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Criminal Justice Reform Strategy
Adopted on the 10th Session of ICC
Criminal Justice Reform Inter-Agency Coordination
Council (ICC) Secretariat
[email protected]
24a, Gorgasali Street
Tbilisi, 0114, Georgia
 (+99532) 240 50 97
(+99532) 240 57 94
Chapter 1. Introduction
1. OverallObjectivesoftheCriminalJusticeReforminGeorgia
The Criminal Justice Reform in Georgia is a comprehensive initiative with the overall
goal to strengthen the rule of law, protect human rights, prevent crime and ensure safe
environment for the community.
Criminal Justice Reform is one of the major priorities of the Government of Georgia. The
Government remains strongly committed to create a system that is focused on crime
prevention and protection of human rights, creation of independent and fair judiciary as
well as development of impartial, accountable and efficient criminal justice system.
This Strategy defines the key reform objectives set out by the Government:
Ensure liberalization and modernization of criminal legislation as well as bring it in
compliance with international and European standards and principles;
Bring juvenile justice fully in line with international standards; ensure protection of
the best interest of child at all stages of criminal proceedings;
Ensure effective crime prevention, reduction of crime rate and community safety;
Transform the Prosecution Service into an independent, effective, transparent and
accountable institution;
Ensure full independence of the Legal Aid Service and ensure access to legal aid;
Increase judicial independence and trust towards Judiciary;
Improve conditions for inmates and reform the existing prison healthcare system;
Reform probation system in a way to ensure full rehabilitation and reintegration of
the convicts;
Introduce individualized and prevention-oriented evidence-based policy approaches
in criminal justice;
Enhance and further develop legal education system, as well as ensure access to legal
Ensure effective functioning of the Public Defender’s Office.
Criminal Justice Reform consists of the following 10 strategic directions:
1. Criminal Legislation Reform
Overall Goal: To ensure liberalization and modernization of criminal legislation of
Georgia and bring it in compliance with international and European standards and
The main objective of this component is to reform criminal legislation of Georgia in light
of the new criminal policy of liberalization and bring it in line with the international and
regional human rights standards. This objective is intended to be achieved through the
improvement of the legislative framework that includes the revision of the Criminal
Code and Code of Administrative Offenses, as well as strengthening the adversarial
principle throughout the criminal proceedings; overhaul plea agreement mechanism,
further clarify and protect victims’ rights, enhance jury trial system and bring operativeinvestigative activities in line with international standards.
2. Police Reform
Overall Goal: To maintain public order, reduce crime rate and ensure community
The objective of the Police Reform is to improve the standards for effective crime
prevention and investigation, as well as ensure transparency and bring police work in
line with international standards. Particular attention shall be paid to the establishment
of human rights protection procedures and monitoring mechanisms in order to
effectively prevent and address human rights violations. In addition, it is significant to
ensure high quality of service provided by police, adhere to integrity rules and increase
personnel qualification.
3. Prosecution Reform
Overall Goal: To transform the Prosecution Service into a transparent, effective and
independent institution that is able to conduct prosecution in a fair and impartial
manner in line with international and European standards.
The objective of the Prosecution Reform is to transform the Prosecution Service into an
independent, effective, transparent and accountable institution. It is crucial to ensure
that all prosecutors possess adequate professional qualifications necessary for the
accomplishment of their functions in a fair and impartial manner. Furthermore, it is
essential to ensure that the prosecution service is being carried out in line with the
liberalization policy. Particular emphasis shall be made on human rights protection and
engagement of community members as well as increasing public trust.
4. Legal Aid Reform
Overall Goal: To ensure full institutional independence of the Legal Aid Service of
Georgia and access to legal aid throughout the country.
The objective of the Legal Aid Reform is to transform the Legal Aid Service of Georgia
into an independent institution and introduce adequate legal guarantees for its
accountability and transparency. The reform also aims at ensuring access to and high
quality of legal aid service through expanding its territorial coverage, increasing
professional development of the personnel and implementing public awareness
activities on a continuous basis.
5. Judiciary Reform
Overall Goal: To guarantee judicial independence in compliance with international and
European standards, improve quality of justice and increase trust towards judiciary.
The objective of the Judicial Reform is to create transparent mechanism for selection of
judicial candidates, their appointment and promotion. Continuing and in-depth
professional development of judicial candidates and judges shall be guaranteed by the
High Council of Justice of Georgia through the enhanced training system that is in line
with international standards. Moreover, it is essential to bring jury trial system in
compliance with European standards, ensure transparency of jury selection process,
justification and appeal of verdict as well as expand subject and territorial jurisdiction of
jury trial.
6. Penitentiary Reform
Overall Goal: To ensure better treatment and protection of prisoners’ rights as well as
reduction of reoffending through the effective rehabilitation and reintegration activities.
The objective of Penitentiary Reform is to improve living conditions of inmates and the
existing infrastructure in the penitentiary establishments, develop adequate educational
and vocational training programs, as well as expand employment opportunities.
Particular emphasis shall be made on the provision of adequate health care service to all
inmates based on their individual needs. Furthermore, it is essential to develop effective
rehabilitation and reintegration activities, strengthen legal guarantees of prisoners, and
enhance conditional release system as well as to ensure continuous professional
development of the personnel.
7. Probation Reform
Overall Goal: To ensure individualized and prevention-oriented socialization and
rehabilitation of ex-prisoners and probationers.
The key priority of the National Probation Agency is to ensure effective re-socialization
and rehabilitation process of all probationers. It is crucial to increase the number of
rehabilitation, educational and vocational programs and expand them more broadly
throughout the country. Furthermore, in order to reduce the risk factors contributing to
the crime commission and ensure effective rehabilitation of probationers and exprisoners, individual sentence planning mechanism shall be further enhanced and fully
8. Juvenile Justice Reform
Overall Goal: To create child-friendly juvenile justice system that complies with
international standards and focuses on effective prevention as well as rehabilitation and
reintegration of juveniles in conflict with the law.
One of the key priorities of the Government within the framework of the Juvenile Justice
Reform is to reduce the use of custodial measures against young offenders, develop
alternative measures to criminal prosecution and bring criminal liability of juveniles in
line with common European standards. The reform aims at prevention of juvenile
delinquency and reduction of recidivism rate through the individual rehabilitation
programs. Furthermore, within the framework of this reform the Juvenile Justice Code
shall be elaborated, alternative measures to criminal prosecution shall be enhanced and
significant efforts shall be put to prevent juvenile delinquency throughout the country.
9. Legal Education Reform
Overall Goal: To ensure transparent system for adequate access to legal profession and
increase the quality of legal education.
The objective of the Legal Education Reform is to ensure accessibility of legal education;
to develop effective and high quality legal education system and establish adequate
mechanism for continuing and in-depth professional development of lawyers.
10. Efficient Public Defender’s Office
Overall Goal: To ensure effective functioning of the Public Defender’s Office with the
aim to reduce the number of human rights violations and raise public awareness of
human rights.
The effective functioning of the Public Defender’s Office shall be achieved by improving
the legislative framework and building its technical and human capacities, developing
the national preventive mechanism and improving the quality of service provided.
Furthermore, in order to raise public awareness on the activities of the Public
Defender’s Office and human rights issues in general, a wide range of educational
activities shall be provided on the continuous basis.
2. Implementation and Monitoring of the Criminal Justice Reform
The overall implementation of the criminal justice reform process is monitored by the
Criminal Justice Reform Inter-Agency Coordination Council (hereinafter “Council”).
Achievement of the objectives foreseen by this Strategy is supported by the active
involvement of civil society, academia and international partners.
The Council has Working Groups for 8 sub-components of the Criminal Justice Reform
with the exception of Legal Education and the Public Defender’s Office.
The Secretariat of the Council operates within the Ministry of Justice of Georgia with
responsibility to facilitate and coordinate criminal justice reform through the work of
the Council and aforementioned 8 Working Groups as well as monitor implementation
of the National Criminal Justice Reform Strategy and Action Plan.
The monitoring system of the Criminal Justice Reform implementation is carried out
through the indicators and time bound targets covered by the respective Action Plans.
Monitoring over the implementation process is undertaken biannually based on the
agreed monitoring tools submitted to the Secretariat by the institutions responsible for
the relevant subcomponents. The Secretariat is responsible for preparing unified report
and submitting it for the approval to the Council as well as publishing monitoring tools
and yearly progress reports.
State institutions involved in the Criminal Justice Reform process annually update the
relevant strategies and action plans that are subsequently approved by the Council.
While updating these documents, particular attention is paid to the Basic Data and
Directives (BDD) of Georgia that provides a strategic plan for the different sectors, the
multiyear budgeting and relevant financial management system.
Donor coordination
Coordination with the donor community within the framework of the criminal justice
reform is led by the Council in line with the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
signed in September 2010. The MOU highlights commitment of the state agencies and
respective donors to make aid more effective by using government systems for program
implementation. The MOU contains a fixed calendar for coordination meetings as well as
agreed reporting schedule that ensures close coordination and cooperation among
donors and responsible institutions.
Chapter 2. Criminal Justice Reform Strategy
1. Criminal Procedural Legislation
a. Strengthening of Rights of Defence and Adversarial principle
According to the Criminal Code of 2009 adversarial principle has been establishes as the
ruling principle in criminal procedure. Despite this judicial practice has revealed certain
issues where defense is in unfavourable situation. There were also certain obstacles
concerning rights of defense and evidences. Practice shows that defense was unable to
obtain information and evidence, receive survey protocol and court hearing’s protocol
on time. Due to this face, in order to strengthen the adversarial principle, new draft
amendments were elaborated to the Criminal Procedure Code.
In order to strengthen the defense rights and comply with the ne bis in idem principle
draft amendments instead of prohibition of dual “indictment” prohibits double
“jeopardy”. Draft amendments also contain indications about the following issues: the
expenditure on the investigation conducted by the state appointed attorney is covered
by the state; the rights of the attorney will be expanded in order to provide better
opportunity to effectively defend rights of the defendant; it will be allowed to have a
foreign attorney with the consent of the Georgian Bar Association.
According to the amendments it is necessary to indicate that the evidence other than
indirect testimony should prove indirect testimony and that existence of exonerated
circumstances is ground for termination of investigation and/or criminal prosecution.
Further according to the amendments, facts established by the guilty judgment can only
be binding if the parties agree with legality of the judgment. In the project of additional
amendments the standard of proof has been defined as high degree of probability and
courts are encouraged to use this standard.
