The Democracy Research Institute (DRI) has submitted opinions relating to the package of legislative changes to the State Inspector’s Office. The State Inspector developed the package of changes based on the recommendations offered in the Report on Independent Investigation Mechanism in Georgia - Achievements and Existing Challenges - prepared by non-governmental organizations. The package of legislative changes clearly defines terms for proceedings and provides for the opportunities to obtain evidence, to question a witness and to appeal against the decisions made by the Inspector.
The Democracy Research Institute welcomes the positive changes and, at the same time, offers the State Inspector’s Office to refine the package of legislative changes in two main areas:
The bill proposes a new arrangement of the full transfer of a criminal case to the State Inspector's Service. At the same time, according to the legislative changes, the Prosecutor General retains the discretion to make a decision himself/herself, without the criteria clearly defined in the law. Accordingly, DRI considers it appropriate to limit the wide powers of the Prosecutor General to withdraw a case from one investigative body and transfer it to another investigative body, regardless of investigative jurisdiction. It is also important to analyze the principle, on the basis of which a particular criminal case can be transferred to the State Inspector, without being separated.
In order to improve the effectiveness of the proposed legislative changes, as well as to ensure the transparent functioning of the Office and improve the statistical data, the Democracy Research Institute recommends that the State Inspector revise the provisions in the law, which prohibit the inclusion of circumstances relating to the investigation of a specific criminal case and/or the circumstances of a particular case in an annual report.
Detailed information about the package of legislative changes can be found in the Georgian version.
On 18th of August 2022, “Georgia Dream” banned International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) from participating in the working group on electoral issues.