Human Rights Center and Legal Aid Service Signed Cooperation Memorandum

Today, Human Rights Center and Legal Aid Service signed cooperation memorandum. The purpose of the memorandum is to promote the survey of Human Rights Center into the new rule of witness interrogation, which was introduced as a new amendment in the Criminal Code of Georgia on February 20, 2016. Also, to provide the witnesses with effective legal aid to ensure their procedural rights.

Human Rights Center and the Legal Aid Service will cooperate within framework of the project “Survey into the New Rule of Witness Interrogation in Georgia.”

The survey already identified several problematic issues in the new rule of witness interrogation with the magistrate judges. There is a tendency that witnesses summoned to the investigative bodies are not properly informed about the new amendments into the Criminal Procedural Code of Georgia, which enables the person to refuse the investigative body to be questioned and give testimony only in the court in front of the magistrate judge. 

Besides that, the practice of questioning the witness in front of the judge is very rare that raise some questions. At the same time, it is problematic to find the lawyers, who personally participated in the interrogation of the witnesses in front of the magistrate judge in accordance to the Article 114 Part I of the Criminal Procedural Code.

In accordance to the cooperation memorandum between Human Rights Center and Legal Aid Service, the criminal law attorneys working in the LAS will assist the researchers of Human Rights Center to provide with the information about the practical implementation of the new rule of the witness interrogation. The representatives of the organizations will discuss tendencies, problematic and priority issues identified during the survey process.

Besides the Legal Aid Service, Human Rights Center signed cooperation memorandum with the Public Defender of Georgia.  The organization also cooperates with the Georgian Bar Association and Association of Georgian Legal Companies. Within framework of the survey project, the organization plans meetings with the Chairwoman of the Supreme Court and representatives of the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia.

Human Rights Center 

2 Jan. '17