The first set of procedural law amendments have been drafted in close cooperation with
the Georgian Bar Association. Later working on the project continued in the Ministry of
Justice of Georgia. In 2013 14th of January, the above-mentioned project was introduced
to the working group on Criminal Legislation that is established by the Criminal Justice
Reform Inter-Agency Coordination Council. After the discussions, and the received
comments and suggestions were incorporated in the draft and the consolidated version
was submitted to the Georgian Parliament. The draft passed all three hearings and is in
the process of waiting for the President’s signature in order to enter into force.
b. The Jury
One of the fundamental novelties of the Criminal Code of Georgia 2009 is the
establishment of jury trail institute. However, to this date, the institute has limited
territorial jurisdiction and is limited to the certain category of criminal cases. Certain
issues have been revealed that are necessary to be researched and regulated for the fullscale functioning of the institute. Such issues include: ensuring transparency and
randomness in jury selection process, right of parties to recuse the jury candidates,
standards for jury in terms of necessary votes, justification and appeal for the
announcement of verdict and the right of the defendant to refuse jury trial.
Concerning the mentioned problematic issues with the support of European Council
foreign experts conducted research based on the jury trial institutes operating in the
European States. New draft amendments to the Criminal Procedural Code of Georgia
have been elaborated according to the findings of the research. Amendments try to
encourage effective functioning of the jury trail institute while also trying to reach the
balance between the protection of the defendant’s rights and public interest in
It is important to mention that, in order to expand the territorial jurisdiction of the jury
institute new amendments have been made in the Criminal Procedural Code in 18 th of
January 2013 according to which Batumi, Tbilisi and Kutaisi City Courts have been given
authority to hear criminal cases, where the defendants and their possible coperpetrators are public officials. The mentioned amendment is relevant to the tendency,
which includes sustainable and consistent expansion of territorial and subject matter
jurisdiction of the jury trial.
c. Plea-Bargaining Agreement
Fundamental problems have been revealed in connection to the plea bargaining
agreement during previous year. The problematic issues include: wide discretion of the
prosecutor on guilt and sanction during bargaining process, ensuring voluntariness of
the defendant’s consent and transparency of the procedure, court’s authority to control
process of plea-bargaining agreement, imposing lower sanction below the minimum
provided for in the legislation and using conditional sentence during existence of pleabargaining agreement.
Various measures have been held in order to eradicate problematic issues and reform
the plea-bargaining agreement institute. Representatives of the Ministry of Justice and
Prosecutor’s Office participated in study visit held in the United States of America, in
order to learn matters relating to the plea-bargaining agreement. Additionally, the
expert of the project on the “Support of Criminal Legislation Reform in Georgia”,
Agnezka Milart, together with the practitioner lawyers and representatives of academy
conducted comparative research and elaborated draft on amendments to the Criminal
Procedural Code concerning the reform of the plea-bargaining institute. The
amendments to the drafts has been introduced after the consultations with the Georgian
and foreign experts and were based on their comments made during the meeting of the
working group.
The main idea of the amendments is concerned with providing additional rights to the
defendant and strengthening their conditions during the plea-bargaining agreement
concluding and approval process, making the protocol of the plea-bargaining agreement
process, requirement of the evidences that prove the guilt of the defendant beyond the
reasonable ground, proper informing of the defendant on the legal consequences of the
plea-bargaining agreement, introduction of the face-to-face conversation of the
defendants with the judge in order to ensure the voluntariness of his consent and court’s
authority to check the proportionality of the sanction required by the prosecutor.
Additionally draft contains amendments to the Criminal Code concerning imposing of
sentence during plea-bargaining agreement. According to the draft, in article 50(5) of
the Criminal Code phrase: “except in case of plea-bargaining agreement” will be deleted.
This amendment will make it possible to use conditional sentence also during pleabargaining agreement and thus the legislation will limit wide discretion of prosecutor.
Draft also amends article 55 of the Criminal Code. According to the amendment court
will have authority to impose lower sanction below the minimum provided for in the
legislation in case of existence plea-bargaining agreement. However the portion will be
determined in order to limit courts authority to impose sanction below the minimum
provided for in the legislation for less grave, grave and especially greave offences. The
idea of this amendment is also to limit the wide discretion of the prosecutor and
eradicate chances of using fundamentally different sanctions for the same type of
Mentioned draft is ready to be initiated in the Parliament.
d. Victim’s Rights
One of the main novelties of the Criminal Code of Georgia 2009 is that victim is not the
party to the criminal proceedings and thus he does not have a right to appeal
prosecutor’s decision to refuse to start or cease the prosecution. Very limited rights of
the victims resulted in discontent in the society. Besides, from the European Court of
Human Rights Georgia received direct recommendations that for the full compliance of
the human rights and fundamental freedoms with the European Convention it was
necessary to ensure wider sphere of rights of the victims in the criminal proceedings.
In order to eradicate the mentioned problem, under the project on the “Support of
Criminal Legislation Reform in Georgia” meetings of the working group was held with
participation of the well-known expert on victims’ rights - Ian van Dijk, project director Renate Winter and project expert - Agnezka Milart.
Within the meeting of the working group European Union’s Directive 2012/29
establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of
crime was reviewed in detail. The discussions about how to incorporate European
Union’s and European Council’s standards into the Criminal Procedural Code also took
place. The main concern of the discussions was about the legal recognition and respect
of the victim, ability to receive information about criminal proceedings, effective
compensation and support of the victim in criminal procedural legislation.
On the bases of the outcomes of the meeting of the working group the draft amendment
to the Criminal Procedural Code should be made.
2. Revision of the Criminal Code of Georgia
The main objective of the project is to reform substantive criminal law of Georgia in light
of the new criminal policy of liberalization and to bring it in line with the international
and regional human rights standards applicable in the field of criminal law. New
criminal code shall be coherent, accessible and foreseeable for all the stakeholders –
defenders, prosecutors and courts, as well as public at large. General part of the Code
will be reviewed by the end of 2013 and the project will be introduced to the
international and regional experts. From the beginning of 2014 the revision of private
part of the Code will commence.
Working group of experts that was established by the auspices of the Ministry of Justice
is working on the general part of the Code. Working group held several meetings with
the participation of the experts of the project on the “Support of Criminal Legislation
Reform in Georgia” - Agnezka Milart and Rendel Barrows. During the meeting main
problematic issues of the general part of the Criminal Code of Georgia has been
identified and the ways to solve the problems was determined. At this point the draft of
the general part to the Criminal Code is being elaborated based on the comments
received from relevant experts. For further review the project will be introduced to the
Working Group on Criminal Legislation that is established by the Criminal Justice
Reform Inter-Agency Coordination Council.
Amendments to the general part of the Criminal Code address: refinement of definitions
of renewable and group crime, decriminalization of certain part of the incomplete crime,
expansion of the non-incriminating and exonerated circumstances, refinement of
purpose of punishment and determination of hierarchy according to the graveness of
offences, reforming regulation of fine, eradication of the corrective labour as a type of
sanction, determination of the main and additional sanctions and fundamental reform of
the principles on imposing sanctions. This especially refers to the imposing sanction
during accumulated crimes and accumulates sanctions. This was happening by using
principle of partial or whole accumulation and now it is planned to incorporate principle
of overlap in the general part of the Criminal Code. Besides this, fundamental revision
will be made on using conditional sentence and imposing sanctions during existence of
plea-bargaining agreement.
Revision of the Juvenile Justice and reform of the identified problems is the major part of
the reform of the general part of the Criminal Code. By the co-operation with the UNICEF
and national experts in juvenile justice the main directions of the reform in different
parts of juvenile justice has been elaborated (16th and 17th Parts of the Criminal Code
of Georgia). This include: using alternative sanctions for juveniles instead of their
punishment, minimizing minimum sanctions for juveniles, using conditional sentence
during grave and especially grave offences committed by juvenile, establishing institutes
on pre-trial reports and court diversion in Criminal Code etc. The mentions issues have
been discussed during the meeting of the working group in 2013. The process of
revision of the parts 16 and 17 of the Criminal Code is being conducted.
Drafting process of the special part of the Criminal Code of Georgia will be carried out by
several expert working groups which will research and draft chapters on different types
of crimes (crimes against property, crimes against administration of justice, etc). Drafts
prepared by each working group will be presented for discussion and refinement to the
Criminal Legislation Working Group. After finalization of the draft Code as a result of
discussion of the prepared draft and recommendations to it by the Criminal Legislation
Working Group, the draft will be submitted for expert review and for opinions of
international and regional institutions.
3. Code of Administrative Offences
Code of Administrative Offences was adopted on 15 December of 1984 and after this
almost every part of Code was amended several times. Due to this, text of Code of
Administrative Offences includes many vague and contradictory regulations. Especially,
it is important that administrative liability (due to its character and severity) for some
administrative offences requires same standards of fair trial as it is usually
characterized to cases of criminal law. The issue to guarantee fair trial is curtail
especially with regard to the using administrative imprisonment as sanction.
On some issues of Code of Administrative Offences, new draft has been elaborated,
which requires broad examination and analysis with participation of all stakeholders.
On next stage, it is very important to start full-scale overview of Code of Administrative
Offences to amend all outdated provisions and to refine text in a manner to comply with
the international standards on human rights.
4. Law on Operative and Investigative Measures
Law on Operative and Investigative Measures, which was adopted on 30 April of 1999,
was criticized several times. In many cases it happened to be matter of constitutional
proceeding in the Constitutional Court of Georgia. Some provisions of this law was
already recognized as unconstitutional while they were inconsistent with right to
privacy and standards on protection of personal information. Despite this, there are still
some provisions in the law relating to covert video and audio recording, film, photo and
electronic surveillance, also retrieval of information from computer system and
communication channel, as well as rules on procession, storage and use of above
mentioned information, which still threatens interference in the right of privacy without
objective and reasonable justification and creates possibility of arbitrariness from
specific bodies of government.
For the solution of the problems discussed, comparative-legal research is being
conducted on the problems that are identified in the Law on Operative and Investigative
Measures. After completion of this research it is very important to amend the law in
accordance with the European standards.
Chapter 3. Police Reform Strategy
Police and Crime Prevention
Structural Changes
After the parliamentary elections held on the 1st of October, and a change in the
Management of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia (MIA), In order to respond to
international/national recommendations and enhance Georgian police performance and
accountability, the Ministry has undergone structural reorganization.
The main aim of structural reorganization is to gradually depoliticize the police force,
and establish an impartial, accountable, the community-oriented and transparent law
enforcement structure. Structural changes included abolishing Constitutional Security
Department and Special Operative Department (SOD) and transferring their functions to
the newly formed structural units. Constitutional Security Department was replaced by
State Security Agency and Anti-corruption Agency.
The Anticorruption Agency carries out revelation of conflicts of interest in the public
service and the fight against corruption and malfeasance by officials. The State Security
Agency forecasts the threats to the country, identifies and responds to crimes against
the state, and ensures protection of the constitutional order from forcible substitution
with non-constitutional one.
Criminal Police Department was transformed into Central Criminal Police Department,
which will undertake the function of Former SOD in fight against organized crime.
With the aim to institutionalize policy and planning processes in the MIA system, as well
as to implement reforms and coordinate the monitoring of their implementation, the
MIA Reforms and Development Agency was established. The main function of the
Agency is elaboration of the Ministry’s short- and long-term development strategy.
