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Thursday, 09 February , 2023
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Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili Holds a Working Meeting with Minister of Justice, Rati Bregadze and His Deputies

The meeting participants discussed the plans of the Ministry of Justice for 2023. The head of the government heard information from the officials of the Ministry of Justice about all the activities that the agency is planning for the current year.

At the meeting, it was noted that three main directions remain the priority of the Ministry of Justice: protection of human rights, provision of legal security of the country and accessible services for citizens.

In the direction of state services, attention was focused on projects, such as systematic land registration and systematic addressing, which started in 2022.

Within the framework of systematic land registration, the state measures and registers land plots free of charge for citizens in 59 municipalities according to a pre-established schedule. 187,720 plots of land (57,151.26 ha) have been measured within the scope of field work since the beginning of the project. 95,617 plots (39,420.6 ha) were registered within the framework of systematic registration; Within the scope of sporadic registration, 15,833 plots (4,902 ha) were registered.

The systematic registration will be completed by the end of 2024 and as a result of the project, not only unregistered land plots will be registered, but also the overlapping/superpositions of the land plots registered years ago will be corrected, the identity of the owners will be clarified, the boundaries of the plots will be determined, disputes will be reduced/prevented, and the registered real estate will be included in the economic turnover.

Systematic addressing will be completed in 2024, and within the framework of the project, 78% of unaddressed settlements will be addressed across the country, namely: formation of streets, numbering of all immovable objects and reflection of addresses in the registry of rights to immovable objects. A single electronic database of addresses is being provided to relevant organizations (police, ambulance, post office, etc.). In addition, the borders of municipalities and settlements will be clarified.

At the meeting, the Prime Minister also heard the report on the implementation of the 2022-2025 services development strategy approved by the government in 2022. The strategy involves the development of a unified standard for the creation, delivery, quality assurance and evaluation of state services and the provision of state services to the population with this unified standard. There is an active cooperation between the agencies in order to implement the strategy, and by the end of the year it is planned that the 7 selected state agencies will be guided by a single standard in the part of state services.

During the conversation, measures implemented by the Ministry of Justice related to the implementation of the new Law on Entrepreneurs were also mentioned. The Ministry of Justice has introduced services adapted to the new law, and the agency is conducting an active information campaign to help entrepreneurs fulfill their obligations under the law, which involves bringing registered data into compliance with the new law by the end of 2023.

The Prime Minister also heard a report on increasing the availability of notary services. In 2022, the age limit for holding the position of notaries was increased; Also, the total number of notaries increased and the geographical area of notary offices expanded. As for the innovations in this direction, it is planned to strengthen cooperation within the framework of the memorandum signed with Germany, to introduce training courses for notaries, to cooperate with research centers and others.

It was mentioned at the meeting that the Ministry of Justice is planning to switch to even higher quality new generation identification documents in the near future, thus the highest standards of modern security will be observed; Digital signature (so-called Mobile ID) will be introduced and the Digital Public Service Hall application will be launched.

The conversation touched upon the construction of new Public Service Halls. In 2023, new Public Service Halls will be opened in Zestafon, Terjola, Samtredia, Akhmeta and Khashuri. Construction will begin in Khelvachauri, Tsais, Toli, Zot, Sachkhere, Shrosha, Mtskheta, Sagarejo, Gldani; The area of the Mobile Public Service Hall will be expanded, their number will increase to 20, and the innovative service will be available in all regions of Georgia.

In 2023, the Ministry of Justice will continue to introduce innovative services. Among them will be new projects of the Public Service Hall - personal assistant, self-service smart space and artificial intelligence in the field of telephone services. It is planned to open a holographic museum of law. Projects electronic assistant and rent/lease contract monitoring system will be introduced in the National Bureau of Enforcement.

The management of the Ministry of Justice noted that compared to 2020, the budget of the Ministry of Justice has actually doubled, for example in 2020 - 389,626,000 (state budget - 238,813,000 GEL, agency budget - 150,813,000) GEL, and in 2023 - 758,800,000 GEL ( state budget - 392 400 000 GEL, agency budget - 366 400 000 GEL). The Minister of Justice and his deputies thanked the Prime Minister for this support.

