Debates and Research about the Constitution of Georgia

Project title: "Debates and Research about the Constitution of Georgia" 

Year: 2009 - 2010

Budget in USD: 25 000

Funding sources: OSGF Human Rights and Good Governance Program (Constitution Alterations and Elections)

Project Coordinator: Tinatin Bolkvadze

OSGF Human Rights and Good Governance Program in-house project: "Debates and Research about the Constitution of Georgia" has been launched in March of 2009 prior to the formation of the Public Constitutional and State Constitutional Commissions. Principal goal of the project was to create a discussion space about constitutional changes for civil society, to assess properly the existing form of government by hands-on involvement of experts rising by that level of the forthcoming constitutional reform in the country.

Launch of the Constitutional Reform in June 2009, formation of the Public Constitutional and State Constitutional Commissions evoked a necessity to make adequate changes in the project design. For instance, there was changed a format of scheduled meetings, content of the publication to be released and staff of the project working group.

On January 28, 2010 OSGF organized a large-scale presentation of the publication "Constitutional Systems and Constitutional Process in Georgia, Perspective of Its Development", elaborated by Georgian experts throughout a year - Konstantine Kandelaki, Davit Losaberidze, Yuri Tabutsadze, Zaza Rukhadze, Vakhtang Khmaladze and Zurab Jibghashvili.

There is given an in-depth overview of the themes in the publication, such as: essence of the idea of constitutionalism, principle of the separation of powers, forms of government based on the constitutionalism idea; likewise, modern principles of self-government and tendencies of the self-government systems development. Besides, the publication provides analysis of constitutional process in the post-soviet Georgia and current in force constitution in the context of adequacy with the principle of separation of powers; it also contains an opinion of the group of authors on the conception of the new edition of the Constitution and the background that predetermined choice of the working group.

Publication is even more valuable due to fact that it offers conclusions of the six independent experts with diverse views made up on a consensus basis, and not an individual opinion or the ones of the Public Constitutional or State Constitutional Commissions.

OSGF organized a Conference "Ongoing Constitutional Process in Georgia and Its Perspectives" on April 16 - 17 at the Bazaleti Hotel. Among participants of the conference were representatives of the State Constitutional Commission, the Public Constitutional Commission, the Student's Constitutional Commission, NGOs, political unions, mass media and experts.

The conference gave participants an opportunity to discuss conceptions of the new editions of the Constitution elaborated by State Constitutional Commission, Public Constitutional Commission and other available by then versions, and exchange per se proposals.

Specific discussion topics were governmental institutions in the new edition of the Constitution; parliament, government, president, judiciary branch, issues related to territorial arrangement and self-government.

In spite of the multitude of opinions expressed, majority of the participants agreed upon the necessity of establishing a balanced form of government, ensuring guarantees by the constitution to enable independent judiciary branch and strengthening the self-government.

On July 19, 2010 the State Constitutional Commission of Georgia completed the project "The Constitutional Law of Georgia on Amendments to the Constitution of Georgia" and presented it to the President. President, on his part, submitted it as a legislative initiative to the Parliament.

Pursuant to the resolution of the Parliament of July 21st there was established the Steering Commission on Universal Public Consideration of the Draft Constitutional Law and its Publication required for any constitutional amendment before it is discussed by the Parliament.

Following the publication of the Draft Constitution on July 19, OSGF initiated and financially supported elaboration of a new publication "Comments on the Draft Constitution elaborated by the State Constitutional Commission" aiming at the analysis and evaluation of the Draft Constitution. The analytical report was sent to the Steering Commission on Universal Public Consideration of the Draft Constitutional Law and its Publication, experts and political unions; also, it was posted on several web sites, including the Parliament "Public Discussions of the Draft Constitution" web page (; copies of report were also handed over to the representatives of the Venice Commission while their visit to Tbilisi on August 15-16.

On September 22, two days prior to the first reading of the Draft Constitution, OSGF led one more round-table discussion of the Draft and evolvement of constitutional reform in Georgia, where took part representatives of political parties, NGOs and independent experts  (

Main goals of the meeting were: 1) to assess constitutional reform being undertaken in Georgia by the civil society representatives and openness of the process; 2) to summarize those main comments and conclusions against the Constitutional Reform Project, made by NGO representatives, Georgian and foreign legal experts, that would unify convictions and assessments contained in the conclusion of the Venice Commission and submit the paper to the Parliament before reading of the Draft at the plenary session.

Based on the expressed comments one more analytical publication "Analytical review of critical comments on the Constitutional Law project" was elaborated and released by the initiative of OSGF. Author of the publication is legal expert Irakli Kobakhidze. It presents main comments and proposals in regard with Constitutional Law project drawn up by Georgian and foreign experts, politicians, representatives of NGO sector and citizens in general. And specifically publication is focused on the conclusions and assessments documented by the Venice Commission experts (submitted in written form or verbally) during the review of the constitutional project. It provides an analysis of the proposals on the Draft Constitution, aggregated resultant to consultations had been held between the Parliament, Steering Commission on Universal Public Consideration of the Draft Constitutional Law and the Venice Commission that passed the Parliament first and second readings.


Analytical Review of Critical Remarks on the Draft Constitutional Amendments (by legal expert Irakli Kobakhidze)



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