სახელმწიფო საკონსტიტუციო კომისია

The Legal Issues Committee supported the draft Constitutional Law with the III reading

The Committee unanimously supported the draft Constitutional Law with the III reading, introduced by the Speaker, Irakli Kobakhidze.

He introduced the technical and editorial changes and answered the questions.

The Bill aims at reflection of the Venice Commission recommendations in the new Constitution.

The Bill envisages:

  • Addition of the paragraph to the Article 5 envisaging that “the state shall ensure rational utilization of the natural resources and environmental protection;
  • The changes to the Article 16 regulating freedom of religion, confession and consciousness;
  • Addition of the record to the paragraph 3, Article 27 on autonomy of universities and hence, it ensures academic freedom and autonomy of higher educational institutions;
  • The principal change concerns so-called bonus system: the new Constitution withdraws the bonus system and hence: the mandates of the Members of Parliament shall be distributed to the political parties obtaining at least 5% of the voters. In view to define the number of the mandates obtained by the parties, the number of the votes shall be multiplied with the 150 and divided into the sum total of the votes obtained by the political party obtaining at least 5% of the votes. The full part of the final amount is number of the mandates obtained by the political parties. If the sum of the mandates of the political parties is less than 150, the political parties with the best results will gain the undistributed mandates in consistent manner. Deriving from annulment of the bonus system, sundry paragraphs shall be withdrawn from the Constitution. The change ensures transition to the proportional electoral system;
  • Possibility of participation in the forthcoming Parliamentary elections for the electoral blocs in single manner along with the political parties;
  • The terminological change to the Article 50 concerning the President: the term “voter” shall be replaced with the term “member of the electoral board”;
  • The change to the Article 18 concerning accessibility to public information;
  • The change concerning the electoral disputes under the authority of the Constitutional Court.

The Committee supported the stricter legal norms for combating “thieves-in-law” and considered with the I reading the Bill on Organized Crime and Racket”.

The package of 6 Bills authored by the Interior Ministry envisages effective struggle against thieves-in-law. The Bill was introduced by the Deputy Interior Minister, Natia Mezvrishvili stating the aim of the changes to enhance struggle against the organized crime. “The package enlarged the list of the actions doomed to be the crime after enactment of the law. The Articles of the Criminal Code shall be reformulated in stricter manner envisaging punishment for membership of the mob. Thieves-in-law is recognized as the particularly grave crime and the actions are subject to punishment not only upon commitment but at the early plotting stage”, - she stated.

The Bill changes the definition of “world of thieves”, “members of the world of thieves”, “thieve-in-law” and adds the terms: activity of the world of thieves, and assembly of thieves.

The new definitions are formulated as follows:

  • World of thieves – unity of the persons agree on implementation of activity of the world of thieves;
  • Activity of the world of thieves – activity by the member of the mob or the thief-in-law aiming at receiving the benefit, authority and/or influence through intimidation, menace, coercion, assembly/discussions of thieves, involvement of juveniles in criminal actions, committing crime, encouragement for crime, use of criminal authority etc.
  • Member of the world of thieves – person recognizing the world of thieves, actively connected thereto and actively participating in its activity, as well as the person recognizing the world of thieves, in connection thereto and with clearly expressed unity that with his/her actions he/she expresses commitment to participate in its activity;
  • Thief-in-law – person managing and/organizing the world of thieves in any form or the group associated to the world of thieves;
  • Mob dissection – assessment of the action of any person by the member of the world of thieves/thief-in-law and resumption/resolution of the dispute in any form, including via e-communications;
  • Assembly of thieves – unity of two or over persons in any form (including via e-communications) in view of consideration/solution of any issues related to membership or annulment of membership of the mob, change of the status, disposal of financial/material resources etc.

The changes entail amendments to the Criminal Code: membership of the law shall be subject to penalty of 7-10 years of detention; thief-in-law status – with 9-15 years of detention; organization of the assembly or participation – 7-10 years of detention; any actions by the person aware of the activity of the mob and facilitating thereto – 3-6 years of detention; address to the mob member or the thief-in-law in view of unlawful influence on the decision-making regardless the action committed or not – 3-7 years of detention.

N. Mezvrishvili stated that when considered at the Human Rights Committee, the changes were introduced to some formulations.

She answered the questions. The Committee supported the Bill.