The MIA is actively working on the development of normative basis: MIA Short Term
Development Strategy was elaborated. New Code of Police Ethics was drafted in
accordance with international recommendations and was submitted to the Council of
Europe for final comments.
The process of amendments to the Law on Police is underway in order to bring it in
accordance with international standards.
Main Objectives of Police Reform
The objective of the continuing police reform and development is to retain and improve
the progress achieved through the major structural reform; to establish a communityoriented police; ensure police accountability and transparency; ensure participation of
civil society; institutionalize Policies and procedures; improve human resource
management; establish principles of protection of human rights and humanity in police
work; increase the standard of crime prevention and investigative practice through
further development of personnel skills; ensure maximum transparency of police work
and reform processes.
Outline of Police Reform
Reform tackles all important directions of the police work: 1) Fight against Crime; 2)
Protection of Human Rights; 3) Prevention of Crime among Juveniles; 4) Road Safety; 5)
Effective Management of Migration Processes; 6) Providing Quality Services; 7) Human
Resource Management and Raising Professional Skills; 8) Institutionalization of Policies
and Procedures; 9) Development of Material-Technical Basis and Infrastructure; 10)
International Cooperation; 11) Public Relations.
Fight against Crime
The main function of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) is fight against crime, through
detection, investigation/suppression and prevention of crime by the law enforcement
officers. With the aim of ensuring the timely detection of crime, the MIA ensures
operative and search activities, functioning of a 24/7 hot line and foot patrol as well as
patrol crews. Specialized structural units of the MIA are responsible for crime
investigation according to the categories of crime.
With the aim of crime prevention, the MIA representatives ensure direct contacts with
the population and upon necessity conduct preventive activities in cooperation with
civil society, with a special focus on prevention of crime among juveniles.
Taking into consideration the modern challenges, the MIA defines priority direction in
fight against crime, which is: trafficking in human beings; illegal migration; domestic
violence; cybercrime; corruption; terrorism; drug related crime; juvenile crime.
Prevention of Juvenile Crime
Special attention will be devoted to conducting interactive discussions and seminars at
schools and other educational institutions on the causes of crime, threats and
consequences thereof. In order to avoid juvenile crime recurrence and consequent adult
criminal career, relevant measures will be taken for their re-socialization and
reintegration into the society.
Considering psycho-social development of the juveniles, it is common that they often
tend to get voluntarily or involuntarily involved in crime or administrative offense. In
order to avoid this, the MIA in cooperation with other relevant agencies is planning to
conduct preventive activities at 3 levels: 1) the first level is aimed at raising the legal
awareness of juveniles on crime/violation of law and its legal consequences
(responsibilities) in order to avoid their voluntary or involuntary involvement in
crime/violation of crime; 2) at the second level the MIA will make a special focus on
juveniles in conflict with crime and on prevention; 3) at the third level the special
attention will be made on prevention of repeated crime among juveniles through
complex approaches.
For the purposes of effective prevention of crime/violation of law among juveniles it is
necessary to ensure continued and coordinated work of relevant governmental agencies.
Special attention will be devoted to conducting interactive discussions and seminars at
schools and other educational institutions on the causes of crime, threats and
consequences thereof. In order to avoid juvenile crime recurrence and consequent adult
criminal career, relevant measures will be taken for their re-socialization and
reintegration into the society.
Protection of Human Rights
1. Policing and Human Rights
The goal of the MIA is to ensure protection of human rights in the process of
implementing its duties. In particular, any police measures should be grounded on the
principles of legality, respect for personality, honour and dignity of an individual, as well
as on humanity and accountability.
2. Protecting human rights in temporary detention isolators (TDI)
Protecting human rights gains special importance in the Temporary Detention Isolators
(TDIs). The Human Rights and Monitoring Main Division of the Ministry of Internal
Affairs ensures temporary placement of the detainees in the TDIs, their registration,
medical examination as well as provision of meals and relevant conditions for them and
monitoring of their rights. The Main Division also ensures the provision of information
to the detainees on their procedural rights.
MIA conducted the needs assessment of TDI system and the detainees as well,
commenced the installation of video surveillance systems, took into account the existing
practice and the recommendations of local and international organizations such as:
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment (CPT), Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UN), Public
Defender of Georgia, Human Rights Watch, Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA)
The reform is aimed at establishing international standards of protecting human rights,
suppressing inhuman or degrading treatment and ensuring maximally safe environment
for the detainees.
For improving the quality of protecting human rights and security, in the framework of
the reforms the following changes are implemented in the Main Division of Human
Rights and Monitoring:
Monitoring enhancement
Structural enhancement. To safeguard elimination of ill-treatment and ensure the
proper conditions for detainees, the capabilities of the Monitoring Division have
been enhanced, including increase in the number of employees and their functional
Video Surveillance. To ensure protection of detainees’ rights and safety, the
installation of video surveillance systems was conducted in all TDIs.
Monitoring by human rights organizations. In accordance with the existing
Memorandum of Understanding, Public Defender as well as nongovernmental
organization have unhindered access to the TDIs to conduct independent
Infrastructure rehabilitation
Renovation works in the TDIs will take place country-wide, coupled with the
improvements of heating systems and sanitary conditions where necessary. Detainees
will be provided with new beds.
Human resources
To avoid any type of mistreatment against the detainees, permanents trainings and
retraining of TDI employees will take place on the issues including international
human rights standards, first aid, rights and treatment of persons with special needs
(people with disabilities, alcohol and drug addicts) etc.
Ensuring Road Safety
Road Safety is an important component ensuring public order and security. Over the last
years positive steps have been made towards enhancing the road safety. Soviet-type
corrupted road police was replaced by Patrol Police that have soon won the trust among
the public and played significant role in preventing road accidents and responding to the
breaches of the law.
Partial modernization of the roads in the country conditioned the need to improve the
road safety. The number of accidents caused by excess speed, drunkenness, negligence
of traffic safety rules and other factors is quite high. Respectively, it is reflected on death
toll, severe bodily injuries and material loss.
The main objective of MIA is to reduce the number of crashes and the severity thereof.
For this purpose the priorities are: the renewal of vehicle fleet and increase of number of
qualified personnel. This will increase the coverage areas and respectively the visibility
of the police. This will contribute to accident prevention as well as timely response.
Along with an increase in the number of crews, the acquisition of modern technologies
will ensure collection of the detailed information on exact accident places and causing
In framework of the existing Georgia - EU Association Agreement, Georgia has
undertaken obligation to implement/transform the EU 2006/126/ EC Directive on
Driving Licenses. The Directive defines rules and conditions for granting the rights to
drive transport means as well as issuing driver’s license.
The application of obligations envisioned by the Directive will have a positive effect on
increasing the road safety as well as will support the process of recognition of Georgian
driving licenses abroad.
Effective Management of Migration Processes
With the aim of effectively managing migration processes by state, the Commission on
Migration was created in 2010 which unifies the representatives of the relevant agencies
involved in the sphere of migration. As the result of the Commission work, the Migration
Strategy and Action Plan was drawn out according to which Ministry of Internal Affairs
of Georgia was considered as the leading agency in combating irregular (illegal)
migration. In addition, the competence of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia is to
facilitate dignified return of Georgian citizens which implies concluding readmission
agreements with the third countries and implementation protocols with EU member
Under the Migration Strategy and Action Plan the MIA took a responsibility to carry out
the following activities:
 Functioning of the Migration Service within the ministry – one of the most
important issues in the sphere of combating irregular migration is the
functioning of the migration service. The above mentioned service ensures
inspection/detection, voluntary return, expulsion and etc. of the irregular
migrants on the territory of the state.
 Existence of the Detention Centre for Irregular Migrants – in order to ensure
the protection of the basic rights and fundamental freedoms of migrants the
Detention Centre for Irregular Migrants should be operating in accordance with
the international standards. Detected irregular migrants will be placed in the
Detention Centre until the enforcement of the expulsion. The period time during
which the irregular migrants will remain in the Detention Centers is depended on
the length of the procedures necessary for preparing the deportation documents.
Accordingly, the existence of the above mentioned center ensures the prevention
of free movement of illegal migrants on the territory of the state.
 Management of the unified data base – the purpose of the data base is to
reflect any information that is related to the legal or illegal presence of migrants
on the territory of the state. The system will identify the person who doesn’t have
the legal grounds for staying on the territory of the state. According to the
database the Migration Service will perform monitoring of the stay of foreign
nationals on the territory of the state.
Providing Quality Service
One of the main functions of MIA apart from the law enforcement activity is the
provision of service to the population, which is realized in 3 main directions:
Conduction of custom procedures on vehicles, registration of vehicles, granting of
the right to drive and issuance of driving licenses;
Ensuring safety of citizens and organizations, creating calm and healthy
environment for their life and activity;
Providing high quality and easily accessible assistance to the population during
emergencies – receiving phone calls via unified emergency number “112” in cases
of emergencies and urgent necessities throughout the country, as well as
coordinating timely response thereto.
Development of reserve emergency response plan and assurance of network
security is important to ensure permanent functioning of “112” during
After the creation of LEPL “112” of Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia in 2011, it
became possible to unify three independent emergency numbers (rescue, police and
medical assistance). In process of creating the above mentioned service the main focus
was made on the EU experience which implies provision of high quality and easily
accessible emergency assistance to the population in cases of emergencies and urgent
necessities. It is possible to receive calls for provision of patrol police, rescue and
medical assistance services via “112”.
Due to the fact that “112” is a newly established system, it faces several challenges which
should be eliminated in order to further increase its efficiency. To this aim its planned to
develop information technologies, to introduce stabile reserve system for responding
the emergency cases, to create capability for identification of an institution’s location, to
adopt system to disabled persons and to raise public awareness on existence of the
unified emergency number 112.
Human resource
It is planned to elaborate human resource management within the reform the MIA. This
process embraces the improvement and institutionalization of such issues as personnel
recruitment, assessment, incentives, promotion, accountability and professional ethics
and other standard operational procedures.
The efficiency of combating crime is mostly depended on the qualification and skills of
law enforcement personnel. Fight against particular crime requires having relevant
competence (skills). Improvement of ministry personnel professionalism is taken into
the highest consideration by the MIA.
MIA Academy is responsible for planning and organizing all types of police studies and
training courses considering the need of MIA. As a result of the reform the basic training
course for the District Police Officers was fully renovated and enriched. Due to this the
duration of the basic training course was doubled – from 3 months to 6 months. Apart
from this, in future, MIA Academy intends to collaborate and introduce master
The basic training program of MIA Academy is designed in accordance with the
international standards with participation of international organizations and experts.
The study entails theoretical course as well as the practical trainings under the
supervision of the instructors having qualification in the relevant field.
Apart from the basic training courses, the MIA personnel will undergo special trainings,
courses and workshops organized with participation of local and foreign experts in the
relevant field and with support of donor organizations.
