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Georgia: Marijuana Use Decriminalized

(Dec. 13, 2017) On November 30, 2017, the Constitutional Court of Georgia decriminalized the personal use of marijuana and other cannabis-based products. The Court decision, while affirming the right to use marijuana, recognized its potential health risks and did not legalize the sale, distribution, or production of marijuana; those acts are still considered crimes.  Decriminalization […]

Georgia, Kyrgyzstan: Marriages of Minors Prohibited

(May 9, 2017) As of January 1, 2017, article 15073 of the Civil Code of Georgia, which had temporarily allowed marriages of minors, became obsolete.  (Law No. 4646 of December 16, 2016 on Amending the Civil Code of Georgia, MATSNE.GOV.GE (official publication) (in Georgian).)  The article was a transitory provision that had remained in effect […]

European Union/Georgia: Negotiations on Visa-Free Travel

(Nov. 11, 2016) The European Parliament, in the final stages of the integration process of Georgia into the European Union, called on the Council of the EU to start negotiations on a visa waiver for Georgia “without any further delay.” (Press Release, European Parliament, EP Urges Council to Open Talks on a Visa Waiver for […]

Georgia: Military Conscription Terminated

(Oct. 31, 2016) On June 27, 2016, the Minister of Defense of Georgia signed an order cancelling compulsory military service and creating armed forces based solely on voluntary recruitment. The order was issued almost a year ahead of a planned legislative amendment on creating a professional Georgian military that was debated in the Georgian Parliament. […]

Georgia: New Legislation Simplifies Tax Code

(Sept. 2, 2016) On May 13, 2016, the Parliament of Georgia unanimously approved amendments to the country’s Tax Code. (Law of Georgia No. 5092 on Amendments to the Tax Code of Georgia, MATSNE.GOV.GE (June 1, 2016) (official publication) (in Georgian).) The amendments mainly address corporate income taxation of profit-sharing companies, aligning the national tax system […]

Georgia: Constitutional Court Rules Against Part of De-Communization Law

(Nov. 23, 2015) On October 28, 2015, the Constitutional Court of Georgia declared unconstitutional and void several provisions of article 9 of the Freedom Charter, which had permanently banned former senior Soviet officials from holding important public offices with central and regional government, judiciary, police, military, and academia. (Constitutional Court of Georgia, Nodar Mumlauri v. […]

Georgia: Controversy over Anti-Discrimination Bill

(May 7, 2014) Irakli Gharibashvili, Georgia’s Prime Minister, recently spoke in support of a proposed law against discrimination now pending before Georgia’s parliament. He said that while the draft law would protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, it would not promote or grant special privileges to anyone. He added that it […]

Georgia: New Visa and Migration Rules

(Jan. 9, 2014) On December 13, 2013, the Parliament of Georgia passed, on a first reading, the Bill on the Legal Status of Foreign and Stateless Individuals. (Legal Status of Foreigners Will Be Regulated by a New Law [in Russian], GEORGIANS.RU (Dec. 16, 2013).) Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Levan Izoria, who introduced the legislation […]

Georgia: System of Public Financial Disclosures Implemented

(Apr. 26, 2013) In May 2013, Georgian senior government officials working in all branches of government will submit their public financial disclosure reports and asset declarations to the country’s Civil Service Bureau (CSB) for the 15th time. (Law of Georgia on the Conflict of Interests and Corruption in Public Service [hereinafter Law on Conflict of […]

Georgia: Public Service Halls

(Nov. 6, 2012) On September 21, 2012, the Public Service Hall, also called the House of Justice, opened in the Georgian capital city of <?Tbilisi. This office, with about 400 Ministry of Justice employees, provides about 300 different types of services any of which may take up to a month to perform. (The Most Extensive […]