Violations and Response Mechanisms of Ethical Norms in the Parliament of Georgia
Verbal and physical confrontations in the state legislature have been a subject for discussion in the public. The Parliament of Georgia adopted the Code of Ethics on February 22th of 2019, but the statute of the Ethics Council is yet to be approved and all of the positions have not been filled. As a result, the Council is unable to receive and deliberate on complaints, essentially leaving the violations of the Code of Ethics unenforced.
The report also presents information on high public interest cases of physical and verbal confrontations between the MPs in the period following the adoption of the Code of Ethics, which according to our assessment, likely constituted a violation of ethical norms.
The establishment of the Ethics Council is an important step forward, but it should also be noted that the lack of effective response mechanisms is a serious shortcoming. The only sanction mechanism that the Ethics Council can use is issuing a note of recommendation to the MP. This decision is then published on the official website of the Parliament.
In addition to implementing effective enforcement mechanisms, we consider that any citizen, regardless of whether or not they have been the victim of the violation, should have the right to lodge a complaint about the alleged violations of the Code and the Ethics Council should submit an annual performance report.