DRI files a constitutional lawsuit regarding the criminal norm relating to the damage/destruction of another person's property committed by a group
The Democracy Research Institute has filed a constitutional lawsuit with the Constitutional Court. According to the organization, the normative content of Article 187, part 2, subparagraph c), of the Criminal Code ("Damage or destruction of another perosn's property committed by a group") and the non-alternative punishment provided for it (imprisonment for a period of 3 to 6 years) are inconsistent with the Constitution of Georgia, in particular , with the right to dignity and equality.
The amendments made to the law after the protests of March 7-9, 2023, provide for non-alternative imprisonment from 3 to 6 years. Considering the time of making the amendment and the events developing in that period, the norm may have a hidden purpose. By adding “by a group”, any unplanned damage to anything, including less valuable items, committed at the rally even by just two people, will result in imprisonment for a period of 3 to 6 years. The article does not provide for an alternative punishment. This record may well be used to quell the protest mood in the country.
The need to file a constitutional lawsuit regarding these norms of the Criminal Code arose after, on January 23, 2024, during the eviction of a family from an apartment located on Kekelidze Street, Tbilisi, law enforcement officers used disproportionate force against supporters, activists and media representatives, and arrested nineteen people. Two of them, who are plaintiffs of the constitutional lawsuit, are accused by the Prosecutor's Office of damaging the vehicle of the National Bureau of Enforcement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The detainees were charged under Article 187, part 2, subparagraph c) of the Criminal Code.

The Democracy Research Institute considers that the current edition of Article 187 of the Criminal Code grossly violates the rights protected by Articles 9 and 11 of the Constitution of Georgia. It is significant that the addition of "by a group" as an aggravating circumstance to Article 187 of the Criminal Code took place in 2023 at the initiative of members of the parliamentary majority. However, the expediency and justification of the changes have neither been given in the explanatory note, nor have any explanations been made publicly, despite the fact that the legal changes provide for a rather long term of imprisonment for specific actions.

The Democracy Research Institute hopes that based on the decision of the Constitutional Court, it will be possible to declare the criminal norm incompatible with the Constitution as unconstitutional, which will protect people from unfair and disproportionate punishment.