Georgia marks 97th anniversary of the adoption of its first constitution
21 February, 2018
Georgia marks 97th anniversary of the adoption of its first constitution
Georgia celebrates the anniversary of the country’s first democratic constitution, historical document that serves as the basis of the country’s contemporary constitution.

On February 21, 1921, the Constituent Assembly of Georgia adopted the first constitution after gaining back independence from Russia.

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The Act
of Independence. 1918


The Constitution adopted on February 21, 1921, counts 97 years. Tragically, soon after its adoption, Georgia was occupied by Russia again and the constitution was suspended. Public figures who played the leading role in development of the constitution were: Noe Jordania, Pavle Sakvarelidze, Sergi Japaridze, Giorgi Gvazava, Mikheil Rusia, Levan Natadze, Ioseb Baratashvili, Akaki Chkhenkeli, Giorgi Naneishvili and others.

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Russian Red Army in Tbilisi. 25 February, 1921

The historic occasion in Tbilisi was held three years after Georgia gained independence from Russia in 1918 and only four days before the country again fell under occupation by Soviet forces.

Despite its short existence, the 1921 constitution is considered a fundament of Georgia’s independent statehood. The constitution also formalized basic subjects for the country, such as state language.
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Constituent Assembly of Georgia

The constitutional provisions reflecting human and citizens’ rights can be considered the greatest achievement and significant progress made by Georgia at that time.

The authors of the 1921 Constitution intended to establish a system under which these rights were based on the basic principles of individual liberty.

It also declared the rights of minorities and their access to social, economic and cultural development.

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Publication of 1921 constitution

It must be mentioned that the 1921 Constitution belongs to the first wave of constitutions drafted as a result of the historical evolution of justice. The date of its adoption coincides with the end of World War I. The countries that adopted new Constitutions at that time include Austria, Germany (the Weimar Republic), Czechoslovakia, Finland, and the Baltic Republics.

There were two attempts of restoring the first democratic constitution in the history of Georgia.
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In February 1992, the Georgian National Congress (the alternate parliament elected in 1990) formally designated the Georgian constitution of 21 February 1921 as the effective constitution of Georgia. In February 1993, Eduard Shevardnadze (President of Georgia from 1992 to 2003) called for extensive revisions of the 1921 constitution. Characterizing large sections of that document as wholly unacceptable, Shevardnadze proposed forming a constitutional commission to draft a new version by December 1993.
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Original sample of the document is currently preserved at the National Archives of Georgia

Original sample of the document is currently preserved at the National Archives of Georgia, along with other documentary and photographic material of the First Democratic Republic of Georgia.

Related stories:

26 May: the day of Georgian Independence

Independence Day – The birth of Democratic Republic of Georgia

April 9 tragedy – 27 years after the fight for Georgia’s independence

‘Give Tulips to One Another’ – a song that became an anthem of freedom
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