Nana Mchedlidze, “Article 42”’s strategic litigation expert, provided insights into the report’s key findings and recommendations. 
 
According to the report, during 20 years of Georgia’s membership in the Council of Europe (CoE), the CoE Committee of Ministers received 127 judgments and decisions of the ECtHR adopted against Georgia. Out of them, 81 cases were closed by the Committee of Ministers’ final resolutions, and execution of 46 cases is pending. 1.04 million EUR is the total amount of compensation imposed on the Government of Georgia as just satisfaction. The compensations awarded to applicants by the European Court are fully paid in a timely manner by the Government of Georgia, - reads the report. 
 
As stated in the document, the CoE Committee of Ministers identified four issues in the cases against Georgia examined by the ECtHR. These cases concern structural problems existing in the country and they follow the so-called enhanced procedure of execution. The Committee of Ministers clustered these issues in four groups: 
  • Cases that concern the lack of effective investigations into allegations of violations of the right to life and of ill-treatment, or excessive use of force by the police or penitentiary authorities during arrest and/or imprisonment;
  • Lawfulness of detention and use of restrictions on rights for illegitimate purposes;
  • Violation of the right to freedom of religion:
  • Violation of the right to freedom of assembly and association.
As for the UN treaty bodies, according to the report, they examined six cases regarding Georgia, out of which the violation of rights guaranteed under various UN conventions has been established in four cases, and five applicants were awarded compensation in the amount of 83.4 thousand GEL in total. 
 
The report commends Georgia for its legislation that envisages all possible mechanisms of execution of judgments and decisions adopted in individual cases by international human rights mechanisms – both review of decisions adopted by domestic courts and parliamentary monitoring. However, it is stated in the document that all these mechanisms have been established recently and the practice of their application is scarce as well as the information about them.
 
In the concluding chapter of the report, “Article 42” provides a number of recommendations addressed to the Ministry of Justice which is the major state body responsible for the implementation of international courts’ rulings. 
 
Particular attention is paid to the necessity of involvement of relevant parties, including appellants and the CSOs, in the elaboration of action plans for implementation of the ECtHR rulings. 
 
The mechanism of bilateral cooperation between the Ministry of Justice of Georgia and the civil society sector should be included in this procedure, - reads the report. 
 
Improving the mechanism of parliamentary supervision over implementation of the international courts’ rulings is also highlighted in the document. 
 
04.02.2020
"Article 42" is pleased to announce that George Selimashvili joined the team and will be responsible for effective communication with the organization's beneficiaries, partners and media. 
 
George has over 10-year experience in communications and public relations. He was involved in the projects implemented by legal service providers and human rights organizations. At various times, George was cooperating with the state-funded Legal Aid Service, the UNDP, the OSGF, the British Council, the IDLO and others.
 
George obtained MPA from Ilia state University (2012-2014). He has experience of teaching and research. He is a co-author of several scientific articles. 
 
20.01.2020

"Article 42" is pleased to announce that Nana Mchedlidze, international expert joined the team.

Nana Mchedlidze obtained LLM from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom (2005-2006); LLM from Utrecht University in the Netherlands (2007-2008); LLB+LLM from Tbilisi State University in Georgia (1994-1999). Studied in Birmingham University in the United Kingdom, in the Council of Europe Human Rights Programme and within the same programme underwent internship at a non-governmental human rights organisation based in London, the Aire Centre (2002). Since 2009, has been a visiting lecturer of the Law School, the LLM programme of Tbilisi State University in international human rights law; since 2015, PhD candidate at the same university. Currently works for the EU4Justice project supporting penitentiary and probation systems as a senior human rights expert. Since 2018, has been cooperating with the Georgian Bar Association in terms of the adaptation programme and continued legal education.

In 2012-2016, as a legal expert of the EU/CoE funded projects provided consultation to the courts of general jurisdiction concerning the application of the ECHR in their judgments and decision; in 2008-2012, worked as a legal expert of UNDP Georgia; in 2001-2007, worked for the Constitutional Court in various positions, last position being the Hof the Legal Department; in 1998-2001, worked for the Ministry of Justice in various positions, last position being the Government’s Agent before the ECtHR.

In 2002-2019, under the auspices of the CoE, EU, UNDP, USAID/PROLoG, US Embassy’s Department of Justice, IRZ, GIZ, NRC, GYLA and other organisations, conducted training sessions for judges, assistant judges, prosecutors, lawyers, senior management of penitentiary establishments, medical professionals of the penitentiary system, the Office of the Public Defender of Georgia, NGO activists, journalists and students. As a CoE international expert provided training sessions on the ECHR for the supreme court judges, constitutional court judges and prosecutors of Montenegro, in Podgorica.

Nana Mchedlidze has published up to 40 works (handbooks, researches, and articles).

 

 
11.01.2020
Vladimer Mkervalishvili, Ph.D., is Full Professor at Tbilisi Open University. He is specializing in Journalism and communication and PR. Vladimir obtained his Ph.D. in Philology/Oriental Studies and MA in Law from Tbilisi State University. He worked as a scholar at American University in Washington (USA); Cambridge and Oxford Universities (UK) and was free researcher at Ca `Foscari University, Venice (Italy); was leding various BA and MA courses at Tbilisi State University (TSU) and Georgian-American University (GAU);

Mr. Mkervalishvili has served a communication and PR experts to various NGOs and International organizations, including CoE, UNDP, USAID, IFES. Realizing the central role of communication and because of his personal and particular interest of them, Vladimer built skills in strategic communication and outreach and focused his efforts on communicating and raising awareness on justice, human rights, gender and equality issues. He is an author of the course “Gender and Diverse Groups Matters and Media”, which was elaborated with US scholars and is groundbreaking arrival in Georgian curricula.

