Initiative that can make troubles for citizens
21 April, 2011
Initiative that can make troubles for citizens

Lawyers criticize Parliamentary Majority’s draft law

If any evidence is damaged in any form, it cannot be counted as evidence any more disregarding any previous expertise on the evidence and its conclusion. So far, initiators of the draft law do not explain expediency of the planned changes. However, lawyers fear that such a decision may put citizens in a predicament.
The draft amendment of the Criminal Code authored by representatives of the Parliamentary Majority Pavle Kublashvili and Giorgi Chiviashvili intends

to change circumstances connected with the evidences.
According to the draft law, if the object of the expert examination is stored by the second party, the latter is obliged to hand over the object to an expert of the initiating side. The experts of initiating side are supposed to perform the expertise. However, if the side cannot do it, it can request the court to get permission for the handover of the object to an expert, and do so where the investigation takes place. The sides would be informed about the time and place of the expertise. If the request author does not show up, the request is not examined. The court may decide to examine the request without verbal hearings. The decision of the court would be immune to any appeal.”
According to the draft law, the article will have an extra passage as follows: “if the expertise initiating side cannot or will not ensure protection of the subject of expertise examination, the expert conclusion would be unacceptable evidence. Questioning the expert as witness is prohibited.”
This means the main evidence of any case may suddenly loose the status and become worthless. Naturally, the case would be critically affected. In this regard, the interested party would have motivation to destroy the evidence. What is more, such destruction of evidence would incur not so severe penalty against the culprit expert.
In parallel with the proposed amendment, Kublashvili and Chiviashvili also devised another draft to amend Criminal Code. Here though the text reads that failure to protect the object of expertise on the part of the expert, resulting from negligence or ill intention, is punishable by penalty or 180-240 hrs public work or up to 2 years of corrective work or 3-5 years of imprisonment.”
Lawyers believe this decision will leave citizens vulnerable. They fear that the new rules will allow any interested party to harm or lose any evidence. One should keep in mind that the court accepts five types of evidence, including an expert conclusion. Therefore, experts explain, one cannot dismiss expert conclusions offhandedly.
“If evidence is lost, culprits must be identified. The same evidence may get lost in the expertise agency, court, administrative body and alike. So, it is crucial that you list every piece of evidence to an administrative court before applying to it. Their chancellery is obliged to check your application, appeal and their applicability.
Lawyers specify that the evidence obtained by a citizen may become problematic because courts often request originals of such evidence. If the evidence is lost then one should expect problems.
Some of the lawyers do not understand why conclusions of experts would be neglected because these documents already represent evidence themselves. So, it means if one evidence is lost, two evidences would be removed and disregarded by the court. It’s mind - boggling.
It is noteworthy that Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association protests the change. They say there are a large number of uncertainties which would likely pose problems to citizens. Plus, such uncertain clauses create misunderstandings in a procedural sense also.
So far, the authors of the draft law keep silence about the topic saying only that these questions would be specified during the second hearing. As the reader may remember, the draft law was only discussed at a committee level during the first hearing.

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