NGOs assessing amendments to the Organic Law on the Constitutional Court - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

NGOs assessing amendments to the Organic Law on the Constitutional Court

29 April, 2013


The draft law initiated by the Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee Chairman Vakhtang Khmaladze on April 4, 2013 aims to amend to the Organic Law on the Constitutional Court of Georgia.

Under the current regulations, the Constitutional Court has the authority to suspend the existing law until the final decision if the Court deems that the normative act can have irreparable consequences for one of the parties concerned.

Under the proposed amendment, the Court retains the above authority, but it is limited to a 30-day period, i.e. in the event that the Court suspends the operation of a controversial provision, it must complete the hearing of the case within 30 days. If the final judgment cannot / is not awarded by the Court within 30 calendar days, the decision to suspend the disputed provision shall lose force on the 31st calendar day from its receipt.

According to the explanatory note to the draft law, the purpose of the above amendment is to reduce to a reasonable term the legislative vacuum that will result from the suspension of the controversial provision and which may cause potential damage to the interests of third parties.

The spirit of the amendment is completely understandable and acceptable; however, there are several reasons why we believe it needs improvement. First of all, we think that the 30-day hearing deadline is too short. The Constitutional Court has the difficult task of providing an authentic interpretation of the Constitution; therefore, it is in the public interest to ensure that the definition is complete, reasonable, and of high quality. Given the Court’s relatively poor practical experience and resources, we recommend extending the time to a reasonable term after consultations with the Court.

Our second observation concerns the blanket nature of the rule: the proposed amendment applies to all cases without exception. The Court shall render its final decision within 30 days, regardless of whether or not the suspension of the provision is actually detrimental to the interests of third parties. This accelerated hearing procedure will bring about unreasonable expenditure of judicial resources . We believe that if the Constitutional Court sees that the suspension of the norm damages the interests of a third party, the discretion for deciding on the expedited review should rest within the Court.

We would thus like to urge the Parliament to have public consultations with the Constitutional Court regarding both the extension of the above term and the replacement of the blanket rule with the Court's discretionary authority before voting on the draft law.


Transparency International Georgia

The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy

Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center

The Democratic Initiative of Georgia

Article 42 of the Georgian Constitution

The Georgian Young Lawyers' Association