Institutionalizing policies and procedures
Institutionalization of the policies and procedures is fundamentally important for
effective and proper functioning of the MIA.
Police activity contains risks. To protect others’ and own life, a police officer should be
able to make independent, prompt and reasonable decisions. Hence, each police officer,
without exception, has to be aware of relevant policies and procedures. Equally
important is monitoring the fulfilment thereof.
The reform of the MIA system envisages renovation/development of the personnel
activity regulating policies and procedures and their institutionalization, as it is
conventional in the progressive countries. Special attention will be devoted to
elaborating the mechanisms of their communication to each police officer and of control
over their implementation.
These measures will improve the quality of the police service to the community and
ensure perfection of management and internal control system.
Development of the material-technical base and infrastructure
For the effective development of crime prevention, operational-search and investigation
activities as well as solving and eradiating the crime swiftly, the MIA has planned the
improvement of the material-technical capabilities, including the introduction of the
modern electronic security means. Development of MIA infrastructure is also important
through the capacity building of the Expert-Criminalistics Service and 112 alternative
International cooperation
International cooperation is one of the extremely important issues for the MIA. It is
directly linked to the support of reform processes and capacity building of structural
units of the MIA.
The ministry’s international cooperation is carried out in operative and non-operative
The Operative Cooperation includes: exchange of operative-search information,
conducting joint operations and other relevant issues through Police Attaché
cooperation, bilateral agreements, principle of reciprocity and support of international
and regional organizations in accordance with international agreements and national
Non-operative Cooperation includes issues like: cooperation with Euro-Atlantic
structures, conclusion of international agreements, joint projects, events, exchange of
experience, donor coordination, trainings, implementation of joint Action Plans,
submission of report of activities etc.
The following strategic partner/donor countries are actively supporting the Ministry of
Internal Affairs in the implementation of obligations undertaken by international and
national legal instruments as well as in the process of reform and capacity building of
structural units: United States of America, European Union, EU Member States and
Republic of Turkey.
International legal cooperation and development of legal base is crucial. Ministry
conducts activities related to preparation the conclusion of bilateral and multilateral
treaties. Monitoring the implementation thereof is also within its competence. As for the
development of the legal base, the Ministry has already elaborated a draft law on the
“International Law Enforcement Cooperation” which will regulate the implementation of
cooperation issues provided by bilateral and multilateral international treaties into the
Georgian legislation.
The aim of the draft law is to ensure effective international cooperation in the field of
crime prevention, detection and suppression, to create a solid legal basis necessary for
the implementation of international law enforcement cooperation and also to ensure full
implementation of the obligations provided by the relevant bilateral and multilateral
treaties concluded by Georgia. Currently, the draft law is subjected to the interagency
procedures necessary for its approval.
The Ministry in future intends to strengthen international cooperation in the field of
fight against organized crime and to deepen the cooperation in police sphere. In this
regard, the priorities of the MIA is to deepen the cooperation with the European
agencies, to fulfil the obligations under MIA competence within the framework of
European Neighbourhood Policy, to undertake activities within the framework of
Association Agreement, to coordinate the issues under MIA competence within the
framework of Visa Dialogue, to continue cooperation with the EU specialized agencies,
with NATO and USA respective agencies, as well as to deepen international cooperation
in several directions - in bilateral and regional framework, to cooperate within the
framework of various projects and to continue coordination with donor countries and
Successfully implemented police reform and achieved results in fights against organized
crime inspired other countries to recognize the necessity to modernize their own
systems. In this regard the MIA should be considered as the agency providing knowledge
and experience in the best implementation of police reform. These activities can be
conducted by study visits, expert missions, seminars and working groups organized
bilaterally with those countries or with the support of donors and international
Public Relations
The MIA acknowledges that the efficiency of the law enforcement system is largely
depended on the public support and cooperation. With all of the above-mentioned,
which in its turn contributes to strengthening such kind of cooperation, the Ministry
• Rendering public information without difficulty;
• Regularily providing public with information regarding the reforms, new
legislation (within its competences), human rights protection, the work the
policemen (both successful stories as well as instances of violations), through the
different printed or software means (including the framework of own
information initiatives: TV programs, Ministry web-site, printing materials of the
1. Elaborating mechanisms for intensive contacts with the society
Significant attention will be devoted to elaborating the mechanism for intensive contacts
with the society. In order to conduct effective community-oriented policing, police
inspectors should have regular contact with the population living on the territory of
their jurisdiction. This will help to identify the existing needs and problems, in order to
achieve their further solution.
2. Increasing public awareness on fight against crime
Preventing and fighting against crime is effective only when the society is involved in
this process together with the law enforcement agencies. In this regard, huge attention is
devoted to individual responsibility of citizens. The Ministry of Internal Affairs will carry
out information campaigns to raise awareness and achieve citizens’ involvement in the
fight against crime.
Chapter 4. Prosecution Service Reform Strategy
Mission of the Prosecution Service
Prosecutor performs crucial role in the criminal justice system, whose decisions affect
not only the participants of the criminal proceedings, but the society as a whole.
Pursuant to the Article 32 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia (hereinafter
“CPCG”, the prosecution service is a body entrusted with the mandate to conduct
criminal proceedings. For the purposes of fulfilment of respective task, prosecution
service performs procedural supervision of the investigation process and supports
charges brought against criminal defendants in the courts on behalf of the state.
Alongside with performing duties imposed by the legislative acts, the prosecution
service actively participates in drafting of the Criminal Justice Policy and crime
prevention activities.
For the purposes of better performance of its own functions and improvement of the
legal environment, prosecution service actively cooperates with the investigation units
of various bodies, lawyers, other representatives of legal professions, ombudsman,
governmental and non-governmental organizations and other parts of society.
Recently developed events and adopted Criminal Justice Policy have drastically modified
the attitude of society towards prosecution service in Georgia. In particular, they
entailed alienation between the respective body and the community. Prosecution
service, as the principal body of ensuring the public security, failed to perform its
constitutional and statutory duties properly. As a result, numerous facts of human rights
violations were revealed.
Failure to response to the human rights violations properly and lack of active
communication/collaboration with the society transformed prosecution service to one
of the most isolated body of the Government.
For the purposes of elimination of above referred alienation and conducting activities in
correct direction, Prosecution Service Development Strategy was significantly revised.
Therefore, the respective document is oriented towards overcoming new challenges.
Strategic directions of Development of Prosecution Service
1. Active Participation in Drafting the Criminal Justice Policy
Strict Criminal Justice Policy that existed during the recent years entailed overcrowding
of penitentiary institutions and formed negative attitude of society towards respective
law enforcement agencies. At this stage liberalization of the referred policy is
appropriate. Above mentioned liberalization implies wide application of the alternatives
to criminal prosecution (diversion, mediation) and usage of non-custodial sanctions.
Based on the role of the prosecution service in criminal justice system, respective agency
has sufficient potential to elaborate Criminal Justice Policy. Experience and information
acquired while performing prosecutorial duties represent important source for the
purpose of defining the Criminal Justice Policy.
Based on aforementioned and while taking into account conducted researches and
elaborated analytical documents, generalization of experience of prosecution service
and defining policy priorities will be appropriate. For the purposes of implementation of
aforementioned priorities, recommendations shall be drafted and implemented.
Furthermore, fulfilment of respective recommendations shall be supervised. It is
essential to increase the role and capacities of the prosecution service in the processes
of research and analysis, defining evidence-based Criminal Justice Policy and strategic
planning activities.
It is also crucially important to actively engage representatives of scientific community
in referred process. Thus, based on conducted research and analysis, they will be able to
assist prosecution service in drafting recommendations related to the Criminal Justice
2. Increase of the Role of Prosecution Service in Crime Prevention Process
According to the Law of Georgia on “The Prosecution Service”, participation in the crime
prevention activities represents one of the functions of the respective agency. For the
purposes of accomplishment of referred function, it is essential to elaborate and
implement unified Strategy on Crime Prevention in collaboration with other bodies.
Therefore, it is essential to establish and ensure coordinated practice of Inter-agency
Working Group.
It is also important to study statistics-related methods existing within various agencies,
as well as orientation on common goals. Qualified examination of respective methods
will enable revealing existing problems and causes entailing them. Above mentioned will
permit elaboration and implementation of crime effective prevention activities.
3. Selection Procedure of Prosecutors and their Professional development
For the purposes of effective and impartial performance of the prosecutors’ duties, ongoing process of attraction, selection and capacity building (improving qualification) of
the employees is crucial.
Furthermore, existence of qualified employees within the prosecution service system
will greatly affect the level of trust of community towards respective agency. Improved
trust will enable primary prevention as well.
Therefore, it is essential to elaborate a standard of knowledge and skills for the
prosecutors, as well as criteria for passing the contest and undergoing the internship.
The criteria for appointing a candidate to the position of prosecutor shall also be
prescribed in a detailed manner. Analysis of the training needs as well as introduction of
the flexible evaluation and attestation system is also required.
Alongside with above mentioned, effective evaluation system of the activities
undertaken by the prosecutors shall also be elaborated and introduced. This will enable
top-level managements to assess work provided by each prosecutor based on objective
4. Society-oriented Prosecution Service
Transformation of the prosecution service into the strong and open democratic institute
largely depends on collaboration with the society. The level and pattern of
communication with the community will affect creation of positive attitude of the
society towards the prosecution service.
Therefore, it is crucial to improve relations with not only means of mass-media, but also
with the representatives of all segments of the society, lawyers, governmental and nongovernmental sector.
To ensure the transparency of the prosecution service, the Strategy on Communication
with the Community shall be elaborated. Respective document shall emphasize the need
of communication of every prosecutor with the society.
Refinement and support of development of community prosecution service is needed.
This aim can be reached via implementation of the volunteer programs by the
prosecutors as well as by bringing prosecution service’s employees closer to the society.
Furthermore, the witness and victim coordination service, community council of the
prosecution service and local coordination councils are already operating within the
prosecution service. Their main task is to manage effective communication between the
prosecution service and the community.
5. Protection of Human Rights and International Obligations
Severe Criminal Justice Policy existing in the previous years has led to the human rights
violation and deterioration of the image of law enforcement agencies. In certain
conditions, the public interest of investigating the offense and bringing the perpetrator
to justice took precedence over the rights of individual. Based on existing reality,
improvement of the quality of work of prosecution service in a view of human rights
protection is essential. To attain respective goal, it is crucial to create effective
mechanisms for the purpose of enabling due performance of prosecutors’ statutory
obligations. Study and analysis of human rights violation-related cases, as well as
identifying the shortcomings in the work of prosecutors and reasons of the human rights
violations are essential steps. It is also important to enhance the functions of the
prosecutor within the penitentiary institutions for the purpose of human rights
protection. Analysis and generalization of the decisions rendered by the European Court
of Human Rights is also crucial. It is desirable to apply international practice and
actively collaborate with the prosecutor’s offices of various countries for the purpose of
exchanging experience and information to increase the working quality of the
prosecution service.
