Deputy Public Defender Delivers Speech at Georgia-EU Parliamentary Association Committee Meeting

On September 21, 2021, Giorgi Burjanadze, Deputy Public Defender of Georgia, took part in the 11th meeting of the Georgia-EU Parliamentary Association Committee. The Public Defender’s Office, within the scope of its mandate and competence, is actively involved in the working groups created for the fulfillment of the 12 preconditions for receiving the status of a candidate country of the European Union.

In his speech, Giorgi Burjanadze emphasized the importance of the meeting in the context of the decision to grant the EU candidate status to Georgia, positively evaluated the package of legislative amendments drafted by the working group, which will allow the common courts of Georgia to consider the case law of the European Court more, and expressed hope that the amendments will contribute to the proper application of the European Convention and ECHR practice, as well as their popularization at the national level.

"The development of the second draft national human rights strategy for 2022-2030 is welcome, however, it does not reflect the institutional problems of the judicial system and the need for reforms. Unfortunately, despite the fact that ensuring an independent, impartial and transparent judicial system is a fundamental issue for EU integration, the group working on the judicial system rejected all the proposals relating to the reform of the High Council of Justice," Giorgi Burjanadze said.

The Deputy Public Defender expressed dissatisfaction over the fact that the Constitutional Court has not made a decision on the constitutionality of the normative framework of covert surveillance for 4 years. He also expressed concern regarding the cancellation of the State Inspector’s Service, which was responsible for the supervision of personal data protection, in an accelerated manner, without prior warning, consultations or reasoned arguments regarding the professional activity of the service.

With regard to the media environment, Giorgi Burjanadze emphasized the critical situation in terms of safety and persecution of media representatives, stressing that about 40 journalists were injured during the disruption of the March of Dignity on July 5, 2021, while the investigation is ineffective; He also talked about the control of the content of broadcasting programmes by the National Communications Commission on the basis of vague legal provisions.

Giorgi Burjanadze briefly reviewed several criminal cases, in which the Public Defender identified human rights violations - including Nika Gvaramia's case, cartographers' case, investigation of the events of June 20, 2019, etc.

In addition, the Deputy Public Defender spoke about the efforts made for the implementation of gender equality and expressed hope that the evaluation of the gender equality policy and support services will be considered in the work process.

Finally, Giorgi Burjanadze thanked Ms. Kaljurand, Mr. Mikser and the European Parliament for their support to the Public Defender’s Office.

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