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Government to Reinforce Property Rights
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 19 Dec.'07 / 13:39

The government has begun working on creating greater guarantees, including constitutional ones, for the protection of private property.

“[We should work] on reinforcing – including through possible constitutional changes – the perception that private property in this country is untouchable,” Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze said at a meeting of a government working group on December 18.

“We’ll redouble our efforts to make the constitutional provision guaranteeing property rights even clearer and firmer,” Justice Minister Eka Tkeshelashvili said.

The relevant constitutional provision currently reads: “Property and the right to inherit shall be recognised and guaranteed. The abrogation of the universal right to property, of the right to acquire, alienate and inherit property shall be impermissible… Deprivation of property for the purpose of pressing social need shall be permissible in circumstances expressly determined by law, under a court decision or in case of urgent necessity, determined by the Organic Law and only with appropriate compensation.”

On November 22 Parliament passed a resolution instructing state agencies, including law enforcement bodies, to cease probes into disputed properties, except in cases of “special interest” to the state. The resolution signaled a softening in the official stance on the issue. In June Parliament approved a law on the legalization of property, but it did not apply to properties under investigation at the time. The opposition refused to support it for this very reason.

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