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About Georgia

from 30 April, 1999

 

The Constitution of Georgia : Citizenship of Georgia. Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms
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THE CONSTITUTION OF GEORGIA
<< Chapter One Contents Chapter Three >>

CHAPTER TWO
Citizenship of Georgia. Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms

Article 12

  1. Citizenship is conferred by birth or by naturalization.
  2. A citizen of Georgia may not simultaneously be a citizen of another country.
  3. The procedures for naturalization and loss of citizenship are determined by organic law.

Article 13

  1. The state shall protect its citizens irrespective of their location.
  2. No person may be deprived of his citizenship.
  3. The expulsion of a citizen from the country is prohibited.
  4. The extradition of a citizen of Georgia to another country is prohibited, except in cases defined by treaty. A decision on extradition may be appealed in court.

Article 14

Everyone is born free and is equal before the law, regardless of race, skin color, language, sex, religion, political and other beliefs, national, ethnic and social origin, property and title of nobility or place of residence.

Article 15

  1. A person's life is inviolable and is protected by law.
  2. Special forms of punishment - capital punishment before its full abrogation may be envisaged by organic law for extremely serious crimes directed against a person's life. Only the Supreme Court has the right to impose such a punishment.

Article 16

Everyone has the right to freedom of personal development.

Article 17

  1. A person's honor and dignity are inviolable.
  2. Torture, inhumane, brutal or degrading treatment or punishment is impermissible.

Article 18

  1. The freedom of a person is inviolable.
  2. Arrest or other restrictions on personal freedoms are prohibited without a court order.
  3. The detention of an individual is permissible in circumstances determined by law by an official specifically so authorized. The detained individual or otherwise restricted person must be conveyed to court not later than 48 hours following arrest. If within the next 24 hours the court has not made a decision concerning the arrest or other kind of restriction, the individual must be released forthwith.
  4. The physical or moral coercion of a detained or otherwise restricted individual is impermissible.
  5. A detained individual must be immediately made aware of his rights and the basis for his detention. The detained individual may demand the assistance of a lawyer . This right must always be satisfied.
  6. The term of detention of a suspected individual should not exceed 72 hours before indictment and the accused cannot be held on remand for more than 9 months.
  7. Failure to comply with this Article is punishable by law. An individual detained or unlawfully arrested has the right to compensation.

Article 19

  1. Every individual has the right to freedom of speech, thought, conscience, religion and belief.
  2. The persecution of an individual for his thoughts, beliefs or religion is prohibited as is compulsion to express opinions about them.
  3. These rights may not be restricted unless the exercise of these rights infringes upon the rights of other individuals.

Article 20

Every individual's private life, place of personal activity, personal papers and correspondence are inviolable. Communication by telephone and other technical means are inviolable. Restrictions on these rights are permissible only by a courts order or without such an order by the necessity as determined by law.

Article 21

  1. The right to inherit and own property is recognized and guaranteed. The abrogation of the universal right of property, its acquisition, transfer and inheritance is prohibited.
  2. Restrictions on the rights mentioned in part 1 of this Article are possible for social necessity as determined by law and established right.
  3. Confiscation of property because of social necessity is permissible in circumstances determined by law, by an order of court or through urgent necessity by organic law but only if full compensation is made.

Article 22

  1. Every individual lawfully within the territory of Georgia is free to move within that territory and is free to choose his place of residence.
  2. Everyone lawfully within the territory of Georgia is free to leave the country. A citizen of Georgia can freely enter the country.
  3. Restriction of these rights is permissible only in accordance with the law, in order to guarantee state and public security as necessary for the existence of a democratic society, public health, prevention of crime and fulfillment of justice.

Article 23

  1. The freedom of intellectual creativity and intellectual property rights are guaranteed.
  2. Interference in creative activity or censorship in this sphere is prohibited.
  3. The prohibition of the distribution of, or seizure of creative work is not permissible, unless it violates the legal rights of other individuals.

