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GDRI recommends structural reforms in law enforcement

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, May 31
On May 29, the Georgian Development Research Institute (GDRI) presented their latest report, titled The New Concept on the Reform of Law Enforcement Systems and the Prosecutor's Office.

Authors Levan Izoria and Tamar Laliashvili explained that the strategic goal of the reform of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was to create a politically-independent and unbiased police and state security service, instead of the politicized law enforcement structures that existed before. In order to maintain neutrality (and act on behalf of the public, not a partisan government), the major task is to secure juridical guarantees for independence. In this, the Minister of Internal Affairs cannot personally interfere.

The report also states that it is necessary to guarantee mechanisms of public control within the system. Municipal police should be accountable at the level of local self-governance.

Izoria and Laliashvili believe that law enforcement should be subdivided into a police department (with both patrol and criminal divisions) and a separate border protection force. A distinct state security service should also be created, independent from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The activities of this service should be intelligence collection and analysis; criminal prosecution should not fall under this body's responsibility.

As for the reform of the Prosecutor's Office, the report recommends it be established as an independent law enforcement body, to facilitate the protection of the public from criminal abuse and ensure protection of rights granted by law to accused and convicted persons. The Prosecutor should also supervise the activities and functions of the investigation bodies.