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Georgia’s Constitutional Court satisfies part of opposition’s appeal on Law on Manifestations

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, April 19
Georgia’s Constitutional Court has partly satisfied the appeal of the Georgian opposition groups about the widely criticized Law on Manifestations and Assembly on April 18. According to the decision of the court, the norm banning holding manifestations in 20 metres radius from the entrance of some institutions including courts was declared unconstitutional. The Court agreed with the position of the appellants that this kind of restriction “does not comply with the constitution, because in some cases, it makes practically impossible to hold manifestations and gatherings.” At the same time the Constitutional Court concluded that the right of gathering can be restricted, when it hinders the functioning of the institution, or when the restriction is caused by special measures of security.

Georgia’s Constitutional Court considered it unconstitutional not to give a citizen a right to be an organizer of an assembly or of a manifestation, or to restrict a person not holding a citizenship of Georgia to organize a rally and be a responsible person. However, the Court ruled that the norms which restrict willful blocking of the streets are compliant with the constitution. The Court considered it lawful to block the street only in cases when it is caused by the number of the demonstration participants. The Court ruled that the norm can immediately halt any manifestation in case of blocking of the street or in case of incompliance with any other law demands. The Court noted that the members of the rally should have an opportunity to hold the manifestation in compliance with the law and the halting of the rally should only happen in case of non-obedience with the legitimate demand of the state representative.

The Constitutional Court ruled that the norm which forbids calls for violent ousting of the constitutional government during the manifestations is compliant with the constitution. The Court also considered it legal to restrict holding manifestations at the house of a judge, saying that the abovementioned norm serves the independence of judge (court) and the security of judge’s private life.