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Search and seizure rule changes

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Monday, January 12
According to a new draft law related to search and seizure, law enforcement will be able to verbally explain the reason and basis of the search to the individual before conducting the search.

Project initiators said that changes are necessary due to the existing gaps in the practice. In particular, according to them, the Criminal Code of Georgia, Article 112 reads that the police officer or investigator has no obligation to show a warrant, while the same code’s Article 120 reads that investigator requires a warrant.

One of the draft law initiators, MP Gedevan Popkhadze, said that changes will simplify the fight against criminals and investigators will immediately be able to respond to crime without dealing with bureaucratic procedures.

MP Gigla Abuladze has reservations about the draft law. According to him, such kind of issues must be discussed over the long term.

“There is no need to rush, we need to think hard about the issue. Verbal explanations may become a serious problem during court sessions. It will be hard to prove if there was any basis for the search and seizure,” stated Abuladze.

Member of the United National Movement Zaza Gigilashvili said that “even if there really existed an error in the criminal code, instead of improving the situation, the upcoming changes will make the situation worse. If parliament adopts the new law, the rights of Georgian residents will be infringed upon systematically,” stated Gigilashvili.

Head of the Georgian Young Lawyers' Association AnaNatsvlishvili stated that there was no error in Georgia’s Criminal Code and the changes are not necessary.

“Article 120 is a special norm of action for law enforcers and it must not be changed,” stated Natsvlishvili.

According a lawyer from the NGO - Article 42 of the Constitution, Archil Chopikashvili, the new law goes against democratic principles.