Proposal on Provision of Free Legal Consultation in the Constitutional Court of Georgia
On November 17, 2014, the Public Defender of Georgia addressed to the Parliament of Georgia with a legislative proposal on introduction of changes into the law of Georgia “On Legal Assistance”.
One of the cornerstones of the Law of Georgia “On legal assistance” is to ensure unhindered access to the rights safeguarded by the Georgian Constitution for all individuals through provision of legal consultation and legal assistance. According to the above-mentioned law, representation in the court is provided with respect to administrative, civil and criminal cases, while legal assistance in the Constitutional court is not envisaged. The paragraph 1 of the clause 42 of the Constitution of Georgia provides guarantee for all individuals to apply to courts of general jurisdiction and constitutional courts to protect their rights and freedoms.
In addition, according to the law of Georgia “On the constitutional legal proceedings” it is obligatory to appoint a representative before the Constitutional Court, if the number of claimants or those having lodged a constitutional submission, is more than two or an individual two files a constitutional claim /constitutional submission is held in the establishment of imprisonment or depravation of liberty.
Accused (if he/she is detained) and convict that do not have access to internet and other technical means to prepare Electronic version of a constitutional claim or conduct a bank operation to pay the state duty, will not be able to independently realize the right to filing a claim to the Constitutional Court.
Given the fact that representative appointment procedures are not regulated and neither the Constitutional Court of Georgia has an authority to appoint a representative, an individual is devoid of ability to exercise its right to legal defense that leads to violation of the right to legal court envisaged in the Constitution.