The conversation touched upon the probation system, emphasizing the reforms carried out, the most important link of which is the probation box. In its article, the European Probation Confederation (CEP) recognized Probbox as an innovation on a European scale. The draft of the Probation Code was discussed at the meeting as well, which, like the Penitentiary Code, will offer a number of innovations and benefits to employees of the probation system, as well as to probationers and other beneficiaries of the LEPL; The newly introduced unified electronic case management system for probationers and ex-prisoners was highlighted, which plays a vital role in the smooth and fast functioning of the LEPL.

The plan for opening new spaces for diversion-mediation and juvenile referral throughout Georgia was also presented.

In order to introduce the first, second and third level of prevention, a new project was discussed – an online crime prevention course for teachers and an orientation course for probationers. It was noted that this year the beneficiaries of the National Agency for Crime Prevention, Non-custodial Sentences and Probation will use the mobile application PROBAPP so that they can receive services related to the agency without leaving their homes. The conversation also touched on the role of the "Re-Market" store in the re-socialization process of prisoners, and the opening of two new stores in Kutaisi and Batumi was announced.

News in the field of archival services were also discussed - the construction of the Shida Kartli regional archive building and the design of the Mtskheta-Mtianeti regional archive building will begin this year.

At the meeting, the participants talked about the priority of the penitentiary system - replacing large semi-open institutions with small penitentiary institutions. For this purpose, a penitentiary facility for up to 700 convicts will be opened in Laituri.

In order to improve the availability and quality of higher education in the system, it is planned to expand digital education and introduce it in other penitentiary institutions within the framework of the innovative educational project Digital University. Sports festivals in various sports will continue. For this purpose, reconstruction-rehabilitation of sports fields in penitentiary institutions was carried out and it is planned to be fully equipped with sports equipment.

At the meeting, care for the employees of the Special Penitentiary Service and improvement of working conditions were emphasized as one of the main directions. For this purpose, from January 1, 2023, for the first time in the penitentiary system of Georgia, employees working in penitentiary institutions with an 8-hour work schedule are provided with one free meal; A 24-hour duty shift is provided with three meals a day.

Among the future plans, attention was focused on improving the living conditions of convicts, increasing the number of employed convicts and rehabilitation programs. It was mentioned that it is planned to develop the concept of preparation for release.

At the meeting, the participants also talked about the design and construction of a new small penitentiary institution, the design of the fire safety system in all penitentiary institutions and the introduction of modern security systems, plans to solve the needs of the institutions.

It was noted that the registration of accused/convicted persons in the penitentiary system is being produced by the new OIS program. The new OIS program is a flexible information system that not only allows obtaining complete information on each prisoner, but also creates the possibility of extracting and processing statistical and analytical data.

Activities planned in the direction of legislative activities were discussed at the meeting as well. It was noted that in 2023 it is planned to adopt a new Penal Code, which will improve the working conditions of the employees of the special penitentiary service and the legal status of persons in penitentiary institutions. For example, the accused will be granted a long appointment; All kinds of dating will become completely free; Except for high-risk convicts, everyone will have the right to receive higher education; The living conditions of accused and convicted persons will be equalized; All units of the penitentiary service will be given a special status, which will equalize and improve the conditions of employees; the circle of persons with special rank will be expanded; In addition to official and rank salary, the employees will receive a supplement for years of service.

The process of translating legal acts into the languages of Abkhazian, Ossetian and other ethnic minorities and placing them on the website of the Legislative Gazette will be actively continued. In particular, it was noted that at this stage, in total, 60 translated normative acts are available, the number of which should increase to 100 by the end of 2023.

The development of approaches based on scientific conclusions and in-depth analytics in the law-making process will again be a priority. For this purpose, intensive cooperation with higher educational institutions and the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia will continue. Also, work will be actively conducted in the format of the scientific-advisory council with the Ministry. In addition, in 2023, it is planned to publish four issues of the "Iustitia" magazine and launch a new legal online discussion platform.