From 1998-2003 Vladimer was journalist, reporter and deputy editor of the various newspapers in Georgia. He is author of 1 scientific work, 5 scientific articles and more than ten books on communication, gender and human rights.

In 2018 Mr. Mkervalishvili is elected as a member of GREVIO - an independent expert body at Council of Europe, responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
22.10.2019

On October 22, the organization "Article 42 of the Constitution" is launching a large-scale training course at Tbilisi and Kakheti schools, which will help to increase tolerance towards students from foreign countries.  About 300 students will take part in this venture.


Under the training module the lawyers of “Article 42 of the Constitution” will inform students about the refugees, persons with humanitarian status and asylum, will introduce the general information provided by the law about international protection tools, at the same time the students will learn what is the difference among the refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants' status.
 


The aim of the course is to increase tolerance towards the students from foreign countries.  In addition, with this training module they will be able to distinguish between refugee and IDP status.  They will also receive information on the situation in the countries of origin, of which the highest number of citizens come to Georgia. Students will be given an idea of
​​the status of aliens or stateless persons granted refugee or humanitarian status in Georgia and what rights and responsibilities they enjoy while in Georgia. 


The training course is held in the framework of the UNHCR project "Protecting and Strengthening Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Humanitarian Persons in Georgia".

 

21.10.2019

The Coalition for an Independent and Transparent Judiciary reacts to discussions concerning the authenticity of the diploma of Shalva Tadumadze, Prosecutor General of Georgia.  

On October 9, Shalva Tadumadze was introduced to the Parliament Legal Committee as a judicial candidate for the Supreme Court. During the hearing, the Prosecutor General’s diploma attracted the attention of the deputies and the public.

During the hearing, the Prosecutor General provided an explanation regarding the year of his admission to the university, which was mistakenly indicated in the diploma, because this educational institution was not yet established in 1993, meaning Shalva Tadumadze could not have started his studies that year. This fact corroborates doubts that the information in the document is authentic.  

Under Article 352 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, the issuance or/and purchase, as well as the use of forged official document, are punitive actions. Thus, this issue exceeds the realm of a political discussion over professional competence of a candidate and adds a legal dimension. 

During the hearing, Shalva Tadumadze stated that, under the 1997 amendments to the Law on Education, he was allowed to graduate from the university in 1998, a year before the anticipated graduation date. The university reflected this information by changing the year of admission to 1993. Despite this explanation, it is still unclear why 1993 was indicated as his admission year, when at the time, the institution was not registered. Also, the university did not indicate in the diploma that the graduate took some exams without attending classes (a so called “externate program”). 

It is worth mentioning, that the diplomas of several candidates raised questions, and the Legal Committee asked them to submit a document confirming compliance of their legal education with the requirements of the legislation before the voting procedure begins.

Higher legal education is a statutory requirement not only for a Supreme Court judicial nominee, but also for the Prosecutor General. The absence of such education makes a Prosecutor General unauthorized to perform his functions. This may have a legal effect on many official actions.  

In addition to legal consequences, such facts may have a severely negative influence on public trust in governmental institutions. When the position of the Prosecutor General of the country is allegedly occupied by a person who does not comply with the requirements of the legislation and, furthermore, may have taken this position as a result of the use of a forged document, the reputation of the entire Prosecutor’s Office is damaged. 

Thus, we believe that it is essential:

       to undertake a comprehensive investigation of authenticity of the diploma of the Prosecutor General to provide solid answers to legitimate questions concerning its and an alleged use of a forged official document;  

       the Parliament shall not put Shalva Tadumadze’s candidacy to the vote until the above-mentioned procedures are finalized and all the questions concerning his diploma are addressed;

       the Parliament shall check the authenticity of the diploma of Shalva Tadumadze in accordance with the procedures envisioned in the law, and in case of establishing signs of a crime in the actions of Tadumadze, start the procedure of impeachment of the Prosecutor General under Article 48 of the Constitution of Georgia.  

20.09.2019

As it is known to the public, on September 4, 2019, the first phase of the selection of judges of the Supreme Court has been completed, as a result of which a list of 20 persons has been submitted to the Parliament of Georgia for consideration.  The 14 candidates on the list are former or current judges of common courts. Article 42 of the Constitution requested the Tbilisi City Court to release the verdicts (judgments) adopted by the  candidates (judgments) in the past, but the City Court has declined on the grounds that "the decisions of individual judges are not recorded, processed or posted in the public database."

 

We would remind the public that, pursuant to Article 13 of the Law on Common Courts, a decision made at an open court hearing is published in full on the court's website.

 

According to the Article 28, Part 1 of the General Administrative Code 1: Public information shall be open except as provided for by law and in the manner prescribed by state, commercial or professional secrets or personal data.

Legislation does not recognize the grounds for refusing to disclose public information, such as the absence of court records in the database.

 

Given the ruling team's announcement that they would guarantee the "unprecedentedly transparent and open procedures" for selecting Supreme Court judges and making statements that the parliamentary majority will "observe these candidates" under the microscope, without examining the candidates' professional experience is devoid of any real substance. The decisions made by the judge most clearly reflect the judge's competence and integrity.

 

Accordingly, we call on the judiciary to publicize the past judgments made by the judicial candidates and make them available to the Parliament as well as the general public as soon as possible.