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USAID RULE OF LAW PROGRAM
USAID სამართლის უზენაესობის პროგრამა

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13 Jul 2023

Accountability of the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia - Report Presentation

The independence of the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia is crucial. However, it is essential to strike a balance between independence and accountability to prevent the potential abuse of prosecutorial power and safeguard the democratic functioning of other state institutions, including the judiciary.

With the support of the USAID Rule of Law Program, the Rule of Law Centre prepared and hosted a presentation of its report titled Accountability of the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia on July 12. Around forty people attended the event, including representatives of the Prosecutorial Council, Parliament of Georgia, international and local organizations.

The report assesses the level of accountability of the Prosecutor's Office from 2019 to 2022. It provides a comprehensive analysis of the accountability issues concerning the Prosecutor's Office towards the Parliament of Georgia, the Prosecutorial Council, and the public. Alongside the document, a set of recommendations is included, whose implementation will significantly enhance the accountability of the Prosecutor's Office.

The opening remarks were delivered by Rusudan Tabatadze, the Rule of Law Project Manager from the Democracy and Governance Office of USAID/Caucasus, and Londa Toloraia, the Head of the Rule of Law Centre.

According to Londa Toloraia, the Head of the Rule of Law Centre, "The study unveiled that since the separation of the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia from the Ministry of Justice and its establishment as an independent state institution in 2018, the Parliament of Georgia has failed to exercise its supervisory role over the Prosecutor's Office. Additionally, the State Audit Office has not conducted an evaluation of the utilization and expenditure of budgetary funds and other resources allocated to the Prosecutor's Office. The Prosecutorial Council, the only body to which the General Prosecutor reported, lacks the necessary influence and impact on the activities of the Prosecutor's Office, as is evident from the nature of the Prosecutorial Council’s meetings and the recommendations it issues."

Rusudan Tabatadze noted: "The Prosecutor's Office has a key role in the justice system, and for the effective functioning of this agency, it must be independent and accountable. The Constitution provides solid guarantees of independence for the Prosecutor's Office. Also, several mechanisms of accountability are provided by the legislation. Unfortunately, the presented report shows that these mechanisms are used rather poorly and that institutional accountability, first to the Parliament, is not effectively implemented. Like any public agency, the activities of the Prosecutor's Office should be determined not by institutional needs, but by the needs of its users."

After the presentation, the participants had the opportunity to ask questions. The discussion included issues such as the importance of submitting the Prosecutor's Office report to the Parliament, the procedure for electing prosecutor members to the Prosecutorial Council, and the ability of the prosecutors to participate in the elections.

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