Constitutional Court of Georgia

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Constitutional Court of Georgia
საქართველოს საკონსტიტუციო სასამართლო
Logo of the Constitutional Court of Georgia
Constitutional Court of Georgia, Batumi (50657813812).jpg
Court Building in Batumi
Established1996; 26 years ago (1996)
LocationBatumi, Georgia
Composition method3 Judges Appointed by the President of Georgia;
3 Judges Elected by the Parliament of Georgia;
3 Judges designated by the Supreme Court of Georgia
Authorized byConstitution of Georgia;
Organic Law On the Constitutional Court
Judge term length10 years
Number of positions9
Websiteconstcourt.ge
President of the Constitutional Court
CurrentlyMerab Turava
SinceJuly 25, 2020; 2 years ago (2020-07-25)

The Constitutional Court of Georgia (Georgian: საქართველოს საკონსტიტუციო სასამართლო, romanized: sakartvelos sak'onst'it'utsio sasamartlo) is the constitutional court of Georgia, the country's judicial body of constitutional review, having the greatest significance with the view of securing constitutional provisions and separation of powers, and protecting human rights and freedoms.

The Constitutional Court was established in 1996. The legal basis of its organisation and activity is the Constitution of Georgia, the Organic Law of Georgia "On the Constitutional Court of Georgia", and the Rules of the Constitutional Court.[1] The legislation underwent several amendments from 2002 to 2018, the constitutional legal proceedings being made simplified and more expeditious. The Constitutional Court of Georgia was moved from Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, to Batumi, the main city of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara, as part of the process of government decentralization, on 5 July 2007.[2]

Structure and composition[edit]

The Constitutional Court of Georgia consists of nine judges appointed for a term of 10 years. All three branches of state powers participate in the formation of the Constitutional Court on an equal basis—three members are appointed by the President of Georgia, three members are elected by the Parliament by a majority of at least three fifths of the total number of its members, and three members are appointed by the Supreme Court.[3]

A judge of the Constitutional Court can be a citizen of Georgia no younger than 35, with a higher legal education and at least 10 years of professional experience. A judge can not have previously held this office.[3] The Constitutional Court elects a chairperson from among its members for a term of 5 years. A person who has already held the position of chairperson of the Constitutional Court can not be re-elected.[3]

Powers[edit]

The Constitutional Court of Georgia has several duties and powers such as to:

  • make decisions on the constitutionality of a legal act on the basis of a claim submitted by the President of Georgia, by at least one fifth of the Members of Parliament, or by the Government;
  • on the basis of a submission by a common court, review the constitutionality of a normative act to be applied by the common court when hearing a particular case, and which may contravene the Constitution according to a reasonable assumption of the court;
  • review disputes about the competences of a respective body on the basis of a claim submitted by the President of Georgia, Parliament, the Government, the High Council of Justice, the General Prosecutor, the Board of National Bank, the General Auditor, the Public Defender or the supreme representative or executive body of an autonomous republic;
  • review the constitutionality of international treaties on the basis of a claim submitted by the President of Georgia, the Government, or by at least one fifth of the Members of Parliament;
  • review the constitutionality of activities of a political party, or of the termination of powers of a member of the representative body elected upon nomination by this political party, on the basis of a claim submitted by the President of Georgia, the Government, or by at least one fifth of the Members of Parliament;
  • review the constitutionality of Parliament's decision to acknowledge or prematurely terminate the powers of a Member of Parliament, on the basis of a claim submitted by at least one fifth of the Members of Parliament or the respective individual;
  • review disputes related to norms regulating referendums or elections, and the constitutionality of referendums and elections held or to be held based on these norms, on the basis of a claim submitted by the President of Georgia, by at least one fifth of the Members of Parliament, or by the Public Defender;
  • review the constitutionality of a normative act on the basis of a claim submitted by the representative body of a local self-government.[3]

A judgment by the Constitutional Court is final. An act or a part thereof that has been recognized as unconstitutional ceases to have a legal effect as soon as the respective judgment by the Constitutional Court is made public, unless otherwise envisaged by the relevant judgment.[3]

Landmark Judgments[edit]

Year Case Number Case name Disputed provision Outcome Reasoning
Right to Education
2014 N2/3/540[4] Citizens of Russia - O.D; R.D; S.Zh; and citizens of Armenia - M.B and l.B v. Parliament of Georgia The law exhaustively defined the subjects who qualified for free public education.

The nationals of the countries that were not listed did not have access to free general secondary education.

Violation of the right to education. The Court found, that in general, the right to receive free general secondary education, despite its extreme importance, is not absolute and the state has a broad margin of appreciation when it comes to limited resources and economic planning.

The Court stressed, that elementary and secondary education equips a person with basic knowledge. Inability to read and write would affect a person in their everyday life, might lead to the lowered social status of an adolescent, and the stigma of “an uneducated”. This creates a risk that in the country there will be a “shadow society”, which will not only damage these persons themselves but might impact negatively their economic well-being. Therefore, saving resources on education can result in higher future costs caused by a lack of education.

Legality of cannabis
2018 N1/3/1282[5] Zurab Japaridze and Vakhtang Megrelishvili v. Parliament of Georgia Criminal liability for possession and consumption of cannabis. Legalisation of cannabis for recreational and medical use. "consumption of marijuana is an action protected by the right to free personality" and that "[Marijuana] can only harm the user's health, making that user him/herself responsible for the outcome. The responsibility for such actions does not cause dangerous consequences for the public."

The ruling made legal the use and possession of cannabis in Georgia but kept in place penalties for cultivation and sale of the drug.

Judicial Independence[edit]

In 2016, the President of the Constitutional Court at the time, George Papuashvili stated, that he was approached by the Minister of Justice Tea Tsulukiani, offering him benefits in return to collaboration with the ruling party.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF GEORGIA". www.constcourt.ge. Retrieved 2022-03-10.
  2. ^ "Constitutional Court Moves to Batumi". Civil Georgia. 5 July 2007. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e Article 60 of the Constitution of Georgia (country) (2018)
  4. ^ "CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF GEORGIA". www.constcourt.ge. Retrieved 2022-03-17.
  5. ^ "CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF GEORGIA". www.constcourt.ge. Retrieved 2022-06-30.
  6. ^ Vacarciuc, Ghenadie (2016-03-31). "Preserving Democracy: the On-Going Fight between the Court and the Government". Association of Constitutional Justice of the Countries of the Baltic and Black Sea Regions. Retrieved 2022-03-10.

External links[edit]