Chapter 0 Introduction

Governmental Action Plan on Human Rights (2018-2020) Monitoring Report for 2018

This document presents the outcomes of the monitoring of chapters 3 and 4 of the Governmental Action Plan on Human Rights (2018-2020) in 2018.

It is commendable that the Action Plan for 2018-2020 eradicated some shortcomings of the previous plan; the present Action Plan incorporates, almost with regard to each objective, recommendations and proposals made by the international and local monitoring bodies, which should be taken into account when fulfilling the objectives and carrying out activities determined by the plan.

It should also be mentioned positively that the Action Plan for 2018-2020 determines indicators not only with regard to specific activities but also in relation to objectives. This, in principle, contributes to the assessment of the performed work; however, there are still problems with regard to adequacy and sufficiency of indicators. Furthermore, many indicators still serve to measure the quality of the implementation of activities rather than to indicate the fulfilment of an objective.

Setting out broad scopes of timeframes is a considerable shortcoming of the Action Plan. The entire timeline for the Action Plan, i.e. 2018-2020, is determined as the timeframe for the majority of objectives and activities.

It should also be pointed with regard to Chapter 4 of the Action Plan that on 22 February 2019, the Minister of Justice of Georgia approved by Order no. 385 the Strategy on the Development of the Penitentiary and Crime Prevention Systems and Action Plan for 2019–2020. The latter is mostly in compliance with the Governmental Action Plan. However, the Action Plan approved by Order no. 385 determines in more detail the interim and final (projected) outcomes and timeframes of the activities planned for achieving the sought goals, which will significantly contribute to the effective implementation of the plan.           

Cooperation with Responsible Agencies

The absence of cooperation on the part of the Special Penitentiary Service of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia considerably hampered the monitoring process. Despite numerous written requests (including using the portal and oral reminders, this agency has not supplied any public information.

The only written response we received from the agency under the Ministry of Justice was letter no. 2/111173 of the LEPL Execution of Non-Custodial Sentences and National Agency of Probation, dated 4 December 2019, which informed us about the activities aimed at former prisoners’ resocialisation and rehabilitation. This information has been included in the respective section of the report.

It is noteworthy that the 2018 Report of the Public Defender’s National Preventive Mechanism also pointed out the problems it encountered in terms of cooperation with the Special Penitentiary Service: “It is regrettable that, despite good cooperation of the past few years with the Penitentiary System, 2018 was not the best in terms of active cooperation. On many occasions, the NPM was not provided in a timely manner or was not provided at all with materials and information necessary for discharging its mandate. This amounted to the failure to comply with the Public Defender’s legal requests and constituted the ground for the imposition of a fine. The Public Defender hopes that this practice will change for the better and the active cooperation based on dialogue with the ministry will be restored.”[1]

It should be mentioned that cooperation was considerably simpler in the previous years in terms of both provision of information and holding workshops and discussions. This fact is a clear example of a negative effect of the centralisation.[2]

Against the background of the above difficulties, the active cooperation on the part of the Department of Monitoring Human Rights Protection and Quality of Investigation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in terms of providing information and statistical data is to be mentioned particularly positively.


When assessing the activities carried out within the framework of the Governmental Action Plan on Human Rights for 2018-2018 and outcomes achieved in this regard, only the activities conducted in the reporting period, i.e. 2018, were taken into account. The activities that were implemented during the preparation of this report have not affected the assessment; however, they have always been mentioned in the text of the report or the footnotes.

The special methodology developed for the monitoring of the Governmental Action Plan on Human Rights for 2016-2017[3] has been used to assess the achieved outcomes. This methodology is aimed at assessing the sought outcomes both in quantitative and qualitative terms. In certain cases, where the indicators determined by the Action Plan cannot ensure adequate assessment of the outcomes, or they are either irrelevant or insufficient, the fulfilment of objectives can be assessed with the help of additional indicators.[4]

The monitoring outcomes are based on the information and statistical data given in the reports and researches prepared by international and national monitoring bodies and organisations in the recent years, namely:



Legislative acts of Georgia, namely, the Imprisonment Code, the Criminal Code of Georgia, the Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia and secondary legislation were also used during the preparation of the report.

The report reflects the information obtained through the written communication maintained with respective agencies.



[1] The 2018 Report of the National Preventive Mechanism of the Public Defender of Georgia, 2019, p. 10.

[2] On 5 July 2018, under the amendment to the Law of Georgia on Imprisonment Code, as of 11 July 2018, the Ministry of Corrections and Probation of Georgia was merged with the Ministry of Justice of Georgia setting up a public subordinate agency within the system of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia. It is unknown as to what ground or precondition served as the basis for this decision. The ministries had not had any meetings and/or consultations with academia, experts or civil society regarding this change; there are no known researches or recommendations that would shed light on the reasons and necessity of the abolition of the Ministry of Corrections and Probation of Georgia. Subordinating such a large system to the Ministry of Justice is a clear example of centralisation. It is noteworthy that many European countries uses this model of the penitentiary system such as, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, France, etc. Nevertheless, these are full democracies with a long-standing good governance. Accordingly, the work of the penitentiary system is decentralised and the Minister of Justice’s functions are purely formal.

[3] The methodology document is available at:

[4] For instance, decrease in the number of court judgments adopted against the councils (activity indicating the fulfilment of objective 4.1.2) on its own cannot indicate the improvement of the parole mechanism. Many factors serve as the reason for decrease in the number of court judgments adopted against the councils, inter alia, ineffective performance of courts, and low awareness among offenders about the complaint mechanism. It is noteworthy that in this second instance, small number of judgments against the councils indicates the defectiveness of the parole mechanism.