The special briefing by Eka Beselia

20 May 2020
The special briefing by Eka Beselia

This initiative is anti-constitutional, contradicts with the key principles of the Constitution, mitigates the Parliament as the key institution and under the conditions of the Parliamentary administration, it means mitigation of the Parliamentary role and oversight, which is dangerous and naturally, I cannot support such initiative”, - the independent MP Eka Beselia stated at the briefing dedicated to the bills on Public Healthcare and Criminal Code of Practice initiated by the Parliamentary Majority.

These bills cannot be submitted for an accelerated consideration to be discussed in two days as they may restrict human rights to the indefinite number of persons, while the human rights are guaranteed under the Constitution.

“Foremost, accelerated consideration is inadmissible and such bills cannot be adopted without the discussions and well realization. Besides, I cannot recall the bill concerning the restriction of the constitutional rights or the change to the criminal process not discussed by the Legal Issues or the Human Rights Committees. I am the Member of the third term of the Parliament and never in the history of the Parliament such precedents have been admitted, as it is the immense irresponsibility and leads to the negative consequences. If it is aimed at the forced adoption of such change by ignoring these two Committees, one of which is leading, it means that the situation of the Majority is graver in the Parliament”, - she noted.

The bills fail to provide the substantiation and to answer the question – why the Parliament grants the Government the authority to, without the state of emergency, restrict the constitutional rights, what impedes the Parliament to convene the session.

“If this non-democratic decision is made with the healthcare slogan that the Government, without approval of the Parliament, can any time at its discretion apply the mass restriction of the constitutional rights in view of epidemic prevention and public healthcare, then the Constitution makes no longer the sense as it provides that in such a case, the Parliament makes the decision, declares the state of emergency for the certain term and restricts the constitutional rights of the citizens. This bill provides that the Government needs no Parliamentary approval in restriction of the fundamental constitutional rights such are movement, assembly, property rights etc. and increases the risk of arbitrariness and mass human rights protection”.

The new words are introduced to the law on Public Healthcare – the isolation of the infected person is supplemented with the possibly infected, which means that any person can be exposed to the quarantine. “The authorities of the Government are supplemented with the right of establishment of the different regulations for the activity of the public institutions, movement of the persons, property, labor, professional, economic activity, international protection, social events for the natural persons etc. which means that all these rights can be restricted by the Parliament even without the approval of the Parliament”.

According to Eka Beselia, the bill provides a dangerous record concerning the provision contradicting with the Constitution when the Chapter on isolation and quarantine is supplemented that the executive authorities, without declaring the state of emergency, are entitled to establish the different rules of provision of public services or administration of the LEPLs.

The Criminal Code of Practice also is supplemented with the new record that can be converted into the norm about the remote judicial sittings, which means that the persons will no longer be right to refuse to attend the sitting with the motive that he/she wants to personally attend the process.

“It is also dangerous as Article 71 of the Constitution stipulates the types of the rights that can be restricted during the martial law or state of emergency and this list does not include the Article concerning the rules of judicial proceedings, and one of the components measuring the justice of the case consideration is that the person can be engaged in this process and express his/her position at the sitting or verbal hearing, which means the participation of the parties, submission of the evidence etc. which is restricted upon the remote proceedings and such deviation is not at all considered by the Constitutional Court or the ECHR as the standard for fair proceedings. Introduction of this rule during the non-state of emergency or non-martial law will further breach the already violated principle of justice and the fundamental right of fair consideration of the case”.

According to Beselia, this bill cannot be adopted but postponed. The Government shall refer to any impediments in the current legislation. “I am amazed that even in 2008, when the martial law was declared during the August war, the National Movement did not even consider to establish such regulations and the then Parliament did not even have the idea to entitle the Government for such restrictions. When it is done by the Members of Parliament themselves, when they mitigate the Parliament and entitle the Government at its discretion to apply any restriction of the constitutional rights and this is intended to be legalized in two days, without even realization, without participation of the lawyers, then I believe that it is the step to the authoritative governance, not the step to democracy. So, I call on the MPs to get cognizant with the bill they are going to vote for tomorrow with the II reading, to realize the threats and hazards it provides, acknowledge the degree of unconstitutionality of the bill and I am sure, it will be appealed in the Constitutional Court if adopted”.