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Parliament Deprives the Advocates of the Right to Work

17.02.2005

Parliament Deprives the Advocates of the Right to Work

Advocates Appeal to the Constitutional Court

The Georgian Parliament has adopted a law which comes into contradiction with the Georgian Constitution and European Convention on Human Rights. Namely, it is about some articles of the “Law on Advocates” which violate the rights of the advocates.

Association of Advocates is to begin functioning in the nearest future and the activity of the association is defined by the “Law on Advocates”. This law says that membership of the Association of Advocates is an obligatory condition for a person in order to be allowed to work as an advocate. According to article 35 of the law Committee of Ethics (which consists of three persons) of the Association has the right to deprive the member of the Association of the membership and deprive the person of the right to work as an advocate.

NGO “Article 42 of the Constitution” considers that the mentioned law does not conform to the Georgian Constitution as the Constitution says that a person can be found guilty and convicted only by the competence of a court and only the court has the right to punish the person. Depriving a person of the right to work is one of the forms of punishment. It should be taken into consideration that the law does not consider restoration of the deprived working right i.e. an advocate can lose the profession because of the opinion of the three members of the Committee of Ethics.

All the above-mentioned violates the Presumption of Innocence considered in the article 40 of the Constitution.

According to the case law of the European Court a person can only be convicted by a competent court established on legal basis. A person can not be found guilty by a body which is not a court.

The advocates of the organization “Article 42 of the Constitution” think that their rights guaranteed by the Georgian Constitution may be violated by the “Law on Advocates”. The advocates consider that “Law on Advocates” comprises dangerous articles which enable the government to hold control over persons of free profession, advocates in this case.

The information was provided by NGO “Article 42 of the Constitution”

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