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Constitutional Court OKs Dissolution of State Inspector’s Service

The Constitutional Court today refused to suspend the legislation dissolving of the outspoken State Inspector’s Service, which will be abolished and replaced by two new agencies tomorrow.

State Inspector Londa Toloraia had lodged a Constitutional suit arguing the dissolution contravened Article 25 of Georgia’s Constitution – the right to hold public office. She also demanded the Court to suspend the abolition of the Service until a final ruling.

The Constitutional Court decided on February 28 to admit the suit, but explained it would not suspend the dismissal of State Inspector and abolition of the Service because the move would not do “irreparable damage.”

It argued that if the Court finds the legislation unconstitutional, Toloraia will be entitled to demand restoration as the State Inspector, while the state will be obligated to redress the violation of her rights.

The Court said it will review the constitutionality of contested legislative provisions — including the appointment of chiefs and allocation of funding to the new bodies — vis-a-vis the second sentence of Article 25 of the Constitution.

The provision stipulates that the “conditions for civil service shall be determined by law.”

But the Court found it inadmissible to review the same contested provisions vis-a-vis the first sentence of the said Article, which says that “every citizen of Georgia shall have the right to hold any public office if the individual meets the requirements established by legislation.”

The Court also refused to review the new provisions that mandate the authorities to allocate “appropriate property” to the new state bodies.

Justices Vasil Roinishvili, Eva Gotsiridze, and Giorgi Tevdorashvili endorsed the decision, while judge Giorgi Kverenchkhiladze dissented.

In Kverenchkiladze’s opinion, even if the Constitutional Court rules in favor of Toloraia, the Parliament will not be obliged to enforce the decision retroactively to reinstate the State Inspector.

The Georgian Dream fast-tracked the abolition of the State Inspector’s Service, an independent agency tasked with monitoring personal data protection and probing abuse of power, in the extraordinary parliamentary sessions on December 29-30.

The unexpected dissolution came as the State Inspector’s Service, along with the Public Defender remained critical over the GD government’s handling of jailed ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili.

While the ruling party disregarded local and international criticism against the move, it backed down to allow retaining State Inspector’s Service staff in new bodies, a revision not covering either the State Inspector Toloraia or her deputies.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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