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 (MIA) are instructed to immediately initiate investigations when they suspect that an offence might have been committed on the basis of hatred and intolerance. The Information-Analytical Department of the Ministry generates statistical data about criminal offences with an element of discrimination. In January 2018, the Human Rights Protection and Monitoring Department (the Department) was established in the MIA to monitor hate crimes, collect statistics and oversee the initial stage of investigation on other, ordinary crimes motivated by bias. These procedures are in accordance with an instruction issued by the MIA. There are two mechanisms used for case monitoring: one is an internal control mechanism, which implies the monitoring of investigation quality using an electronic programme of investigation by the employees of the Department, conducted on daily basis; and the other is an external control mechanism, which entails receiving information on particular incidents and cases from outside actors, such as CSOs, either in written or verbal form. An e-mail account has been set up for this purpose.
The Department identifies hate crimes and monitors relevant cases if the following bias indicators are revealed during an initial study:
- 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. At the same time, the spreadsheet contains a reference to the specific indicator that points to an intolerance motive. Bias motivations listed in Paragraph 3(1) of Article 53 of the Criminal Code of Georgia (such as race, colour, language, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religion, disability, citizenship, nationality, ethnic affiliation, and origin) are then monitored. The MIA does not monitor cases (incidents) that do not contain criminal element.
The Department further developed a recommendation on "Identification and Effective Investigation of Crimes Committed with the Motive of Intolerance on the Grounds of Discrimination." The recommendation provides, among other things, a definition of a hate crime, the methodology of investigation and the identification of the motive, or circumstances to be considered to clarify the bias motive. The document has been distributed to the territorial bodies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Based on a recommendation regarding the application of 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 less 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 the Memorandum of Cooperation on Collection of Data on Crimes Committed on Grounds of Intolerance with Discrimination Basis and Publishing a Joint Report, signed by the Supreme Court of Georgia, the General Prosecutor's Office, the MIA, and the National Statistics Office of Georgia signed in September 2020, all parties to the memorandum, except the National Statistics Office of Georgia, are obliged to provide each other with the information necessary for maintaining the data defined by the Annex of the memorandum twice a year during the reporting period. The MIA should report on the number of investigations of crimes disaggregated by bias motivations according to the criminal code provisions. The General Prosecutor's Office should report on the number of decisions to initiate/not initiate decisions to prosecute and/or terminate investigations and prosecutions and other actions, disaggregated by bias motivations. The Supreme Court collects and reports on the number of persons convicted, the types of punishment imposed, and the application of the aggravating sentencing provision disaggregated by intolerance motive. All data from all bodies should 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 the involvement of victims and witnesses 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 act as a participant of the criminal proceedings based on a 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 file.
Please note that the above text may be subject to updates based on information provided by the National Point of Contact