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44 lawsuits against surveillance law

By Messenger Staff
Monday, April 10
Both the parliamentary and non-parliamentary opposition have submitted 44 lawsuits against a recently-adopted surveillance law which gives the right to an agency under the State Security Service to access secret wiretapping.

This will not be the full number of lawsuits against the surveillance law, as other political parties, NGOs and interested individuals intend to take the same step.

Any citizen of Georgia has the right to submit such a lawsuit.

The non-parliamentary Republican and the parliamentary European Georgia opposition parties have collected the 44 lawsuits and submitted them to the Constitutional Court.

“I would be surprised if the Constitutional Court won’t meet the demand of hundreds of Georgian citizens who stand against the law,” Republican Party member David Zurabishvili said.

Representatives of the European Georgia party claim they will not become accustomed to an situation wherein “on the one hand the Government of Georgia declare they follow democratic principles while at the same time legalising illegal wiretapping”.

The previous version of the surveillance law - which was also adopted under the Georgian Dream authorities - allowed law enforcement agencies and the Personal Data Protection inspector to have access to surveillance actions, and was opposed by the Constitutional Court, which ruled against the law.

The Court stressed that law enforcement agencies, as interested sides, must not have direct access to wiretapping.

In response, in the new law, the ruling team proposed the creation of a new agency under the State Security Service which would have sole access to surveillance.

The opposition and a number of NGOs say the decision was also against the Constitutional Court’s solution.

If the Constitutional Court rules against the decision once again, the process of drafting the law would re-start, and this will take time and may endanger Georgians’ safety.

It is vitally important that the government and other interested sides agree on draft versions which would be more or less acceptable for all of them, and at the same time, protect the people of Georgia from security difficulties.