Article 24

  1. Every individual has the right to freely receive and disseminate information, to express and disseminate his opinion orally, in writing or in any other form.
  2. The mass media is free. Censorship is prohibited.
  3. Monopolization of the mass media or the means of dissemination of information by the state or natural persons is prohibited.
  4. Clauses 1 and 2 of this Article can be restricted by law when conditions make it necessary to do so in order to guarantee and by the conditions necessary in a democratic society for the guarantee of state and public security, territorial integrity, prevention of crime, and the defense of rights and dignities of others, to avoid the revelation of confidentially received information or to guarantee the independence and impartiality of justice in a democratic society.

Article 25

  1. Every individual except members of the armed forces, police and the security services has the right to hold a public assembly without arms either indoors or in the open air without prior permission.
  2. The need for prior notification of the authorities is determined by law, if a public assembly or manifestation is held on a public thoroughfare.
  3. The government may halt a public assembly only if it becomes criminal in nature.

Article 26

  1. Every individual has the right to create and join any association, including trade unions.
  2. Citizens of Georgia have the right to create political parties or other political organizations and participate in their activities in accordance with organic law.
  3. The creation and activities of such public and political entities whose goal is to overthrow or change the Constitutional order of Georgia by force, or violate the independence of the country or violate the country's territorial integrity or advocate e war and violence, or attempt to induce ethnic, racial, social and national unrest is impermissible.
  4. The creation of the para-military forces by public or political organizations is prohibited.
  5. Persons enrolled in the armed forces, intelligence service or the forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs or persons who have been appointed as judges or procurators must cease membership in any political organization.
  6. The prohibition of activities of public and political organizations is possible only by court order under the circumstances and by the procedure determined by organic law.

Article 27

The state is authorized to establish restrictions on the political activity of citizens of foreign countries and stateless persons.

Article 28

  1. A citizen who has attained the age of 18 has the right to participate in referenda and elections of state and self-governing bodies. The freedom of constituents to express their will is guaranteed.
  2. Only individuals who are confirmed as ineligible by a court or who have been deprived of their liberty by the due process of law, are deprived of the right to participate in elections and referenda.

Article 29

  1. Every citizen is allowed to hold any official state position as long as he/she satisfies established requirements.
  2. The requirements for positions of state institutions are defined by law.

Article 30

  1. Labor is free.
  2. The state is obliged to foster conditions for the development of free enterprise and competition. Except in circumstances provided for by law the monopolization of activity is prohibited. Consumer rights are protected by law.
  3. On the basis of international agreements regulating labor relationships, the state protects the labor rights of Georgian citizens abroad.
  4. The defense of labor rights, legal payment and healthy working conditions, the working conditions of minors and women are determined by law.

Article 31

The state guarantees equal social and economic development within the whole territory of Georgia. In order to guarantee the social and economic progress of the high mountain regions special privileges are envisaged in law.

Article 32

The state must help the unemployed to find work. The conditions for the provision of a minimum standard of living and the status of the unemployed are determined by law.

Article 33

The right to strike is recognized. Rules for exercising this right are determined by law which also provides for the continuance of work in areas deemed to be of vital importance.

Article 34

  1. The state fosters the development of culture, the unrestricted participation of nationals in cultural life, the expression and enrichment of cultural origins, the recognition of national and universal values and the deepening of international culture al relationships.
  2. Each citizen is obliged to care for, protect and preserve the cultural heritage. The state protects cultural heritage by law.

Article 35

  1. Each citizen has the right to education. Freedom of choice in education is guaranteed.
  2. The state guarantees that educational programs conform to international standards and rights.
  3. The state guarantees pre-school education. Primary education is mandatory for all. The state provides free primary education for all. Citizens have the right to free secondary, professional and tertiary education at state institutes within the frame work and by the rules established in law.
  4. The state supports educational institutions as established in law.

Article 36

  1. Marriage is based upon equality of rights and the free will of spouses.
  2. The state supports the prosperity of the family.
  3. The rights of mothers and children are protected by law.

