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Parliament plans to abolish the principle multiplication of punishment

By Salome Modebadze
Tuesday, March 5
Parliament is discussing possible amendments to the Criminal code of Georgia as well as to the Criminal Procedure Code. The principle of multiplication of punishment, which has been highly criticized by many experts, is planned to be abolished.

The amendments were initiated and submitted to the Parliament by the Government of Georgia.

According to the initiative, a person accused of various crimes, will be charged only with the gravest one. At the same time, the highest term of imprisonment will be 30 years.

The initiators believe that the amendments will have a positive impact on the individuals serving their criminals sentence, as well as on judges. In order to make the re-socialization process more smooth for the former prisoners, they need to feel that they have been fairly treated by the court and have served an adequate sentence. On the other hand, judges will have more freedom in their decisions.

The members of the Parliamentary Legal issues Committee have supported the amendments, therefore it will be sent to the parliament sessions for the first hearing.

The committee started discussion on the amendments on March 4. In case of approval, the amendments will also refer to those persons who are already serving their sentences in prisons.

According the Georgian government the amendments had to be initiated, as the principle of collection is the reason for many inadequate sentences and long-term prisoners in the country.

Georgian Dream MP Koba Davitashvili says that the principle of multiplication of punishment was the reason that suspects are sentenced to a ridiculous amount of years in prison, which had been not typical to the earlier Georgian legislative system. “This is causing exaggerated court decisions, hence it needs to be abolished,” he said.

The Parliamentary minority strongly disapproves of the initiative. The United National Movement (UNM) fears that this amendment is too liberal and will cause the growth of crime in the country.

Member of the Legal Issues Committee from the UNM, Levan Bejashvili, finds the draft to be acceptable, but he says it needs to be considered that the amendments represent a new type of amnesty, as it causes an easing of criminal sentences for the prisoners and many of them will be released from prisons.