6. Modification of the Structure of Prosecution Service based on the
Strategic objectives
For the purposes of implementation of the respective Strategy, number of structural
changes shall be introduced within the agency. This will enable bringing the prosecution
service in compliance with the up-to-date standards.
New structure must enable attaining set goals and solving existing tasks. It shall also
support effective performance of the prosecutorial functions in terms of wide discretion.
New structure shall fit the priorities and goals of the prosecution service. It shall ensure
uninterrupted and due business processes and be based on the effective usage of the
resources existing within the system.
For these purposes, detailed action plan shall be elaborated; furthermore, the deadlines
of implementation of respective document shall be defined to attain required result in
the nearest future.
Chapter 5. Legal Aid Reform Strategy
Legal aid reform in Georgia was initiated in 2005. In July 2007 the Parliament of Georgia
adopted the Law on Legal Aid, which marked the beginning of a new phase of the
reform. On the basis of this Law, in July 2007 Legal Aid Service (LAS) was set up under
the Ministry of Justice of Georgia (MoJ). From February 1, 2009 the LAS has continued
its operation within the system of the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance of
Georgia (MCLA) as a public legal entity.
Today, the lawyers of the LAS employed at 11 legal aid bureaus and 4 consultation
centers, provide legal assistance in the cases provided by the law throughout the
Legal aid service includes free legal representation and consultation of an accused
and/or convicted person in criminal cases, from the initiation of the case till the court
hearing, also assistance of a lawyer in the cases involving adjudication of compulsory
psychiatric treatment.
From March 1, 2011 free legal service has become available in cases of administrative
offence, which may be followed by administrative detention. Also, the new
Imprisonment Code of 2010 provides the right to free legal aid in certain categories of
disciplinary proceedings.
In addition, any citizen regardless of his/her social status can apply to the consultation
center and receive adequate counselling on particular legal issue; if necessary, the
consultant will draft legal documentations on behalf of that citizen.1
Statistics of provided free legal services in 2012 are the following:
Criminal cases - 7173;
Juvenile defence – 284;
Cases involving adjudication of compulsory psychiatric treatment – 643;
Administrative cases – 4;
Legal consultations -17557;
Drafting of legal documents – 5338.
In 2010-2011, the number of employees of the LAS increased; Legal Aid Bureau has been
established in Samtskhe-Javakheti and consultation centers were opened in Akhalkalaki
and Tsalka.
In 2011, LAS also launched a renewed tri-lingual web site, which
features a new service of online consultations, special engine for thematic search and
useful information for users in three languages.
Consolation centers operate in every legal aid bureau. In addition, 4 consultation centers function
independently in Ambrolauri, Ozurgeti, Akhalkalaki and Tslaka.
1. Strengthening the Independence and Transparency
To ensure independence and transparency of the LAS, it is necessary to renew the legal
status of the service and strengthen its legal guarantees. In addition, a new mechanism
of management should be established, which will ensure transparency, independence
and accountability of the service and reinforce social guarantees for public lawyers.
2. Increase of LAS Accessibility
To ensure compliance of the LAS with the needs of its beneficiaries, it is necessary to
increase the access to legal aid through the following measures:
2.1 Expansion of the Mandate
Based on pre-developed concept, lawyers shall pilot civil and administrative cases. LAS
shall use the findings of the pilot project to plan and carry out the expansion of the
mandate within the term prescribed by the law.
2.2 Development of Infrastructure
LAS plans to develop its infrastructure and equip every office with modern hardware.
Thereby, beneficiates, who apply for the service will be assisted in adequate
environment and the employees of the service will have proper working conditions.
On the basis of the needs assessment survey, new bureaus/consultation centers will be
opened in remote locations, outside from regional centers, as well as in mountainous
regions and regions with ethnic minorities.
3. Guaranteeing High Quality of the Service
3.1. High Quality of Services Provided
In collaboration with Georgian Bar Association (GBA), the LAS shall develop quality
assurance guidelines. The guidelines represent set of criteria, upon which performance
of public lawyers shall be evaluated.
3.2 Effective Performance of Contracted Public Lawyers
To ensure the effective performance of contracted public lawyers, it is necessary: to
amend legal framework and case management procedures for lawyers listed in the
register; to strengthen cooperation with the GBA in terms of formation of the register; to
carry out needs assessment of the lawyers listed in the register and to encourage their
professional development.
3.3 Specialization in Juvenile Defence
To ensure that juvenile defendants are provided with high quality legal assistance,
public lawyers will undertake specialized training programs in juvenile justice issues
and specifics. LAS will also cooperate with the organizations and/or individuals, who
have working experience with juveniles.
3.4 Management System
Improving management system of the LAS will be carried out through the electronic
software for case management, HR management and financial management of the
3.4.1 Human Resource Management System
To ensure recruitment of highly qualified staff, LAS will implement two-stage
recruitment procedure and will carry out internship programs (legal clinic). Effective
ways to motivate employees (tangible and intangible) shall be developed. HR audit will
be carried out, which will determine compliance of the employees with their positions.
HR audit will also enable the agency to determine the sufficiency of current employees
to perform the duties and face challenged of the LAS. The structure of the LAS will be
optimized in accordance with the amendments in the status of the agency and the
expansion of its mandate.
3.4.2 Financial Management System
The budget of the LAS shall be developed in accordance with the strategic goals and
objectives of the agency, using program budgeting model (BDD).
3.4.3. Case Management System
LAS shall develop general procedures of case management, which will include
registration of cases, their distribution, case-handling procedures and collecting data for
LAS shall pilot and implement new case processing software. It is necessary to enhance
the capacity of this software, in order to incorporate in it the cases handled by the
lawyers of the register. In addition, extra software dealing with the flow of
documentation and incorporate the modules on HR and accounting shall be introduced.
3.5 Continuous Professional Development of Employees
To ensure high quality of service and continuous legal education of the employees, it is
necessary to carry out trainings of public lawyers with due attention to the current
legislative changes as well as needs of lawyers. The LAS will develop annual training
plans which would be based on the needs assessment system established by the agency.
Training results will be assessed and analysed; a concept of the training center will be
developed. In addition, the LAS will contribute to the strengthening the libraries of
bureaus and consultation centers.
4. Public Awareness Campaigns
Public will be kept informed of the LAS activities, on-going reforms and future events.
Public lawyers will carry out field consultation in regions to raise public awareness on
the availability of services provided by the LAS. Cooperation will be strengthened with
local authorities and other governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well
as educational institutions and media.
Chapter 6. Strategic Directions of Judicial Reform
Creation of fair, independent and transparent judicial system is one of the priorities of
democratic state and an important precondition for economic development of country.
Ensuring high level of public trust towards judiciary and brining judicial system in
compliance with international standards is a core strategic objective. Independent and
effective judicial system has a significant role in protection of basic human rights and
freedoms and that is of vital importance in the criminal proceedings.
Bearing in mind the role of High Council of Justice in adoption of the recommendations
for implementing the judicial reform, the Criminal Justice Reform Inter-Agency Council
agrees on the following guiding principles and strategic directions of the judicial reform:
Reform of Jury Trial
The priorities are to bring the jury institute in conformity with the European standards;
ensure legitimacy of jury’s verdict; ensure transparency and randomness in jury
selection process; expand the territorial and subject matter jurisdiction of the jury trial
and implement adequate professional training, carry out public awareness campaign
and other activities.
Publicity of Judicial Decisions and Transparency of Judicial System
The priorities are to ensure publicity of judicial decisions; guarantee public access to the
decisions of the Judicial Conference, High Council of Justice and Independent Council of
the High School of Justice thereby increasing public control over the judiciary and public
trust towards the judicial system.
Strengthening Institutional Capacity of Criminal Court Judges
The priorities are to improve the mechanism of selection, appointment, promotion and
assignment of judges, guarantee the maximum impartiality; enhance the remuneration
system; increase the role and functions of the judicial self-governing body - Conference
of Judges; ensure transparency of selection and appointment process of the judges and
thereby providing the society with an opportunity to monitor the whole process; as well
as to eliminate discrimination on any basis throughout the selection process; promote
the role and discretion of individual judges.
Reform of Disciplinary Procedures
The priorities are to develop principles of disciplinary responsibility, establish clear and
predictable regulations in order to eliminate possibility of broad interpretation; ensure
transparency of disciplinary proceedings with due consideration to private life and
protection of authority of the judicial system.
Reform of High School of Justice and Capacity Building of Judges
The priorities are to enhance the methodology, system and curriculum of the
professional trainings and additional trainings of judges and ensure its compliance with
international standards; enhance the methodology for examination of the judges; ensure
transparency of budget and curriculum of the High School of Justice; develop skills of
judges in legal reasoning, jury trial procedures, adjudication of juveniles and other areas.
Creation of the Case Management System and Development of Criminal Case
The priorities are to fully implement, develop and ensure proper functioning of the
electronic case management system throughout the country; integrate the criminal case
management system with the Prosecution Office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs; as
well as enhance criminal case statistics.
Reform of Plea Agreement
The priorities are to strengthen court’s authority to control process of plea-bargaining
agreement, improve the process of plea agreement for an adequate protection of the
rights of defendant and limit wide discretion of the prosecutor during bargaining
Juvenile Justice
The priorities are to create an effective justice system oriented towards the best
interests of juveniles and protection of their rights; implement the individual
assessment mechanism to ensure individualization of punishment; ensure the
opportunity to impose lower sanction below the minimum provided for in the
legislation with primary the goal of criminal policy liberalization; apply diversion during
the judicial proceedings, train them and familiarize with the specifics of working with
Strengthen the Role of Court in Sentencing Process
The priorities are to strengthen the role of judiciary in sentencing process and develop
the principle of punishment individualization.
Chapter 7. Penitentiary Reform Strategy
One of the major priorities of the Government of Georgia is to reform penitentiary
system and ensure protection of fundamental rights of those deprived of liberty in line
with the United Nations Standard Minimum Rule for the Treatment of Prisoners and the
European Prison Rules.
Throughout the recent year a wide range of initiatives were carried out by the MCLA,
including adoption of the new Code on Imprisonment of 2010. However, it is crucial to
systematically revise and enhance the existing legislation and internal regulations,
improve prison conditions, protect the rights of convicts and bring the whole system in
compliance with European standards.
Current Strategy is based on the Penitentiary Strategy and Action Plan elaborated in
2009-2012, as well as the Concept Note on the Reduction of Prison Overcrowding
adopted by the Criminal Justice Reform Intern-Agency Coordination Council on 16th of
December, 2011. Healthcare Reform is covered by the separate Strategy adopted by the
MCLA on 6th of February, 2013.
