GEO

Who initiates the most laws in Parliament

06 September, 2012

<p><em>In cooperation with the Parliament of Georgia Apparatus and within the framework of our parliamentary monitoring project, TI Georgia started tracking initiated draft laws and attending committee sittings in 2012. This is the first post in a three-part series describing some of the data we collected.</em><br><br><br>Lawmaking is the primary function of the Parliament of Georgia. The Constitution of Georgia grants the power to initiate draft laws in Parliament to several individuals and groups, including the President of Georgia, individual MPs, and citizens via petition, which must be signed by 30,000 voters.<sup>1</sup> We decided to observe who exercises this right the most by looking at the data we collected during the last Spring Session of the last Parliament. This will show the true sources of legislative change in Georgia.<br><br>So far in 2012, Parliament of Georgia has adopted 298 draft laws. Figure 1 graphs different types of initiators by the proportion of laws they initiated in 2012. <br><br>Figure 1 <br><br> <img src="http://transparency.ge/sites/default/files/blog_images/chart-initiated-p... alt=""></p>
<p>As displayed on the graph, the majority of laws (93%) were initiated by the Government of Georgia or by MPs. In three instances a draft law was initiated by MPs collectively (1%) which is necessary in case of the constitutional amendment as it needs signatures of at least ½ of MPs for consideration. There were also three committees that initiated laws: the Procedural Rules and Issues committee (5 draft laws), the Healthcare and Social Issues committee (4 draft laws), and the Legal Issues committee (2 draft laws). None of the laws passed in 2012 were initiated by a Parliamentary Faction, petition by 30,000 voters, or by the Abkhaz supreme legislative body.<br><br>Figure 2 shows that the power of legislative initiative was used by only 23 MPs in 2012. The size of the Georgian Parliament is defined by the Georgian Constitution to be 150 MPs.
<br><br><span>Figure 2 <br class="kix-line-break">

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<script id="csv" type="text/csv">Initiator MP,Number of initiated draft laws,RepURL,RepID
Alavidze Andro ,29,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/2/andro-alavidze/,repid1
Anjaparidze Kakhaber ,53,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/4/kakhaber-anjaparidze/,repid2
Balavadze Vakhtang ,3,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/10/vakhtang-balavadze/,repid3
Bobokhidze Akaki,1,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/15/akaki-bobokhidze/,repid4
Gamtsemlidze Zaal,1,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/21/zaal-gamtsemlidze,repid5
Gelashvili Zaza,1,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/24/zaza-gelashvili/,repid6
Godabrelidze Giorgi,3,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/31/giorgi-godabrelidze/,repid7
Gogorishvili Khatuna,2,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/28/khatuna-gogorishvili/,repid8
Goguadze Gia,1,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/30/giorgi-goguadze/,repid9
Jabua Guranda,5,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/133/guranda-jabua/,repid10
Kervalishvili Rusudan,2,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/59/rusudan-kervalishvili/,rep...
Kublashvili Pavle ,30,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/66/pavle-kublashvili/,repid12
Kukava Zviad ,76,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/67/zviad-kukava/,repid13
Machavariani Mikheil,1,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/85/mikheil-machavariani/,repid14
Minashvili Akaki ,1,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/89/akaki-minashvili/,repid15
Ochiauri Khatuna ,3,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/97/khatuna-ochiauri/,repid16
Sukhishvili Kakhaber ,2,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/105/kakhaber-sukhishvili/,rep...
Taktakishvili Chiora ,1,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/46/chiora-taktakishvili/,repid18
Toidze Otar ,2,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/51/otar-toidze/,repid19
Tordia Lasha,2,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/52/lasha-tordia/,repid20
Tsiklauri Nugzar,2,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/123/nugzar-tsiklauri/,repid21
Tskitishvili Mikheil ,25,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/120/mikheil-tskitishvili/,rep...
Tsurtsumia Teimuraz,5,http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/124/teimuraz-tsurtsumia/,repi...
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<br>It is worth noting that all MPs in this list represent the Parliamentary majority. No draft laws initiated by representatives of another faction were adopted in the Spring Session. The table below (Table 1), shows a list of draft laws initiated during the Spring Session 2012 that were not adopted by Parliament. <br><br></p>

Table 1<br>
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<p dir="ltr" style="text-align:center;"><strong >Draft law and date of registration at Parliament Bureau</strong></p>
</td>
<td>
<p dir="ltr"style="text-align:center;"><strong >Initiator(s)</strong></p>
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<tr>
<td><a class="togglelink">Supplements to the Law of Georgia on Agricultural Land Ownership* (13/02/2012)</a>

<br><span class="hiddentoggle">Initiative would have forbidden foreign citizens, legal entities registered abroad or legal entities registered in Georgia by/with participation of a foreign citizen to own agricultural lands.</span></td>
<td><a href="http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/93/shalva-natelashvili/">Nate... Shalva</a>, <a href="http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/32/giorgi-gugava/">Gugava Giorgi</a>, <a href="http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/114/ioseb-shatberashvili/">Sh... Ioseb</a>, <a href="http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/121/kakhaber-dzagania/">Dzagania Kakhaber</a> (Labour Party, Out of Faction)</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a class="togglelink">Changes and Supplements to the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens (20/02/2012)</a>

<br><span class="hiddentoggle">Draft law would have introduced 0.1% of Georgia’s GDP as a limit for yearly contributions to political parties; 60,000 GEL as the maximum amount to be spent by parties on gifts during celebrations, not more than 3,000 per event; establish a 5-day term for transferring the funds exceeding limits established by the law, etc.</span></td>
<td><a href="http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/42/levan-vepkhvadze/">Vepkhvadze Levan</a> &nbsp;(Christian-Democrats)</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a class="togglelink">Changes to the Administrative Offenses Code of Georgia (29/03/2012)</a>

