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 საერთო ცხელი ხაზი +995 577 07 05 63

DRUG POLICY / Analytical Documents

Mechanism of Deprivation of Rights for Drug-related Crimes

Problem Outline and Legislation

The drug policy in Georgia is more punitive than preventive, which, alongside heavy punishments, is manifested in an ineffective care system related to addiction. In addition to the primary measure of responsibility - punishment/penalty, the legislation imposes further restrictions in the form of the deprivation of rights for persons convicted of drug-related crimes and, in some cases, also of administrative offenses. This document aims to analyze the legislation and practice governing such deprivation of rights to advocate for systemic reform of this mechanism.

The deprivation of rights is one of the problematic mechanisms in the legislation regulating drug-related crimes and administrative offenses. The Law of Georgia "On Combating Drug-related Crime" (hereinafter: the Law) is the main legal act regulating it.

The law envisages an automatic deprivation of so-called civil rights for persons convicted of drug-related crimes. In contrast, in the case of an administrative offense (Article 451 of the Code of Administrative Offenses), the law leaves the discretion to use the mechanism to a judge reviewing the case.

Public agencies (Supreme Court, National Agency for Crime Prevention, Execution of Non-custodial Sentences and Probation) do not produce statistics on the deprivation of rights imposed on offenders. Accordingly, the precise number of persons deprived of specific rights due to conviction for drug-related offenses is unknown. Therefore, in the absence of quantitative data, the extent of the problem is not fully understood.

Notably, the law was developed within the framework of the "zero tolerance" policy, and besides a substantive one, it also had a symbolic meaning. The law imposed significant substantive restrictions on persons convicted of drug-related offenses. At the same time, the law also symbolically marked drug users as a particularly high-risk group who must remain excluded and disenfranchised even after having served the sentence. Despite mitigating the repressive nature of the drug policy in recent years, this law continues to be in effect, and more so, since 2012, the scope of its operation has only expanded.


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