In its commitment to reform the penitentiary system, the Government of Georgia has
outlines the following strategic directions:
Bring imprisonment and sentence enforcement system in compliance with
international standards;
Develop effective rehabilitation and reintegration programs;
Create entrepreneurship zones for provision of employment opportunities;
Develop individual sentencing planning mechanism and enhance early conditional
release system;
Strengthen legal safeguards of prisoners;
Monitor human rights situation in penitentiary establishments;
Ensure professional development of the personnel.
Prison Conditions
Generally, the different categories of prisoners shall be kept in separate institutions or
parts of institutions taking into account their gender, age and legal grounds for their
detention. Untried prisoners shall be kept separate from the convicted ones. Therefore,
according to the new Code on Imprisonment there are pre-trial, semi-closed and closed
types of institutions, as well as institutions for women, juveniles as well as medical
correctional institutions for convicts and accused persons.
The Government of Georgia is committed to ensure protection of human dignity and
privacy, as well as to ensure adequate hygiene, clothing and bedding, nutrition, legal
advice and contact with outside world. In order to ensure that convicts are able to
communicate with their family members, infrastructure for long visits and family visits
shall be developed. Furthermore, it is essential to improve the quality of service
provided to the members of convicts’ families, relatives and other people concerned.
Significant steps shall be taken to develop employment opportunities for prisoners; in
particular, a number of entrepreneurship zones shall be created on the territories of the
penitentiary establishments which subsequently will have a significant impact on the
rehabilitation process of prisoners.
Rehabilitation of accused/convicts
For the effective rehabilitation and reintegration process of prisoners, it is crucial to
elaborate a wide range of rehabilitation programs gradually in all penitentiary
establishments. Participation of prisoners in vocational and educational training
programs shall be encouraged and be based on their needs, whereas juvenile prisoners
shall be provided with the full access to general education. Furthermore, the MCLA plans
to elaborate rehabilitation and reintegration strategy and action plan for the
Parole Boards
A new mechanism of early conditional release was introduced by the MCLA and three
Local Parole Boards were created throughout the country based on the Code on
Imprisonment. From a moment a convicted person served the minimum mandatory
sentence prescribed by law, a director of the penitentiary establishment is obliged to
immediately submit an application for the early conditional release to the Local Parole
Board and inform the convict concerned.
In reviewing a parole case file, the Parole Boards take into consideration several criteria
e.g. the category of crime, conduct of convict in the penitentiary establishment, previous
conviction record, family circumstances, personality of the convict while making a
decision concerning the release on parole. In addition to aforementioned, it is planned to
enhance risks and needs assessment mechanism and elaborate individual approach
towards each convicted person, which in turn, will lead to more effective functioning of
the Parole Boards as it will get more comprehensive information related to the prisoner
Legal safeguards for Prisoners
The new Code on Imprisonment incorporates separate chapters on disciplinary
proceedings against prisoners and complaint procedures for inmates. Disciplinary
proceedings should accommodate all internationally recognized guarantees of fair trial
and should be processed in a manner that ensures due discipline and rapid response
from the correctional institution. MCLA has ensured that complaint envelopes are
available in all penitentiary establishments. In addition, brochures on the rights of
prisoners are published in several languages and distributed annually within the
Inspection and monitoring
Conditions of detention and treatment of the prisoners (untried as well as convicted
ones) shall be monitored/inspected on continues basis by state/governmental as well as
independent monitoring institutions, assessing whether the prisoners are administered
in accordance with the requirements and standards of national as well as international
The Human Rights Monitoring Unit established at the MCLA is entrusted with mandate
to monitor conditions and treatment of prisoners in the penitentiary establishments,
respond to the human rights violations and abuse of powers by the staff, handle
complaints of prisoners, adjudicate on the matter raised and make recommendations for
improvement. Monitoring is carried out through the planned and ad hoc visits to the
establishments on a monthly basis and relevant reports are prepared thereby.
Comprehensive work shall be done in terms of more effectively reviewing and
addressing received complaints.
Chapter 8. Probation Reform Strategy
Goals and Objectives of the National Probation Agency
The National Agency for Execution of Non-custodial Sentences and Probation
established pursuant to the Law of Georgia on Procedure of Execution of Non-Custodial
Sentences and Probation is a legal entity of public law functioning under the Ministry of
Corrections and Legal Assistance of Georgia (MCLA).
Goals of the National Probation Agency include execution of sentences, prevention of
recidivism and re-socialization/reintegration of convicted inmates.
Strategic Objectives
The National Probation Agency’s Strategy 2013 envisages developing a short-term
action plan committed to effectively implementing the Agency’s duties and
responsibilities. This document provides an overview of the major priorities of the
Agency in 2013, namely:
Limited Liberty Establishment;
Training of Limited Liberty Establishment staff;
Rehabilitation/re-socialization of probationers;
Vocational training of probationers;
Employment of probationers;
Individual sentence planning;
Professional development of probation officers;
Promotion of community work;
Recidivism Study;
Grants competitions for rehabilitation programs for probationers;
Limited Liberty Establishment
Based on the legislative amendments made as part of the criminal policy liberalization,
Limited Liberty Establishment was set up within the system of the National Probation
Agency as an important instrument for execution of non-custodial sentences in 2012.
The Limited Liberty Establishment will deal with those convicted persons:
 who were sentenced to limitation of liberty by court;
 whose sentence of imprisonment was replaced by limitation of liberty by
decision of the local board;
 whose conduct needs to be monitored, without being held in isolation from
Creation of the Limited Liberty Establishment allows application of limitation of liberty
as a sanction under the Criminal Code of Georgia. It will ensure adequate rehabilitation
of convicted inmates, help them reintegrate into society and prepare their release from
relevant establishments. This establishment - “Establishment without Bars” - is separate
from the structure of the Penitentiary Department.
The recruitment of qualified staff, development of job descriptions for all positions and
the implementation of staff training programs will have a crucial role in ensuring the
effective functioning of the Limited Liberty Establishment.
All newly recruited employees will undergo a basic training course designed to respond
to the needs and gaps of specific groups according to their activities.
One of the main goals of probation officers is to identify high-risk convicted inmates and
to carefully plan and manage a probation period. Probation officers will assess risks and
needs of each probationer and based on the identified needs as well as with due regard
to the available resources, probation officers will refer probationers to respective
rehabilitation programs contributing to their personal development.
Involvement of probationers in a diverse range of rehabilitation and training programs
reduces the risk of recidivism among offenders. Therefore, in 2013 one of the major
priorities of the National Probation Agency is to carry out the following rehabilitation
and training programs:
Vocational Training Programs
Participation in vocational trainings is of particular importance, as moving to the
employment is a key factor of recidivism prevention. Therefore, the National Probation
Agency is committed to creating and encouraging convicts to participate on vocational
training programs. Probationers will be enrolled with various vocational and other
training courses based on their skills and training needs identified during the individual
sentence planning stage.
Employment of Probationers
The National Probation Agency realizes that the employment status of probationers is a
key factor of the likelihood of recidivism. Therefore, the Agency is determined to
continue active cooperation with local self-government bodies, non-governmental
organizations and the private sector to ensure that the employment opportunities are
available to probationers and they are duly employed.
Individual Sentence Planning
Risk and needs assessment methodology and individual sentence planning continue to
be successfully applied in each probation bureau throughout Georgia. The Individual
Sentence Plan sets forth activities that aimed at reducing risk factors contributing to the
crime commission as well as describes in detail and prioritizes problems and response
measures thereto. This document represents some sort of agreement between the
probation officer and the probationer on carrying out specific activities during the
probationary period.
Probation officers work alongside social workers and psychologists to deal with the
cases of juvenile probationers registered at territorial bureaus of the National Probation
Personnel Policy
Professional development of probation officers remains one of the biggest challenges
faced by the National Probation Agency. Therefore, all probation officers will have to
undergo special programs designed to help them develop social worker's skills, carry out
risks and needs assessment as well as communicate with and assist in rehabilitation of
Social workers in the probation system are actively engaged in preparing convicted
inmates for release from establishments, three months before the moment of release.
These efforts focus on assessing social conditions of convicted inmates and on drawing
up specific action plan.
Promotion of Community Work
A continuously updated job database and a job search system operating in the National
Probation Agency offer those sentenced to community work a set of employment
opportunities that match with their skills, qualifications and physical abilities.
Recidivism Study
The problem of recidivism is a major concern for the general public and policy makers
within the criminal justice system. This study will contribute to the assessment of the
interventions implemented within the system and be used as a basis for new initiatives
and changes in the measures applied.
Therefore, the Agency intends to carry out recidivism study with the following target
groups: persons granted early conditional release (by the National Probation Agency’s
standing commission), as well as pardoned probationers, who will be fully released from
serving the sentence.
The research will be carried out in close coordination with the Ministry of Internal
Affairs given that the research has to deal with confidential information (databases,
personal information, classified data, etc.) to which access is restricted by law.
As for the scope of study, it will involve keeping records and collecting statistics
periodically (e.g. monthly) from the moment of detention (including the imposition of
preventive measure on, conviction) of the target person alleged to have committed an
The Agency is expected to obtain precise information on the dynamics of recidivism;
determine respective preventive measures; assess the effectiveness of activities of the
Agency’s standing commission, identify possibility of further improving risks and needs
assessment criteria, etc.
Psychosocial Rehabilitation Programs
The key priority of the National Probation Agency is to ensure the re-socialization of all
convicted inmates and probationers. Thus, it plans to announce grants program for the
implementation of re-socialization/rehabilitation programs for probationers/convicted
The Agency will contribute its own funds to the projects that are oriented towards
reintegration of probationers into society and their psychosocial rehabilitation.
Moreover, the grant programs will enhance the interest and the level of engagement of
non-governmental organizations in carrying out re-socialization programs for target
groups of probationers.
Chapter 9. Juvenile Justice Reform Strategy
Overall Aim
The Juvenile Justice Reform Strategy (“Strategy”) aims at creating a system able to
prevent juvenile delinquency and contribute to proper rehabilitation and reintegration
of juveniles in conflict with criminal law. The Strategy ensures protection of child’s best
interests and serves the long-term interests of the society including straightening public
security and prevention of recidivism.
One of the priorities of the Government of Georgia is creation of an effective justice
system oriented towards the best interests of juveniles and their welfare.
The Government of Georgia is committed to create a juvenile justice friendly system that
complies with international standards inter alia principles and norms enshrined in the
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as the United Nations
Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of the Juvenile Justice (“the Beijing
Rules”), Guidelines for Prevention of Juvenile delinquency (the Riyadh Guidelines) and
Guidelines for Action on Children in the Criminal Justice System.
Before 2009 Georgia did not have a juvenile justice policy document ensuring adequate
protection of the rights of juvenile offenders and responding to their needs within the
criminal justice system. Therefore, in 2009 the Criminal Justice Reform Inter-Agency
Coordination Council (“Council”) adopted the Juvenile Justice Reform Strategy. The
Strategy is subject to revision by the Council. The major goal of the revision is to reflect
positive results and improvements achieved by the Government of Georgia, to identify
new challenges within the system and indicate future steps.