<br><span class="hiddentoggle">Draft law suggested forbidding electronic and print media to circulate photos or video footage allowing identification of the accused individual until the final judgment of the court is rendered. Only cases involving public persons would have been exceptions, where public interest is high.</span></td>
<td><a href="http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/78/rati-maisuradze/">Maisuradze Rati</a> (Christian-Democrats)</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a class="togglelink">Changes to the Organic Law of Georgia on the Ombudsman of Georgia (17/04/2012)</a>

<br><span class="hiddentoggle">Prosecutors' Office would have been obliged to launch investigation based on the Ombudsman’s proposal and allow the Ombudsman to monitor investigation.</span></td>
<td><a href="http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/13/jondo-baghaturia/">Baghaturia Jondo</a>, Georgian Troop, Unity for Justice Faction</td>
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<tr>
<td><a class="togglelink">Law of Georgia on Higher Education (17/04/2012)</a>

<br><span class="hiddentoggle">The draft law suggested reimbursing tuition of university students who lost their student status in the years 2011-2012 due to failing to pay the tuition from the state budget. &nbsp;</span></td>
<td><a href="http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/13/jondo-baghaturia/">Baghaturia Jondo</a> (Georgian Troop, Unity for Justice Faction)</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a class="togglelink">Changes to Certain Legislative Acts of Georgia (17/04/2012)</a>

<br><span class="hiddentoggle">Substantial amendments to various ground principles and institutions in the Criminal Code, such as: publicity, double jeopardy, lawyers’ rights, court minutes, plea bargaining, combining punishments, proportionality of punishments, etc.</span></td>
<td><a href="http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/76/dimitri-lortkipanidze/">Lo... Dimitri,</a> <a href="http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/118/giorgi-tsagareishvili/">T... Giorgi</a>, (Unified Opposition, Unity for Justice Faction)</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a class="togglelink">Law of Georgia on Amnesty (23/04/2012)</a>

<br><span class="hiddentoggle">Persons that have been convicted of listed crimes before April 1, 2012, &nbsp;to be released from criminal responsibility and punishment. The remaining term for prisoners that are convicted of listed crimes will be halved.</span></td>
<td><a href="http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/13/jondo-baghaturia/">Baghaturia Jondo</a> (Georgian Troop, Unity for Justice Faction)</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a class="togglelink">Changes to the Law of Georgia on the System of Protected Areas** (30/04/2012)</a>

<br><span class="hiddentoggle">Agency will be able to make profit from providing service to the state, donations, research and educational activities conducted in protected areas. Agency will be authorized to hold electronic auctions. Employees of the Agency of Protected Areas to be allowed to bear arms and use arms under certain circumstances.</span></td>
<td>Government of Georgia</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td><a class="togglelink">Law of Georgia on Amnesty (30/04/2012)</a>
.
<br><span class="hiddentoggle">Lifting or halving charges of offenders, including juvenile prisoners, affecting 5500 prisoners.</span></td>
<td><a href="http://shenmartav.ge/en/who/representative/42/levan-vepkhvadze/">Vepkhvadze Levan</a> (Christian-Democrats)</td>
</tr>
</tbody>
</table>
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<p><br><br>* Draft law was never considered by Parliament, as the initiators did not show up at the first committee hearing in the Agricultural Committee.<br>** The Government of Georgia recommended the Parliament not to pass the draft law at its final stage of discussion.<br><br>As we saw earlier, over half of the draft laws passed by Parliament were initiated by the Government. Figure 3 shows which ministries and agencies that prepared the draft laws introduced to the Parliament by the Government. <br>

<br>Figure 3 <br>

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Service Agency, Ministry of Internal Affairs 2 mtrepid1
Office of the State Minister for Diaspora Issues 3 mtrepid2
Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure 1 mtrepid3
Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs 3 mtrepid4
Ministry of Justice 5 mtrepid5
Ministry of Internal Affairs 3 mtrepid6
Ministry of Foreign Affairs 6 mtrepid7
Ministry of Finance 57 mtrepid8
Ministry of Environmental Protection 2 mtrepid9
Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources 9 mtrepid10
Ministry of Education and Science 10 mtrepid11
Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development 14 mtrepid12
Ministry of Defense 1 mtrepid13
Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance 2 mtrepid14
Maritime Transport Agency, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development 6 mtrepid15
High Council of Justice 3 mtrepid16
Government Chancellery 38 mtrepid17
Data Exchange Agency, Ministry of Justice 1 mtrepid18
Civil Aviation Agency, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development 6 mtrepid19</script>
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<br>We'll be publishing the other posts in this series later this month, so check back soon, or <a href="http://transparency.ge/en#subscribespan">subscribe to our newsletter</a> to receive weekly updates.</p>

<hr><br>
<sup>1</sup>The full list of people and institutions with the power to initiate draft laws in Parliament is: the President of Georgia only in the exclusive cases, the Government of Georgia, a member of Parliament (MP), a Parliamentary Faction, a Parliamentary Committee, the highest legislative bodies of Adjara and Abkhazia, and at least 30,000 voters via petition. Constitution of Georgia, Article 67. Retrieved from the website of Constitutional Court of Georgia on September 1, 2012: <a href="http://www.constcourt.ge/index.php?sec_id=49&lang_id=ENG">http://www.con.... The President will lose the power to initiate laws from 2013.<br><br>

Author: Kakha Uriadmkopeli, Eka Rostomashvili