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13 Jan 2022

Statement Of The State Inspector’s Service

Today the President of Georgia signed the amendments to the law abolishing the State Inspector’s Service.

 

Against the background that such an important "reform" was carried out in an expedited manner, without the involvement of the State Inspector’s Service, experts of the field, international organizations and the civil sector and its discussion in a rushed manner could not be justified by the Parliament of Georgia; Against the background of a number of decisions of the Constitutional Court of Georgia declaring the abolition of elected positions; against the background of the fact that none of the important questions were answered during the discussion of the draft law before the Parliament of Georgia; against the background of the fact that the draft laws prepared by the Parliament do not / cannot strengthen the two newly created services and do not provide guarantees for the independence of their leaders; against the background of the fact that the law was adopted on the motive of incompatibility between the investigative and data protection functions, however no one asked the Service whether these two functions were compatible or what were the difficulties in the implementation of these two functions; against the background of the fact that the newly created investigative agency was not authorized with any effective mechanisms to carry out efficient investigation of crimes committed by civil servants and did not take into account a single challenge indicated in the report of the State Inspector’s Service; against the background of the fact that the new law fails to improve personal data protection state in Georgia and the draft law on Personal Data Protection being in line with European standards, has not been considered by the Parliament of Georgia for more than 2 years; against the background of the strict assessments with respect to the abolition of State Inspector’s Service and the State Inspector’s position both at the national and international levels; against the background of the fact that even in today's statement of the President it is stated that adopting such an important law in an expedited manner, without any consultations, proper discussion and well-reasoned arguments is unacceptable; It is unacceptable that in a country striving to strengthen democracy, a key issue such as personal data protection is not given enough time and space for discussion. This is a very bad precedent when the head of an independent service, a person elected for a 6-year term, is dismissed without prior warning or a reasoned argument with respect to her professional activities. Moreover, given that strengthening the independence and integrity of officials remains one of the biggest challenges for our country. Whereas the President of Georgia herself states that the adopted legislative changes created an unfair situation – there were expectations that the President of Georgia would veto the law.

Although a tough stance on overcoming the veto was expressed by the Parliament of Georgia, on the President’s part, this would be an important step for the democratic development of the country, strengthening independent human rights institutions and providing additional legal guarantees for elected officials. At the same time, after the introduction of reasoned arguments, the Parliament would have an opportunity to reconsider and revise its decision in order to adopt a law aimed at real reforms and on the basis of broad discussion.
With the adoption and entry into force of this law, an independent institution dedicated to the protection of human rights from the day of its creation was abolished in Georgia. The institution which with limited legislative, human and financial resources and a low level of cooperation from the state agencies, by effectively performing its functions, was able to increase public trust towards the institution.