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Open letter to the President on creation of the National Prevention Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture (NPM)

Georgian Young lawyers’ Association, Penal Reform International and Human Rights Watch address President with open letter concerning real and effective implementation of the UN Anti-torture Convention Optional Protocol for the prevention of Torture. On 22 June 2006 the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on “Prohibition of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment” was enacted for Georgia. The State undertook an obligation to create within a year, by 22 June 2007, a national mechanism for the prevention of torture (NPM) with the highest guarantees of independence and effectiveness. Recently it become known to the public about a proposal to assign the Public Defender of Georgia as a national preventive mechanism by the decree of the president, without creating effective guarantees for the independence and efficiency of the mechanism. Observer members of the Interagency Coordination Council created by the Decree of the President in 2007, Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, Penal Reform International, Human Rights Watch appeal to President to refrain from regulating the issue of NPM by a presidential decree. Non-state observer members of the council ask government instead reinforce the institution of Public Defender by ensuring that the necessary legislative safeguards for independence of the mechanism are instituted, and genuine National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture under the Public Defender is created. Please see letter

2008-04-08 20:00 See more

The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association created a Special Web-portal for Lawyers

On April 1, in the Hotel Tbilisi Marriot the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association with the financial aid of the British Council made presentation of a new web-page www.legaleducation.ge. Through the portal all university entrants and other interested persons can receive exhaustive information on all the accredited universities that have law faculty. On the web-page interested persons can receive information on the ways to receiving scholarships and afterwards continue studies in prestigious foreign Universities. Through the web-page interested persons can enter the electronic catalogue of GYLA Law Library and receive comprehensive information on the legal literature in Georgian, Russian, French, German and English languages. At about 15 representatives from universities, British Council, British Embassy, US Councils, American Bar Association, DAAD program, IREX and other organizations attended the event.

2008-04-01 20:00 See more

GYLA Publishes Election Funds Monitoring Report for Extraordinary Presidential Election, 5 January 2008

The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association deployed an Observation Mission to the 5 January 2008 Out-of-turn Presidential Election. Election observation included monitoring of both the Election Day and the pre-election campaign. An important object of observation was election funds as well. We are presenting election funds monitoring report prepared by GYLA.In  case of interest, please, see the attached document.

2008-03-23 20:00 See more

Initial findings on the amendments introduced to the Election Code on March 21, 2008

On 21 March, 2008 by the third hearing Parliament of Georgia passed the draft of amendments to the Election Code. Hereby we present the GYLA initial assessments  with regard to the draft law adopted by the Parliament of Georgia on March 21. Please see also "Problems Revealed and Recommendations Concerning the 5 January 2008 Out-of-turn Presidential Elections."

2008-03-23 20:00 See more

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association Calls on the Parliament to Refrain from Adopting an Unconstitutional Law

On 29 February, on the plenary session, the Parliament of Georgia will debate draft amendments pertaining to the civil registry legislation initiated by the Legal issues Committee. Under the amendments presented to the Criminal Procedural Code, prosecutor is entitled to suspend a passport of a citizen of Georgia without permission issued by judicial authorities. GYLA has studied the initiated draft law and addresses the Legal Issues Committee with a negative report. According to the draft law, prosecutor, in violation of fundamental principles envisaged in the Constitution of Georgia and the European Convention, is authorized to suspend a passport of a suspect without permission of a judge ordering measures of restraint (suspect is not wanted). The amendment entitles the prosecutor to restrict citizen’s right to freedom of movement; moreover, the prosecutor, without the decision issued by the judge, applies preventive measures against the citizen (disallowing to leave the country).  Georgian young Lawyers’ Association maintains that the initiated draft law contradicts the Constitution of Georgia and the European Convention and calls on the Legal issues Committee to recall the initiative. If draft amendments are adopted, GYLA will apply to the Constitutional Court. Please See GYLA's opinion (In Georgian)

2008-02-27 20:00 See more

Ten Pre-Conditions for Free and Fair Parliamentary Elections in Georgia

The NGOs which are planning to observe the Parliamentary Elections, publicize the following 10 pre-conditions for fair and free elections in Georgia. Ten Pre-Conditions for Free and Fair Parliamentary Elections in Georgia

2008-02-04 20:00 See more

GYLA Publishes Monitoring Report for 5 January, 2008 Presidential Elections.

