Frequently Asked Questions
What is discrimination?
Discrimination is treatment or creation of circumstances that, based on certain grounds, put a person in an unfavorable position in comparison with other persons in analogous conditions or puts persons in essentially different conditions in equal positions.
The Law “On the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination” is in force in Georgia. It intends to eliminate every form of discrimination and to ensure equal rights of every natural and legal persons under the legislation of Georgia, irrespective of race, skin color, language, sex, age, citizenship, origin, place of birth or residence, property or social status, religion or belief, national, ethnic or social origin, profession, marital status, health, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, political or other opinions, or other characteristics.
Who can I address if I consider that I became a victim of discrimination?
- Any person considering himself/herself to be a victim of discrimination, may bring a court action
against the person/institution which he/she considers to have committed the discrimination and may claim for moral and/or material damages. The procedure for bringing a court action is governed by the Civil Procedure Code of Georgia.
- Any person may apply to the Public Defender of Georgia, which supervises the provision of equality and elimination of discrimination. The rule of submitting an application to the Public Defender of Georgia is set out in the Law “On the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination.”
What are the outcomes of the hearing of the case by the Public Defender?
The Public Defender of Georgia:
- Tries to settle the case by mutual agreement;
- Issues a recommendation to the relevant institution or person if settlement of the case by mutual agreement is impossible and there is sufficient evidence to prove discrimination;
- Submits general statements to the relevant institution or person on the issues of preventing or combatting discrimination;
- Is authorized to apply to a court, as an interested person, according to the Administrative Procedure Code of Georgia, and request the issue of an administrative legal act or the performance of an action, unless the administrative body responds to or shares a recommendation.
What are the requirements for the application to be submitted to the Public Defender?
- Name and Surname;
- Date of Birth;
- Personal Number;
- Contact Information (Address, telephone number, email);
- If applicable: the name, surname, contact information and authorization of the legal representative;
- The person who committed or is committing the alleged fact of discrimination (natural person, legal person, public institution, with an indication of name and surname / name and registration address);
- Detailed description of facts that prove discrimination (it is advised to attach documentation proving the facts of discrimination);
- Whether the mentioned fact of discrimination is under criminal persecution;
- Whether the mentioned fact of discrimination is under administrative proceedings and the stage of the proceedings at the time of submission of the application;
- Whether the mentioned fact of discrimination is subject to court proceedings and the stage of the proceedings at the time of submission of the application;
- Whether the author of the application has addressed alternative mechanisms for dispute settlement and the state of the proceedings at the time of submission of the application;
- Signature by the authors of the application or their legal representatives;
- List of attached documents.
If the application does not include the relevant information, the person is given a certain time to correct the shortcomings.
What is the burden of proof during the hearing of the case by the Public Defender?
A person who submits an application/complaint to the Public Defender of Georgia shall indicate the facts that provide grounds for the alleged discriminatory action and shall present relevant evidence.
A person shall submit the facts and relevant evidence to the Public Defender of Georgia that give reason to suspect discrimination, as a result of which the alleged discriminating person shall bear the burden of proving that discrimination did not occur.
What is the authority of the Public Defender?
The Public Defender of Georgia shall:
- discuss the applications and complaints of natural and legal persons or groups of persons, who consider themselves to be victims of discrimination;
- examine acts of discrimination based on applications or complaints, as well as on his/her own initiative and make appropriate recommendations;
- prepare and forward general proposals to relevant institutions or persons on the issue of preventing and combating discrimination;
- for the purposes of the Law, prepare opinions regarding necessary legislative changes and submit them to the Parliament of Georgia as legislative proposals;
- invite a victim of discrimination and an alleged discriminating person, and try to settle the case by mutual agreement of the parties;
- submit recommendations to relevant institutions or persons to restore the rights of victims of discrimination if the parties fail to reach an agreement and if there is sufficient evidence of discrimination;
- be authorized to apply to a court, as an interested person, according to the Administrative Procedure Code of Georgia, and request the issue of an administrative legal act or the performance of an action, unless an administrative body responds to or shares a recommendation and there is sufficient evidence of discrimination;
- record and analyze statistical data on discrimination cases;
- organize events to raise public awareness of discrimination;
- cooperate with various international governmental and non-governmental organizations, local nongovernmental organizations and the representatives of local civil society on discrimination issues.
Who can appeal to the Public Defender in relation to discrimination?
The Public Defender examines the application/complaint of natural or legal persons or groups (of Georgian citizens, citizens of foreign countries and stateless persons, as well as legal entities of private law, or political and religious associations), who consider themselves to be victims of discrimination.
What are the responsibilities of administrative, state and local government entities in relation to presentation of evidence?
Any administrative, local self-government and state body (including the Prosecutor's Office, investigation and court bodies) shall be obliged to transfer materials, documents, other information and explanations related to the case hearing to the Public Defender within 10 calendar days after request as provided for by law.
What measures are institutions obliged to take in order to eliminate discrimination?
In order to eliminate discrimination, each institution is obliged to:
- bring its activity, legal acts and internal regulations, if any, into conformity with the Law and other anti-discrimination legislation;
- respond promptly and efficiently to any alleged act of discrimination;
- if an act of discrimination is confirmed, impose liability on offenders under its control according to the legislation of Georgia and internal regulations, and ensure that the consequences of discrimination are eliminated without prejudice to the rights and legitimate interests of third persons/parties.