Article 37

  1. Everyone has the right to health insurance as a means of gaining medical assistance. In circumstances determined by law, free medical services are guaranteed.
  2. The state supervises every health institution and the production and distribution of medicine.
  3. Everyone has the right to live in a healthy environment and use natural and cultural surroundings. Everyone is obliged to protect the natural and cultural surroundings.
  4. The state guarantees the protection of nature and the rational use of it to ensure a healthy environment, corresponding to the ecological and economic interests of society, and taking into account the interests of current and future generations.
  5. Individuals have the right to complete, objective and timely information on their working and living conditions.

Article 38

  1. Citizens of Georgia are equal in social, economic, cultural and political life regardless of national, ethnic, religious or language origin. According to universally recognized principles and norms of international law all have the right to develop their culture freely without any discrimination and interference. They may use their language in private and public life.
  2. In accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, the exercise of minority rights should not oppose the sovereignty, integrity and political independence of Georgia.

Article 39

The Constitution does not deny other universally recognized rights, freedoms and guarantees of the individual and citizen, which are not specifically stated, but are the natural outcome of the principles contained within the Constitution.

Article 40

  1. Each individual is considered innocent until proven guilty through the due process of law.
  2. No individual is obliged to prove his innocence.
  3. A person can only be proven guilty if the evidence is incontrovertible. Every suspicion or allegation not proven by the procedure established by law must be decided in favor of the defendant.

Article 41

  1. Every citizen has the right, according to the law, to know information about himself which exists in state institutions as well as official records existing there, except for information containing state, professional or commercial secrets.
  2. Information existing in official papers connected with health, finances or other private matters of an individual are not available to other individuals without the prior consent of the affected individual, except in cases determined by law, when it is necessary for the state and public security, defense of health, rights and freedoms of others.

Article 42

  1. Each individual has the right of appeal to the courts to protect his rights and freedoms.
  2. Every individual can only be judged by the court which has jurisdiction over the particular case.
  3. The right to defense is guaranteed.
  4. No individual can be brought to court twice for the same case.
  5. No individual has to answer for an action if it was not considered a violation of law at the moment it was performed. Laws that do not reduce or abrogate responsibility have no retroactive force.
  6. Anybody charged with a criminal offence has the right to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as those of the prosecution.
  7. Evidence obtained by breaking the law is inadmissible and has no legal force.
  8. No individual is obliged to give evidence against himself or his relative as defined by law.
  9. Any individual who suffers damage illegally caused by the state, self-governing bodies or officers is guaranteed full compensation through the court from state resources.

Article 43

  1. The defense of human rights and freedoms within the territory of Georgia is supervised by the Public Defender, who is elected for five years by the majority of the whole of Parliament.
  2. The Public Defender is authorized to reveal facts about the violation of human rights and freedoms and to report on it to corresponding bodies and individuals.
  3. The power of the Public Defender is determined by organic law.

Article 44

  1. Every individual living in Georgia is obliged to obey the constitution and legislation of Georgia.
  2. The exercise of the rights and freedoms of one individual shall not violate the rights and freedoms of others.

Article 45

The main rights and freedoms enunciated in the Constitution apply to corporate bodies as well as to individuals.

Article 46

  1. During a state of emergency or martial law the President of Georgia is authorized to restrict the exercise of rights and freedoms contained in Articles 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 30, 33 and 41 of the Constitution either in the whole country or a part o f it. The President is obliged to submit a decision on a state of emergency or martial law to Parliament for ratification within 48 hours.
  2. If a state of emergency or martial law is introduced elections for the President, Parliament and other representative bodies of Georgia, can only be held once the state of emergency or martial law has been removed.

Article 47

  1. Foreign citizens and stateless persons living in Georgia have the rights and obligations equal to the rights and obligations of citizens of Georgia with some exceptions envisaged by the Constitution and law.
  2. As determined by law and in accordance with universally recognized norms of international law, Georgia gives asylum to foreign citizens and stateless persons.
  3. Extradition of a person who has been given asylum to another state, who is pursued on political grounds or pursued for an activity which is not regarded as a crime by the legislation of Georgia is prohibited.
<< Chapter One Contents Chapter Three >>
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