Georgia’s Criminal Justice Reform Plan aims to strengthen the rule of law and human rights protection through a sequence of reforms across sectors of the judiciary to help Georgia to reach European and best international standards. Despite having already made substantial progress in recent years, the successful implementation of the reform package calls for further institutional changes across the public administration in general and to the structure of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance (MCLA) in particular.
The project aims to further strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Justice to ensure the implementation and monitoring of the Criminal Justice Reform Strategy of Georgia, endorsed by the Criminal Justice Reform Council in 2010. This involves work to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Justice (Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council) to coordinate and lead the highly complex process of criminal justice reforms with numerous stakeholders, including community support organisations, academia and professional associations; to assist the further development of analytical capacities of the Ministry; and to enhance public awareness and outreach regarding the goals and reforms planned in this area.
The project provides technical assistance to justice sector institutions (including the judiciary) in the implementation of the national Strategy and Action Plans for reform of the criminal justice system. For instance, in the framework of the sector reform agenda, our team provided support for the capacity building of the Ministry of Corrections, with particular emphasis on the Legal Aid Service (Legal Entity of Public), National Probation Agency (LELP) and Penitentiary Department.
Furthermore, our team worked to strengthen the capacities of the Georgian Bar Association (GBA) and the GBA Training Centre to ensure completely professional, ethical and competent legal assistance and representation of clients, specifically during criminal proceedings.
A notable achievement of this project has been the first Juvenile Justice Code in Georgia, adopted by the Georgian Parliament on 12 June 2015.
The probation body in Georgia is a dynamic organisation with insight that can make a significant contribution to the judiciary reform. There is significant progress towards an European model of community sanctions and measures.