Public Defender of Georgia Intervenes in Discrimination Case Considered by European Court

The European Court of Human Rights satisfied the request of the Public Defender of Georgia with regard to a third party intervention, on the basis of which, on November 13, 2017, the Public Defender of Georgia addressed the European Court with regard to a third party intervention in the case of Tkhelidze v. Georgia.

The complaint concerns the murder of Ilia State University lecturer Marika Tsivtsivadze by her former spouse, who committed suicide at the scene of murder in 2014. The European Court is considering the application on the basis of Article 2 (right to life) and Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention. It is indicated in the application that the police had been notified of the threats of physical and verbal violence and murder of the woman, but the notifications were not effectively responded. In addition, despite the repeated appeal after the murder, no investigation has been launched into the negligence of police officers. The applicant argues that the police did not fulfill its positive obligation to protect the life of the woman, which was motivated by discrimination on the ground of sex.

Taking into consideration the scope and significance of the issue in the existing context of Georgia, the Public Defender made a decision to intervene in the case and submitted information about the systematic problems in terms of violence against women in the country to the European Court of Human Rights.

The Public Defender provided the European Court with information about the cases of femicide in Georgia in 2014-2016, as well as the problems faced by the femicide prevention, monitoring and risk assessment mechanism and investigation authorities, emphasizing the situation of equality of women, as one of the vulnerable groups, and cases of discrimination against them.

The third party intervention allows third parties to provide additional information about specific cases to the European Court. The Public Defender of Georgia is applying this mechanism for the first time.

It is noteworthy that by Tbilisi City Court’s decision of 25 December 2017, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia was obliged to pay compensation for moral damages to Marika Tsivtsivadze’s mother and monthly allowance to her child until reaching full age.

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