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Parliament Approves Additional Amendments to Defense Code

On November 30, the Georgian Parliament hastily approved controversial additional amendments to the Defense Code in the third hearing, with 81 votes in favor. The legislative process unfolded quickly, as the bill was passed in the first hearing on November 29, just one day before its final adoption.

The amendments introduce a provision allowing individuals to appeal to the court against their inclusion in the military register, however such appeals won’t suspend the immediate enforcement of the conscript’s duty to begin service. Under the old version of the law, the appeal temporarily suspended the conscription order. 

The amendments reportedly include a prohibition on deferring compulsory military service for students, who are engaged in remote learning. The restriction extends to students admitted to foreign universities but studying remotely from Georgia. Notably, the Defense Code did not previously address distance learning, marking a significant change in policy.

In addition, according to the Parliament, the amendment addresses other issues, such as the deferral of national military service for Georgian higher education students, the criteria for awarding ranks during the transitional period, and others.

On September 21, the Georgian Parliament approved the controversial Defense Code in its third hearing with 80 votes. Effective from 2025, all conscripts will fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defense, departing from previous practices.

The fee for postponing conscription will see a considerable hike, rising from 2,000 GEL to 10,000 GEL, with only one permitted one-year deferral for conscripts under 25, compared to the previous allowance of two deferrals totaling 18 months.

Notably, exemptions for priests are now limited to the Orthodox Church of Georgia. Despite the removal of the provision exempting priests from the law, according to the government the 2002 Constitutional Agreement between the Georgian state and the Orthodox Church holds a superior legislative authority, which continues to grant exemption privileges exclusively to Orthodox priests.

The new code also aims to improve military personnel welfare, aligning with objectives to strengthen defense capability, enhance NATO interoperability, and establish social protections for those in military service, as emphasized by Deputy Minister of Defense Grigol Giorgadze. He highlighted the importance of these reforms in significantly increasing the well-prepared reserve trained to NATO standards.

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


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