NGOs say statement of Chairman of Parliament on Constitutional Court is damaging for constitutional order

The statement of the Chairman of Parliament on the Constitutional Court is damaging for constitutional order in the country, - reads the statement of NGOs.

Non-governmental organizations say it is unacceptable when the Chairman of Parliament discusses the legislative amendments at the meeting with the Patriarchate and agrees with them that the decisions made by the Constitutional Court should be put in certain frames.

"On November 2, 2018, after a meeting with the Patriarch of Georgia, the ruling team made a decision to withdraw the draft law on cultivation of cannabis from the Parliament. According to Irakli Kobakhidze, there they made a decision to make amendments in order to restrict the decision-making of the Constitutional Court with regard to drug policy.

We would like to remind the Chairman of Parliament that the Constitution of Georgia defines the scope of relations between the State and the Church. "The state declares the full freedom of faith and recognizes the special role of the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Georgia in the history of Georgia and its independence from the state." The abovementioned provision strengthens secularism between the State and the Church and non-interference in each other’s affairs. Consequently, the Constitution aims at functional separation of state bodies from the activities of the religious establishment.

Due to the principle of secularism and legitimacy of public authorities, state officials should act in accordance with the principles of constitutional order, human rights and respect for independent institutions. It is therefore unacceptable when the Chairman of Parliament discusses legislative amendments at the meeting with the Patriarchate and agrees with them that decisions made by the Constitutional Court should be put in certain frames.

According to the statement, we are seeing an attempt to degrade state institutions and manipulate issues of state importance in the electoral context.

The statement is signed by Georgian Young Lawyers' Association (GYLA), Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC), International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), Transparency International Georgia (TI), Democratic Initiative (GDI), Article 42 of the Constitution, Partnership for Human Rights (PHR).