Amicus Curiae Brief relating to Principle of Reasonable Accommodation

On October 25, 2022, the Public Defender of Georgia applied to Tbilisi City Court with the opinion of the friend of the court (amicus curiae brief) regarding the application of the principle of reasonable accommodation in relation to a child with disabilities.

According to the lawsuit, the child with disabilities found it impossible to receive education tailored to his individual needs at the preschool institution. In addition, the institution recommended the child's mother to hire a special teacher for the child during the education process.

Given the vulnerability of persons with disabilities and the increased risk of discriminatory treatment, the Public Defender considered it important to assist the court in identifying the alleged denial of reasonable accommodation as discriminatory treatment. This form of discrimination is relatively new in Georgian legislation, and therefore, it is important for the court to correctly identify its elements and promote the introduction of the right practice. In the opinion, the Public Defender reviewed the existing approaches relating to access to inclusive education for children with disabilities, including the standards established by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The opinion also focused on the importance of applying reasonable accommodation and its elements.

According to the Public Defender's assessment, it is important for the court to examine whether the preschool education institution provided services adapted to the child's individual needs. In particular, whether the education process was inclusive and whether the education materials/activities were modified in such a way that the plaintiff could receive appropriate education like other children; as well as whether the provision of services tailored to the individual needs of the plaintiff, within the scope of the obligation of reasonable accommodation, would create unjustified difficulties and disproportionately large costs for the respondent.

The opinion of the friend of the court is not intended to support either party's position and focuses on human rights law standards.

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