GYLA Publishes Monitoring Report for 5 January, 2008 Presidential Elections. GYLA 2008 5 January Elections Monitoring Final Report

2008-01-16 20:00 See more

Joint Statement of Three Domestic Observer Organizations

On 7 January 2008 domestic observer organizations released a joint statement in which they emphasized the importance of post polling day procedures, such as consideration of election related appeals and final summarization of election results (including counting of votes cast through additional voter lists).  They called these procedures just as important in the election process as the pre-election period and polling day itself.  Accordingly, the four organizations called on the Central Election Commission (CEC) to administer these procedures transparently and in full compliance with the legal requirements.  Nevertheless, the developments after 7 January clearly showed that the CEC fell short in this regard: votes cast through additional lists were counted and summed up chaotically and with legal infringements, appeals were not considered thoroughly (the vast majority were turned town on the grounds of technical errors in the appeal forms), and in the end the final election results were announced without addressing the significant concerns and violations brought up throughout the election process.

2008-01-14 20:00 See more

Preliminary Statement of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association with regard to final vote tally of 5 January 2008 Presidential elections

Today, on 13 January 2008 at 10 o’clock Central Election Commission officially summarized the results of 5 January 2008 extraordinary Presidential Elections. Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association was observing 5 January 2008 extraordinary presidential elections. On 3rd of January GYLA published preliminary report on pre-election campaign and referred to numerous violations being observed during pre-election period. GYLA carried out its observing mission in certain districts and polling stations of Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi and Khelvachauri. As a result of monitoring process, approximately 230 complaints have been submitted before relevant Election Commissions and lodged with domestic Courts. On 7th of January GYLA assessed Election Day (5 January 2008) in Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Batumi as acceptable, however reference has been made to numerous serious shortcomings to be urgently addressed by relevant election and judicial authorities. It was indicated that timely and adequate responses from election and judicial authorities would be decisive factor for declaring the whole election process as democratic, fair and properly conducted.

2008-01-12 20:00 See more

GYLA Publishes Preliminary Report on Pre-Election Monitoring

THE GEORGIAN YOUNG LAWYERS’ ASSOCIATION 5 JANUARY 2008 SPECIAL PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS AND PLEBISCITE OBSERVATION MISSION  PRELIMINARY REPORT OF THE PRE-ELECTION MONITORING3 January 2008 The present report is an initial version of the pre-election monitoring results. A final version will be published following the 5th of January together with monitoring results of the election day and election funds EXECUTIVE SUMMARYThe 5 January 2008 out-of-turn presidential election was appointed and the pre-election period proceeded in very tight terms. Presidential election day was formally declared on 25 November but the pre-election period actually started earlier, 8 November, after former President Saakashvili made the statement. A significant part of the pre-election period took place during a state of emergency, against the background of virtual restriction of the media sources. TV Company Imedi, closed on 7 November, resumed its work only amid the pre-election period and again suspended broadcasting close to the end. In the meanwhile, the election law was amended twice (22 November and 7 December). These and other factors made an effective monitoring of the pre-election campaign more difficult. GYLA has been conducting the pre-election monitoring in Tbilisi and 7 regional centres (Telavi, Dusheti, Rustavi, Gori, Ozurgeti, Kutaisi and Batumi). The past period of the campaign showed a whole series of violations by political subjects, public officials and other persons, timely response to which should have become a precondition for fair and transparent pre-election period. Violations referred to in this report have constantly been notified by the GYLA representatives to both the Election Administration (by means of letters and complaints) and various State agencies and media sources.

2008-01-02 20:00 See more