Public Defender of Georgia lodged a constitutional claim with the Constitutional Court requesting paragraph “b” of Article 17 of the Law of Georgia on Public Service to be declared unconstitutional.
According to the article in question, an individual will not be hired into public service, if he/she is “under investigation”. Public Defender regards that the given provision limits the right to hold office as a public servant without justification and contradicts the Constitution of Georgia, which entitles each and every citizen of Georgia the opportunity for public employment.
Public Defender considers that recognition of an individual as a defendant should cause limitation of only those rights that are essential for the interests of criminal investigation. The Criminal Procedure Code allows for a person to be dismissed from the occupied position, if the fact that he or she stays at the position will hinder justice. This preventive measure is used quite often and presents an effective means for ensuring that interests of criminal procedure are protected.
The current legislation defines deprivation of a right to hold office or pursue an activity as one of the forms of non-custodial sentence. The mentioned measure allows protection of the interests of criminal investigation and thus shields the public interest.
It is also noteworthy that ambiguity of the provision in question also provides grounds for declaring it unconstitutional.