Géorgie : le CCBE inquiet d ela situation des avocats
Mr. David Usupashvili
Legal Issues Committee
Parliament of Georgia,
26 Abashidze str.,
Kutaisi, Georgia, 4600
Brussels, 24 December 2013
Dear Members of the Georgian Parliament,
I am writing to you on behalf of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE)
which represents the bars and law societies of 32 member countries and 12 further associate
and observer countries, and through them more than 1 million European lawyers.
Ever since its establishment in 1960, the CCBE has been in the forefront of advancing the
views of European lawyers, protecting the rights of citizens and defending the legal principles
upon which democracy and the rule of law are based.
The Georgian Bar Association, which is an observer member of the CCBE, has drawn our
attention to recent amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia.
The Georgian Bar Association has raised serious concerns in regard to certain provisions that
might not comply with Art.6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and particularly,
might violate the principle of equality of arms, which is incorporated into the right to a fair
trial. The Georgian Bar Association fears that the principle of equality of arms would not be
safeguarded with the introduction of amended provisions and that Art.6 of the ECHR would
not be implemented into the Criminal Procedure Law of Georgia in full accordance with the
case law of the European Court of Human Rights.
In this respect, I would like to underline that the European Court of Human Rights has
consistently recognised the fundamental importance of the right to a fair trial.
The State is under a positive obligation to take all necessary steps to ensure that the right to a
fair trial is guaranteed and that the principle of equality of arms is observed in the course of
criminal proceedings. The State is obliged to ensure that everyone who is a party to
proceedings must have a reasonable opportunity to present their case to the court under
conditions which do not place him/her at a substantial disadvantage vis-à-vis his/her
opponent. A fair balance must be struck between the parties.
Conseil des barreaux européens – Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe
association internationale sans but lucratif - RPM Bruxelles 0.467.250.186
Rue Joseph II, 40/8 – B 1000 Brussels – Belgium – Tel.+32 (0)2 234 65 10 – Fax.+32 (0)2 234 65 11 – E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org – www.ccbe.eu
In the light of the aforesaid, the CCBE stresses the importance of the principle of equality of
arms in efforts to guarantee the right to a fair trial.
Accordingly, the CCBE urges the Georgian Parliament to note the concerns raised by the
Georgian Bar Association in its letters and open statements to the Georgian Parliament
regarding recent amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia in order to achieve a
fair balance between the parties in criminal proceedings.
The CCBE has also been informed by the Georgian Bar Association that enactment of some
amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code were postponed on a number of occasions and
might be postponed again. These amendments, especially those concerning the interrogation
of witnesses (for example, see the comments of the Georgian Bar Association regarding
Article 332) are essential in order to achieve a fair balance between the parties in criminal
proceedings. In this regard, the CCBE would like to support the call of the Georgian Bar
Association to introduce criminal procedure law provisions that guarantee the right to a fair
trial and safeguard the principle of equality of arms as soon as possible without delay.
We thank you for taking note of our concerns.