In order to promote the involvement of civil society in the activities of the Ministry of Justice system, projects focused on strengthening the protection of human rights, introducing innovative services and strengthening legal security will be implemented.

At the meeting, the importance of continuous training of employees of the Ministry's system was emphasized and information about new training programs was presented. Attention was focused on the opening of a new training base for penitentiary service employees in 2023.

Another novelty of 2023 is the start of the operation of the "Justice" studio. The studio will be a professional media outlet for lawyers, will promote the legal profession, promote legal awareness and public involvement in legal discourse.

Special attention was paid to the protection of the state's interests in international courts. After Georgia won all disputes against Russia in Strasbourg and Hague courts, active work will be carried out to effectively enforce the decisions of international courts.

Attention was focused on the sharp trend of decreasing complaints against Georgia in the Strasbourg Court. In particular, as of 2023, only 155 complaints filed against Georgia will be considered in the Strasbourg Court, which is a historical minimum for Georgia during its membership of the Council of Europe. For comparison: between 2009 and 2012, the European Court considered 3,000 to 4,000 complaints filed against Georgia. The apparent decrease in complaints in the International Court of Justice is an expression of the reforms implemented by the Georgian authorities in the field of justice since 2012, as a result of which the people of Georgia have regained their trust in state institutions and they can protect their rights within the country.

The interests of the state will be actively protected in international arbitrations. This year, the priority will be the enforcement of 3 disputes won last year, within the framework of which the state avoided damages in the amount of 330 million GEL and gained the right to receive compensation in the amount of 187 million GEL. On the other hand, contracts will continue to be signed with bona fide investors, within the framework of which public and private interests will be fairly balanced.

In order to make the process of approximation of Georgian legislation with EU law even more effective, an electronic portal will be launched in 2023, where all the legal acts of the European Union, which Georgia is obliged to approximate, will be displayed, and the level of legal harmonization will be measured automatically. In parallel with the above, the Ministry of Justice will conduct a legal examination of the normative acts developed in order to bring them closer to the EU law.

In order to further deepen sectoral cooperation in the field of justice, this year high-level meetings and legal forums will be held with up to 20 states, which, on the one hand, will contribute to the consolidation of the support of partner states in the European integration process and, on the other hand, will create a legal basis for protecting the interests of Georgian citizens living abroad.

At the end of the meeting, Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Gharibashvili gave new tasks to the Minister of Justice and his deputies.

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First Deputy Minister of Justice, Tamar Tkeshelashvili, Meets with Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations for Economic and Social Affairs, Li Junhua in New York

During a bilateral meeting in New York, First Deputy Minister of Justice Tamar Tkeshelashvili discussed the upcoming event dedicated to UN Public Services Day, set to be held in Tbilisi in 2026. She expressed her gratitude to Deputy Secretary-General Li Junhua and his team for their strong support and cooperation in this initiative.

The discussion highlighted one of the Ministry of Justice's key priorities: creating a human-centered system that ensures the provision of quality and secure services to all citizens.

Tamar Tkeshelashvili also underscored the significance of the 2023-2026 public administration reform strategy and the 2022-2025 public services development strategy. These strategic documents guide Georgia's ongoing development of public services, enhancing innovation and technology efficiency.

It should be the Ministry of Justice of Georgia's services were showcased at the 2024 UN Public Service Awards, highlighting the country's achievements.

The First Deputy Minister emphasized the considerable progress made by the Georgian government in establishing efficient, transparent, inclusive, and accountable state institutions.

At the end of the meeting, the parties agreed on the further development and deepening of cooperation in the direction of state services.

The meeting was also attended by the Permanent Representative of Georgia to the United Nations, David Bakradze, and Chairperson of the National Public Registry Agency, David Devidze.

At the conclusion of the meeting, both parties agreed to further develop and deepen their cooperation in state services.

The meeting was also attended by Permanent Representative of Georgia to the United Nations, David Bakradze and Chairperson of the National Public Registry Agency, David Devidze.