Published: 27 Jun 2017 | By Nino Jomarjidze
The independence and impartiality of investigative authorities
For many years, the lack of transparent, independent and effective investigation of crimes committed by law enforcement agencies has been identified as one of the most serious problems in Georgia. Impunity cultivated by the failure to investigate and punish perpetrators of ill-treatment has led to the systemic abuse of power by law enforcement officials.
This article explores the Georgian Government’s failure to ensure the institutional and practical independence of investigative bodies, in spite of some general measures being undertaken by the Government on the basis of judgments from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) delivered against Georgia in the Gharibashvili group of cases. The article firstly argues that the adopted general measures have been inadequate to ensure the independence and impartiality of investigative authorities nationally. Secondly, this article examines some of the deficiencies in the domestic legislation regarding the requirements of impartiality of investigative bodies, namely the importance of creating an independent investigative mechanism with prosecutorial and investigative powers as an effective tool to execute the general measures undertaken on the basis of the ECtHR judgments.