Following 2009, as a result of a wide range of reforms in the juvenile justice system, the
Government made significant progress; however, despite these achievements there are
still a number of areas in need of further improvement and support.
The Government of Georgia believes that the implementation of this Strategy should be
carried out through joint and coordinated efforts of various agencies. In this respect, the
important role should be played by the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Internal Affairs,
Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance, Ministry of Education and Science,
Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs.
Furthermore, active participation and support of civil society and international
organizations is essential to achieve the goals of the Strategy.
This Strategy is based on important principles, such as the best interest of child,
promotion of alternative measures to criminal prosecution, fair trial guarantees, as well
as protection of confidentiality of juveniles and inadmissibility of their stigmatization. In
addition, within the juvenile justice reform process the emphasis must be given to
adequate rehabilitation and reintegration of juveniles in conflict with law.
Strategic Objectives
The strategic objectives of the current document are the following:
Prevention of juvenile delinquency;
Improvement of the existing legal framework;
Development of alternative measures to criminal prosecution;
Use of imprisonment as a last resort;
Rehabilitation and reintegration of juveniles in conflict with the law;
Need for adequate professional training;
Development of database system;
Awareness raising campaign.
Crime prevention
Juvenile crime prevention is a crucial component of the whole juvenile justice system
reform. From 2010, Georgia took the path towards the new liberal policy and moved to a
new stage of justice where particular emphasize is given to the crime prevention.
The Government of Georgia realizes that prevention policy is of significant importance
for effective rehabilitation and reintegration of juveniles already in conflict with the law
and ensures their development as law-abiding citizens from an early age.
Elaboration of progressive and effective preventive programs is impossible without
complex approaches and joint efforts of the governmental agencies, NGOs, private sector
as well as international organizations. Therefore, it is crucial to have a unified
prevention strategy establishing main directions and goals of delinquency prevention
policy, as well as defining the roles and responsibilities of each state agency. Therefore,
in 2011 through the joint efforts and active participation of civil society representatives,
the Council developed the Juvenile Crime Prevention Strategy adopted by the
Presidential Decree No. 235 in 2012. The respective Action Plan of the Strategy which
will describe in detail the type of programs and activities to be implemented in order to
achieve the goals of the Juvenile Crime Prevention Strategy will be developed at the end
of 2013.
A number of preventive programs have been introduced by various state agencies. The
Ministry of Justice has elaborated community-oriented prosecution system, Diversion
and Mediation Program, "My Senior Friend" Program, “Choice is Yours” and "e-Book"
programs. The Ministry of Internal Affairs also pays an active role with its "Life without
Drugs" campaign and legal development program - "Legal Culture”, which aims at
raising awareness of minors on crime related issues. Worth noting is the program
implemented by the Ministry of Education and Science- “Safe School” introducing
Resource Officers at all schools. The results achieved by the Ministry of Corrections and
Legal Assistance within the penitentiary and probation system are also significant,
namely full access to education and vocational programs, substantial improvement of
infrastructure, etc. Child care programs available nationwide are implemented by the
Ministry Health, Labor and Social Affairs. The Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs,
established not so long time ago, has also developed a number of prevention programs,
such as a youth camp - "Patriot", "Green Box" and "I assist".
The aforementioned programs are conceptually unified within the single national policy
document – the Juvenile Crime Prevention Strategy; however, most of them are being
functioning in pilot regime; while many of them lack appropriate assessment
mechanisms. Therefore, challenges in terms of juvenile crime prevention still remain.
Prevention programs are particularly important for juveniles under a risk of offending
and in conflict with the law, who are need of special approaches and care. These
programs contribute to reduction and/or elimination of the risk-factors contributing to
the delinquency. Therefore, prevention programs should be divided by the target groups
and according to stages of the development of problem: (a) Primary/early prevention
is directed towards all juveniles across the country; (b) The secondary prevention
focuses on minors under a risk of committing a crime and ensures the reduction of these
risk–factors. It should be noted that on this level proper identification juveniles at risk
and development of an effective referral mechanism is utmost important. And finally, (c)
tertiary prevention - aims at avoiding reoffending, as well as effective socialization and
rehabilitation of juvenile offenders.
For the effective juvenile crime prevention programs, it is important to have a diverse
range of activities, which should be implemented consistently and efficiently. In
addition, while planning prevention programs the limited resources must be used
effectively and efficiently and only those types of programs must be implemented that
have been confirmed to be effective by relevant studies and international experience.
The need for evaluation system of delinquency prevention programs must be stressed.
Proper evaluation system will determine successful and effective prevention programs
for their further implementation. In addition, proper evaluation system will enable
saving and efficient utilization of the limited resource.
Since 2009 Georgian legislative framework has been significantly changed. This includes
adoption of the new Criminal Procedure Code and Code on Imprisonment providing
effective guarantees for the protection of the rights of juvenile offenders. Another
important step was the raise of minimal age of juvenile criminal responsibility to 14
years, as well as the improvement of the early release mechanisms and implementation
of Diversion/Mediation Program.
In addition, within the framework of the criminal policy liberalization process initiated
in 2010, particular parts related to the juvenile justice as well as penalties for certain
categories of crimes are planned to be revised substantially by the Criminal Legislation
Working Group of the Council. The goal of the revision is to develop alternative
measures of criminal responsibility, reduce minimum sentence length, introduce pretrial report mechanism, etc. In addition, Council plans to create Juvenile Justice Code in
In a long list of issues and amendments to be implemented and discussed within the
Council, particular consideration is given to the issue of privacy of juvenile offenders. In
accordance with existing international standards, information about personal life of
juvenile must be confidential and protected at all stages, from the first contact with law
enforcement agencies, throughout judicial proceedings and even afterwards in order to
avoid harm being caused by undue publicity or by the process of labelling. This
commitment must be fulfilled by all professionals involved in the juvenile justice
process, whether it is a prosecutor or a social worker. This problem is especially
sensitive when dealing with media, when publication of the information about a crime
including identity of a juvenile offender or other parties involved may become known to
public and thereby cause stigmatization and negative influence on child’s further
III. Alternative measures to criminal prosecution
Elaboration of alternative measures to criminal prosecution aims to divert juveniles
from harmful influence of the formal criminal justice system. Alternative measures
should be focused on social and educational activities and aimed at the rehabilitation of
juveniles, as well as enhancing their personality, talents and capabilities.
According to the official statistics, in 2009 criminal prosecution was initiated against
672 juveniles, in 2010 this figure was 733. In 2011 the number of juveniles against
which the criminal prosecution was initiated was 641 and finally, in 2012 it further
decreased to 494 juveniles.2 Despite this feasible decline, the rate of initiation of
criminal prosecution is still high, whereas its reduction is only possible by development
of alternative measures and their active implementation throughout the country.
The efforts of the Government of Georgia in terms of development and implementation
of alternative mechanisms are already vivid: Diversion and Mediation Program has been
launched in 2010 and currently it effectively functions in 40 cities. In addition, it is
planned to gradually introduce the Phase II and III of this program: II Phase includes
expand of the Diversion Program throughout the country, and Phase III – extension of
the program on some grave crimes.
2012 official statistics.
It should be noted that the introduction of alternative measures is particularly important
to those juveniles, who have committed a crime for the first time and the offense falls
under less serious or serious crime category. By introducing an alternative measure to
prosecution, a juvenile in conflict with the law will be provided with a chance to be
diverted from formal criminal justice system and avoid all negative consequences
associated with it.
Therefore, it is important to ensure effective implementation and functioning of the
Diversion and Mediation program throughout the country. At the same time, other
alternative measures to criminal prosecution should be introduced and their assessment
instruments be developed.
Imprisonment, as a last resort
Deprivation of liberty, including arrest, detention and imprisonment shall be used
against a young offender as a last resort and for minimum period of time. However, in
exceptional cases when the use of preliminary detention is inevitable, derived from the
best interest of a child, his/her case must be considered by the court as soon as possible,
so that she/he is isolated from the society for the shortest period. In addition,
appropriate conditions and opportunities shall be ensured throughout the pre-trail
detention inter alia access to educational activities, as well as a variety of programs that
will contribute to his/her development. Special attention should be paid to the
educational activities that should not be terminated even during his/her imprisonment
Reduction in the use of pre-trial detention in cases of juvenile offenders and
imprisonment is one of the major priorities of the Government. In 2009, pre-trial
detention was applied against 272 juveniles and in 2010 this number was 296. In 2011,
the 310 crimes committed by juveniles have been reported, out of this pre-detention
was applied in case of 81 juveniles (26.1%) and 50 (16.1%) were diverted. In 2012, 403
crimes committed by juveniles have been reported, out of which pre-trial detention was
applied in case of 80 juveniles (19.8%), whereas 114 (28.3%) were diverted from
criminal prosecution. Therefore, this data show 6.3% decrease in the percentage of the
use of pre-trial detention, data also show increased application of diversion – increase
by 12.2% in 2012.3
The indicator of sentencing juveniles to depravation of liberty has also decreased: in
2009, 444 juveniles were sentenced to imprisonment, in 2010 - 348 juveniles, in 2011 –
190 and finally in 2012 only 74 juveniles were deprived of their liberty.4
Despite these tangible results, the use of detention as a measure of restraint and
imprisonment of children in conflict with the law is still quite high. In this regard, efforts
must become more active and must enhance the use of alternative sanctions with
2012 official statistics.
2012 official statistics.
respect to juveniles. In addition, alternative sanctions should be further developed and
used appropriately, to fully consider emotional, mental and intellectual maturity of the
child and the specifics of the case.
Rehabilitation and reintegration
The Government of Georgia made significant progress in reforming penitentiary system
for juvenile convicts. The Concept Paper of the Ministry of Corrections and Legal
Assistance on the development of juvenile justice system is worth mentioning. Risks and
needs assessment methodologies, as well as individual sentence planning mechanism
have been effectively implemented. These methodologies are based on juvenile's
individual needs and aim to reduce reoffending, to engage juveniles in socialization and
rehabilitation programs. Individual Plan determines necessary measures for the
reduction of juvenile individual risk factors and his/her further development. The plan
is based on in-depth risks and needs assessment of juvenile as well as bio-psycho-social
assessment carried out by the multidisciplinary council and is prepared for a period of 6
months. The multidisciplinary council meets within 6 months after the approval of
individual plan and evaluates activities carried out in accordance with the plan, in order
to compose an updated plan with newly defined needs.
The importance of improving mechanism for early release should also be stressed; a
special Juvenile Parole Board has been established in 2010 by the Ministry of
Corrections and Legal Assistance. The Board considers a case of juvenile every three
months from a moment he/she becomes eligible for the parole consideration and is
entitled with the mandate to decide on conditional release of juvenile and replacement
of a part of sentence.
Furthermore, as a result of efforts of the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance
and active support of civil society representatives and international organizations,
imprisonment conditions of juvenile offenders has been significantly improved.
