Georgia’s human rights record remained uneven in 2010. The government evicted hundreds of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from state-owned collective centers in Tbilisi, the capital, often leaving them homeless or without adequate compensation. State actors hindered activists’ right to assembly and attacked and harassed journalists and opposition newspapers. Municipal elections on May 30 largely met international standards, but observers also identified significant shortcomings.
More than two years after the August 2008 Georgian-Russian conflict over South Ossetia, the government has not effectively investigated international human rights and humanitarian law violations. Russia strengthened its military presence in and effective control over Georgia’s breakaway regions. The European Union started negotiations with Georgia to deepen economic and political ties.
Georgia was one of the first Soviet republics to declare independence and introduce a multiparty system in 1990. However, the country’s rapid political emancipation coupled with slow institutionalization led to various serious problems. The first non-Communist president Zviad Gamsakhurdia’s loss of power triggered a civil war, and two secessionist conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia broke out. Later, President Eduard Shevardnadze managed to restore a limited degree of stability, which soon ended in a fragile, corrupt, and inefficient system of governance.
In 2004, the new government launched profound reforms aimed at modernizing the state, the economy, and society. In some respects, these reforms tangibly increased the capabilities of the Georgian state, resulting in better public protection and services. In other areas, such as democratic participation and conflict resolution, the new administration has failed to adequately address the complexities of the issues. Marginalization of the political opposition triggered a political crisis in 2007 that continued throughout 2008 and 2009. Russia and Georgia fought a war in 2008 that ended in occupation and formal recognition of independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by Russia.
|National Democratic Governance||n/a||n/a||n/a||5.50||5.50||5.50||5.75||6.00||6.00||5.75|
|Local Democratic Governance||n/a||n/a||n/a||6.00||5.75||5.50||5.50||5.50||5.50||5.50|
|Judicial Framework and Independence||4.25||4.50||4.50||5.00||4.75||4.75||4.75||4.75||4.75||5.00|
The European Commission for Democracy through Law, better known as the Venice Commission, is the Council of Europe’s advisory body on constitutional matters. Established in 1990, the commission has played a leading role in the adoption of constitutions that conform to the standards of Europe’s constitutional heritage.
Initially conceived as a tool for emergency constitutional engineering, the commission has become an internationally recognised independent legal think-tank. Today it contributes to the dissemination of the European constitutional heritage, based on the continent’s fundamental legal values while continuing to provide “constitutional first-aid” to individual states. The Venice Commission also plays a unique and unrivalled role in crisis management and conflict prevention through constitution building and advice.
The Commission meets in plenary four times a year – in March, June, October and December – in Venice, in Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista.
You can see Venice Commission’s forthcoming opinion on the new Georgian legislation: http://www.venice.coe.int/site/dynamics/N_Opinion_ef.asp?L=E&CID=40