DRI terms initiative of parliamentary majority as attempt to legalize total control
The Democracy Research Institute is echoing the draft law submitted by members of the ruling political team to the Parliament, according to which the maximum period for conducting covert investigative activities is increasing and may be extended indefinitely, depending on specific articles.  According to the current edition, the maximum period for conducting a covert investigation activity is 6 months. 
Alleged illegal covert surveillance has been a vicious practice over the years.  Instead of effective and rapid investigation of similar cases by the State and use of oversight mechanisms, uncontrolled interference in a person's private space is becoming legitimate.
According to the draft law, the period of conducting a covert investigative activity shall be extended by judicial control. The importance of high qualifications and independence of judges in the judicial authorization process has been indicated by the Venice Commission.  However, due to the problem with judicial independence, this record cannot be considered a proper guarantee.
According to the explanatory note, it is particularly important to effectively investigate serious and particularly serious crimes, which is ensured by the proposed legislative changes.  The possibility of conducting covert investigative activities for an indefinite period of time also applies to crimes committed by servants (which do not fully fall under the category of serious or particularly serious crimes). In addition, the court usually fully grants the motions filed, especially in relation to crimes committed by servants. 
According to the draft law, the term of notifying the object of a covert investigative activity may be postponed as many times as it is necessary for the state security. In this case, the object of a covert investigative activity is fully deprived of a quick and effective guarantee of proper protection of the violated right. Moreover, he/she may never find out that a covert investigative activity was or is ongoing against him/her.
The methods used during covert investigative activities restrict the right to privacy, so it is essential for the legislation governing this matter not to contain vague reservations, such as the existence of appropriate legal grounds. In addition, according to the explanatory note, it is unclear by what criteria the specific articles of the Criminal Code were selected, during which a covert investigative action may be carried out for an indefinite period. 
The Democracy Research Institute calls on the Parliament of Georgia not to allow the adoption of the draft law and thus not to legalize the violation of a person's private life, as well as the disregard for other rights enshrined in the Constitution.