Penitentiary establishment for male juvenile convicts has been renovated and properly
equipped, whereas girls have been isolated from adult female convicts. Currently, each
juvenile convict has an access to education, sports, social and professional skills
development programs.
Despite significant positive results, challenges remain in terms of availability and
sufficient number of effective rehabilitation and reintegration programs. It is important
to further improve the concept of risks and needs assessment, as well as development of
mechanisms of individual sentence planning and rehabilitation and refining their
assessment tools. In addition, it is necessary to develop a unified standard / approach
for the elaboration of individual plans in order to contribute to strengthening of
common practice among professionals working in this system. It is also crucial to
incorporate Individual sentence planning with the probation system, when the
developed plan and the assessment carried out during the execution of sentence will
become a basis for the individual plan prepared by the National Probation Agency.
Proper attention should be paid to the improvement of parole system. In addition, active
work still needs to continue to ensure wide diversity of sports and educational activities,
as well as vocational training and social programs within the penitentiary and probation
Effective rehabilitation/reintegration requires developing a special approach towards
young convicted adults from 18-23 years and initiation of the discussion among the
relevant stakeholders over the creation of special institution for these young people.
Training of professionals
Within the criminal justice system great importance is paid to the qualifications of the
personnel. For the effective juvenile justice system, appropriate training and
development of adequate qualifications of each specialist involved in the system shall be
ensured. Trainings are necessary not only for those who are having a direct contact and
work with juvenile, but also for those staff members, whose daily job is related to
children in conflict with the law or those under a risk of offending. These professionals
should familiarize themselves with the specifics of working with children; receive
information on the rights of child and applicable international standards. In addition,
they must have an adequate knowledge of psychological and physical aspects of child
development. For the existence of qualified personnel, trainings and seminars must be
carried out systematically and continuously.
According to the amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia, adjudication
of juvenile is carried out by properly trained judges, prosecutors and investigators.
Their training on international and local legislation, as well as on the issues of
psychological development and education of a child, has a permanent character.
Trainings on the rights of a child, as well as on specificities of work with juveniles are
offered for the employees of imprisonment facilities and probation offices. The
strengthening of the role of a social worker in the juvenile justice system has to be
stressed separately as he/she plays an important role in the process of assessing the
needs of juveniles and their skills.
Therefore, in order to ensure the welfare of a child, it is important to continue
implementation of training programs and development of skills of those personnel
involved in juvenile justice process.
Development of database system
Important steps have been made towards the development of statistical system; namely,
in 2010 an Inter-Agency Memorandum of Cooperation has been concluded on the
publication of joint criminal justice statistical report. In addition, as of 2011, the Chief
Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia has developed a new approach to cases of juvenile
offenders, which includes gathering detailed information not only on the issues related
to crime, but also on the personal characteristics of the juveniles.
Currently, it is important to elaborate mutually agreed data, as well as to develop and
implement special statistical modules. In this regard, effective implementation and
functioning of the Criminal Case Management System throughout the country is
extremely important. It will incorporate all agencies involved in criminal proceedings
within the unified system and, as a result, criminal cases handling will become fully
electronic. At this point, it is important to improve existing statistical system, as well as
to develop and implement specific indicators for juvenile cases processing within the
Awareness raising campaign
Legal awareness has a particular importance for the effective implementation of the
juvenile justice reform. It shall be based on the attitudes of the general population
towards juvenile delinquency identified through the relevant study which is planned to
be conducted. Furthermore, it is important to work with particular target groups, held
seminars with the representatives of mass-media, TV programs, etc. Finally, the
Government plans to adopt a specific curriculum on Juvenile Justice for the universities
which will ensure adequate knowledge about the system and prepare young
Chapter 10. Legal Education Reform Strategy
Legal Education and Professional Training
While reforming legal education following conditions should be taken into
Education is not a stage, but continuance process;
On one side State interest to regulate legal profession, and on the other side,
principles of academic freedom and autonomy of educational institutions should be
Profession and education are interlinked;
Legal education is a basis for lawyer’s professional development (activities).
Main goals and directions of the reform are:
Ensuring of accessibility of legal education;
Organization of legal education;
Establishment of the complete system of accreditation;
Establishment of close link between profession and education;
Possibility of periodically raising professional development during performance of
lawyer’s duties.
1. Accessibility of legal education
Law on Higher Education defines rules and conditions for admitting students to higher
educational institutions. Indicated standards are similar for legal education as well.
Admittance to the law faculties and institutions shall be carried through passing unified
national exams in accordance with the law. Through holding transparent and objective
examinations, current system shall provide and ensure equal opportunity for getting
State financial support for students.
2. Organization of legal education
In accordance with the Law on Higher Education legal education consists of bachelor,
magistrate and doctoral stages. Law defined number of mandatory credits necessary for
successful completion of each of the stages.
3. Theoretical and practical education
Legal education shall include theoretical as well as practical studies. As a result of it a
student will get professional skills along with theoretical knowledge. Standards
studies shall be defined by State accreditation body and shall be examined through
accreditation procedure. Theoretical studies should include teachings of the basic fields
of law, rules of trial proceedings and of relationship with administrative bodies.
Possibility of undergoing practical trainings is closely linked with State as well as private
legal institutions. One of the main purposes of the reform of legal education is
facilitation of the cooperation among universities and professional organizations. That
would strengthen links between education and profession. Facilitation of the
cooperation for the purpose of ensuring component of practical studies implies the
succour the possibility of using State financial support for practical studies in State as
well as in accredited private institutions. Practical trainings could take place in the legal
clinics of universities as well.
4. Legal education and other social sciences
Legal education should provide possibility for students to acquire knowledge in other
fields of social sciences. Strategy envisages similar possibility through providing
interdisciplinary learning courses.
5. Methodology of teaching
Selection of methodology of teaching is within the sphere of academic freedom of legal
education institutions. Therefore strategy does not provide for concrete guidelines in
this regard, though envisages the necessity of introducing interactive methods of
6. Complete system of accreditation
Body of accreditation
Accreditation body established at the Ministry of Education and Sciences carries out
accreditation of legal educational institutions. Principles and goal of the competence of
the accreditation body shall be defined by Georgia’s legislation.
Formal and effective means should exist for:
Quality assurance of law programs
Further monitoring of their effectiveness and evaluation of the results of the goals of
study courses by students;
Permanent examination of this goals and results;
Group of experts shall review the contents, quality and accordance with standards of the
studying programs (curriculum) of legal education institutions, as well as existence of
the necessary basis for receiving education. Review shall take place every 5 years. Group
of experts also shall define the following:
1. Contents of the legal education;
Teaching results of each subject;
Guideline principles of the practice;
Minimal resources for ensuring necessary standards of qualifying law degrees;
Results in case of incompatibility with the standards.
7. Legal Education and Legal Profession
Legal practice may be conducted in State as well as in private institutions and by court
representation. In order to acquire the right of legal practice it shall be mandatory to
pass certification exam.
Certification exam takes place in line with unified standards. A person with high legal
education, though without certification exam, shall be empowered to work as a lawyer
in State and private institutions, to participate in mediation, and in preparation of
contracts and legal documents.
In order to acquire the right of court representation it shall be mandatory:
High legal education (bachelor/or master’s degree)
1 year internship;
Passing of certification exam;
In order to be appointed as a judge, it shall be mandatory:
High legal education (bachelor/or master’s degree)
Passing of certification exam;
5 year professional experience;
 Undergo mandatory course in the High School of Justice
 In order to be appointed as a notary it shall be mandatory:
High legal education (bachelor degree)
1 year internship in notary system;
Passing of certification exam.
8. Continues Education
All lawyers with certificate during their entire career should periodically undertake
professional, continues education in order to maintain their right to practice law.
Continues professional education requires collecting of definite amount of credits.
Professional courses may be organized by the High School of Justice, accredited High
educational organization, and also by professional bodies.
The State is obliged to provide professional courses for practicing lawyers in State
sector. In this case the course expenses shall be taken by State.
All practicing lawyers are obliged to keep the list of trainings they have undertaken that
may be checked by the relevant professional body. Completion of these requirements is
Chapter 11. Strategy of Public Defender’s Office
The main function of the Public Defender of Georgia is the supervision over the
protection of human rights and freedoms within the territory and jurisdiction of
The Public Defender’s Office is as an independent, impartial and accessible body, which
is authorized to carry out its functions through mechanisms assigned to it by the
Legislative Guarantees
In 2010 series of amendments were made to the organic law of Georgia “on Public
Defender”, which was aimed at enhancing the quality and independence of the Public
Defender’s Office from the legislative point of view.
Today, the main challenge for the Public Defender’s Office is the evaluation of
implementation of legislative amendments in practice. In addition, it is significant to
ensure appropriate measured of public awareness in respect to these changes.
Public Defender’s right to Appeal to the Court
Under the existing law, the Public Defender of Georgia has the right to appear before the
court on its own initiative as an Amicus Curie and report to the court his position in
connection with the case.
For effective implementation of abovementioned authority by the Public Defender’s
Office, it is necessary to institutionalize internal practice and train the staff.
Relations with the Legislative Body
The Public Defender’s Office of Georgia must have timely information on developments
in the legislative body of the country. Accordingly, it is necessary to determine and train
appropriate staff members, in order (and if required) to prepare legislative news
analysis in context of human rights law.
Ensuring Effective Functioning of the Public Defender’s Office of Georgia
3.1. Improving Case Management System
It is necessary to improve case (incoming application) management system on central
and regional levels in order to increase effectiveness of the Public Defender’s Office of
Georgia. This means moving to electronic cases management system.
Employees of the Public Defender’s Office participated in the development of electronic
case management system. Current objective is an effective implementation of the system
in daily activities.
3.2. Professional Development of the Public Defender’s Staff
In order to improve the quality of human rights protection, it is important to training the
Public Defender’s staff. This implies to deepening knowledge in human rights principles
and standards of international law, case law of international tribunals and the European
Court of Human Rights.
In addition, it is important to ensure participation of staff in various international
conferences and seminars, which will enable them to get acquainted with the problems
and achievements of other countries and be informed about the challenges in the field of
human rights.
Effective Functioning of National Prevention Mechanism
One of the main priorities for the Public Defender's Office is ensuring effective
functioning of national preventive mechanism on torture and other cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment, defined by the optional protocol of the UN
The main function of a national preventive mechanism is monitoring closed-type
institutions and producing relevant reports.
5. Educational Activities
In accordance with the organic “Law on Public Defender", the Public Defender provides
educational activities in the field of human rights. Accordingly, one of the priorities of
the Public Defender’s Office is increasing public awareness on the activities of public
defender and human rights issues.
Derived from abovementioned priorities, the Public Defender's Office organizes various
educational events.
Public Defender’s official web-page has been renewed in order to provide better
information to Georgian public on the human rights protection issues. Future goal of the
office is to ensure the promotion of this web-page.