Constitutional Appeal

Constitutional Claim regarding Georgian Law “On Electronic Communications”

On January 30, 2015, the Public Defender of Georgia filed a claim in the Constitutional Court of Georgia that disputes compliance of the Paragraph 1 of the article 83 of the Law of Georgia “On Electronic Communications” with the Constitution of Georgia, with respect to the right to private life envisaged by the paragraph 1 of the article 20 of the Georgian Constitution.

Thus, court proceedings are instituted on legislative regulations concerning so-called “wire-tapping” adopted on November 30, 2014, by the Parliament of Georgia.

According to the claim, the disputed provisions can be used by the state body as independent legislative grounds for conduction of secret investigation actions that differs from the procedure stipulated in the Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia. Namely, conduction of a secret investigation action is possible on the basis of a decree of a prosecutor only in case of urgent necessity and legitimacy of such action should be assessed by a court in the 24-hour period. As opposed to the above, in accordance with the Law of Georgia “On electronic communications”, even just existence of a prosecutor’s motivated decree is enough for such investigative action.

The Public Defender believes that the right of state agencies to have continuous possibility to make copies of identification data and to receive contents of communication in real time violates the right to private life envisaged by the paragraph 1 of the article 20 of the Georgian Constitution.

Hereby, we should also note that vagueness existing in the second sentence of the subparagraphs “a” and “b” of the paragraph 1 of the article 83 of the Law of Georgia ”On electronic communication” creates grounds for recognition of the disputed act as unconstitutional. Namely, it is not clear how, for example, “activity that follows information gathering”, as well as “pick-up and recording of information followed by secret investigative actions that need court decision or a prosecutor’s order” can be understood.

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