Country Listing

Georgia Table of Contents


Regional Courts

Until the Gamsakhurdia period, regional courts were elected by regional party soviets; since 1990 regional courts have been appointed by regional officials. After the beginning of ethnic struggles in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, regional military courts also were established. The head of state appoints military judges, and the Supreme Court reviews military court decisions. The Tbilisi City Court has separate jurisdiction in supervising the observance of laws in the capital city.

The Constitution

Under Gamsakhurdia Georgia had continued to function under the Soviet-era constitution of 1978, which was based on the 1977 constitution of the Soviet Union. The first postcommunist parliament amended that document extensively. In February 1992, the Georgian National Congress (the alternate parliament elected in 1990) formally designated the Georgian constitution of February 21, 1921, as the effective constitution of Georgia. That declaration received legitimacy from the signatures of Jaba Ioseliani and Tengiz Kitovani, at that time two of the three members of the governing Military Council.

In February 1993, Shevardnadze called for extensive revisions of the 1921 constitution. Characterizing large sections of that document as wholly unacceptable, Shevardnadze proposed forming a constitutional commission to draft a new version by December 1993. According to Shevardnadze's timetable, the draft would be refined by parliament in the spring of 1994 and then submitted for approval by popular referendum in the fall of 1994.

Data as of March 1994