Review of Georgia’s Law on Assemblies and Manifestations
PUBLISHED: OCTOBER 2023
The Law of Georgia “On Introducing Amendments to the Law ‘On Assemblies and Manifestations‘” was adopted on October 5, 2023, and is awaiting the approval of the President.
The law’s stated purpose is to facilitate authorities’s safe management of public gatherings and the exercise of freedom of expression. It was put forward in reaction to a State Security Service of Georgia advisory regarding a potential attack on protests in late 2023.
However, Georgian civil society organizations have expressed concerns about the law infringing on the right to peaceful assembly and significantly interfering with freedom of expression.
This ICNL and ECNL analysis examines the law’s compliance with international law and European standards and finds that the law fails to meet all three requirements for a permissible restriction on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly:
- Being prescribed by law
- Necessary in a democratic society and proportionate to the risk
- In pursuit of a legitimate aim
Further, the law’s vague language risks allowing the government’s sweeping discretion on restricting the right to the freedom of peaceful assembly by prohibiting participants of the assembly from installing temporary constructions and the undefined sanctions (and their unknown severity) for violating the law’s provisions will likely discourage participation in assemblies.