Public Defender of Georgia welcomes the legislative initiative of MPs of Georgia on the reduction of time limit of 90 days of administrative detention - to 15 days period. For years Public Defender of Georgia referred to abolish 90 days detention period in his recommendations. This issue is reflected in the Parliamentary Report for 2013 as well.
Public Defender of Georgia also welcomes the initiative envisaged by the project on the amendment introduced in the Code of Administrative Offenses according to which the detained person is informed about his/her rights promptly, at the moment of detention. However, we consider that the gaps related to effective implementation of the right to defense are not addressed by the draft law.
In particular, Paragraph 11 of the article 262 of the initiated project of the Code of Administrative Offenses of Georgia envisages the obligation to immediately launch oral hearing by the regional/city court upon receipt of the protocol of offenses and case materials. In spite of the fact that this amendment serves to elimination of the practice to prolong the examination of the case on administrative offenses, it might cause the limitation of right to defense.
The Code of Administrative Offenses of Georgia does not envisage the right of a detained person - to have adequate time and means for proper preparation of his/her defense. In addition, according to existing legislation, neither is the right of the detained to postpone the case explicitly provided. Practice of examination of the administrative offenses also shows that an offender is not provided with the adequate time and means for preparation of his/her defense.
Public Defender of Georgia considers that in parallel with acceleration of administrative proceedings, it is important that the draft law also envisages the solid legal guarantees for the effective implementation of the right to defense.
Public Defender of Georgia proposes the Parliament of Georgia to correct the gaps in the Code of Administrative Offenses of Georgia for effective enjoyment of the right to defense and to clearly define the right to have adequate time and means for proper preparation of one’s defense including the right to postpone the case if the existing time and means are insufficient for realizing this right.