Foreign citizens now able to appeal to Georgian Constitutional Court
By Mzia Kupunia
Friday, July 2
Foreigners and people not holding Georgian citizenship are now able to apply to the Constitutional Court of Georgia in case of need, following the Constitutional Court's decision in the case The Public Defender vs. the Parliament of Georgia.
The Ombudsman filed a lawsuit to dispute the clause of the Law on the Constitutional Court which states that citizens of foreign states and persons who do not possess Georgian citizenship have no right to apply to the Constitutional Court. The Public Defender claimed that such restrictions contradicted Article 42 of the Georgian Constitution, which says that “Everyone has the right to apply to a court to protect his/her rights and freedoms.”
The Constitutional Court of Georgia has found in favour of the Georgian Public Defender, so the relevant clause of the law was declared annulled. “As a result all persons (including foreigners and those not holding Georgian citizenship, regardless of their place of residence) will be able to protect their rights in the Constitutional Court if the rights they are granted by the Constitution are violated,” the Press Service of the court has announced.
Georgian Public Defender Giorgi Tughushi, who attended the court session, described the decision as “important.” “First of all we should note that this is the first case in which the court has examined one of our lawsuits. This is a very important decision. The fact that some people have been deprived of the right to apply to the Constitutional Court contradicted the Georgian Constitution as we said in our lawsuit,” Tughushi noted. “As a result of the Constitutional Court's decision this restriction is lifted, so people who are not the citizens of Georgia and people living abroad will be able to apply to the Constitutional Court to defend their rights if need be,” the Ombudsman added.