National frameworks to address hate crime in Georgia
This page provides information on the national frameworks to address hate crime in Georgia. The information provided here should be viewed alongside data presented on Georgia's hate crime report page.
Hate crime recording and data collection
Employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs are instructed to immediately initiate investigations when they suspect that an offence might have been motivated by bias. The Information-Analytical Department of the Ministry generates statistical data about criminal offences with an element of discrimination. In January 2018, the Ministry established a Human Rights Protection and Monitoring Department (the Department) to monitor hate crimes, collect statistics and oversee the initial stage of investigation on other, ordinary crimes motivated by bias.
There are two mechanisms used to monitor cases: one is an internal control mechanism – an electronic program used by the Information-Analytical Department to monitor the quality of investigations on a daily basis; and the other is an external control mechanism, through which information on particular incidents and cases is reported by civil society and other organizations via a dedicated email account.
The Department identifies hate crimes and monitors relevant cases provided that the initial investigation identifies the following bias indicators:
Perception of the victim, witness or perpetrator that the institute was motivated by bias;
Victim belongs to a minority group and/or is associated with such a group;
Pictures, symbols and inscriptions depicted at the crime scene;
Ethnic, national, religious, and cultural differences between the perpetrator and the victim;
Perpetrator's participation in, or association with, an organized, hate-motivated criminal group;
The location and timing of the crime;
The nature of the crime and the means applied in the process of committing this crime; and
The nature and frequency of past crimes and incidents committed by the (alleged) perpetrator.
Alleged hate crimes are registered through a special spreadsheet by the Department in accordance with the articles of the Criminal Code of Georgia. The spreadsheet also contains a reference to a specific indicator to identify a bias motive. Bias motivations listed in Paragraph 3(1) of Article 53 of Georgia's Criminal Code (namely: race, colour, language, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religion, disability, citizenship, nationality, ethnic affiliation, and origin) are then monitored. The Ministry of Internal Affairs does not monitor cases that do not contain a criminal element.
The Department further developed a recommendation on the "Identification and Effective Investigation of Crimes Committed with the Motive of Intolerance on the Grounds of Discrimination." The recommendation provides a definition of hate crime, a methodology for the investigation and identification of the motive, and circumstances to consider when clarifying the bias motive. The document was distributed to the territorial bodies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Based on a recommendation concerning Article 53 §3(1) of the Criminal Code, the Human Rights Unit of the Prosecutor's Office must be notified electronically of potential bias-motivated crimes no more than three days after the creation of the relevant procedural document. The information includes case details, details about the judicial process and details of the investigation.
The Georgian judiciary collects its own statistical data on hate crimes through the Supreme Court's Analytical Unit, which collects all judgments in which Article 53 § 3 (1) is used as an aggravating circumstance from city and district courts.
Based on a memorandum of co-operation signed in September 2020, the Supreme Court of Georgia, the General Prosecutor's Office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs are obliged to share information on data defined in the memorandum's Annex during the reporting period (twice a year). The Ministry of Internal Affairs is required to report data on criminal investigations, disaggregated by the bias motivations included in criminal code provisions. The General Prosecutor's Office is required to report data on decisions to initiate/not initiate a prosecution and/or to terminate investigations and prosecutions and other actions, disaggregated by bias motivations. The Supreme Court collects and reports data on the number of persons convicted, the types of punishment imposed, and the application of the aggravating sentencing provision, disaggregated by bias motivations. Data provided by all bodies must be disaggregated geographically.
Hate crime victim support
There is no general victim support system in Georgia. Specific support dedicated to hate crime victims does not exist.
A co-ordinator's office for victims and witnesses exists within the Prosecutor's Office. The office facilitates victims' and witnesses' involvement in the investigation and proceedings by providing information, communicating between the parties, accompanying the victim or witness to court (when requested) and arranging meetings with prosecutors. Additionally, the office provides some psychological help and assistance in obtaining accommodation, rehabilitation services and free legal aid. There are also specialized prosecutors across the country dealing with hate crime cases. Individual assessments of victims' needs are not conducted in Georgia.
The witness and victim co-ordinator may participate in criminal proceedings based on the decision of the prosecutor. There is some evidence to suggest that victims of hate crime sometimes face problems related to their victim status and accessing their case files.