Constitution of Georgia (country)

Constitution of Georgia
Constitution of Georgia (Country).jpg
Constitution of Georgia
Created2 July 1995
Ratified24 August 1995
LocationParliament of Georgia
Author(s)State Constitutional Commission of Georgia
SignatoriesThe members of State Constitutional Commission and Parliament of Georgia

The Constitution of Georgia (Georgian: საქართველოს კონსტიტუცია, sakartvelos k'onstitutsia) is the supreme law of Georgia. It was approved by the Parliament of Georgia on 24 August 1995 and entered into force on 17 October 1995. The Constitution replaced the Decree on State Power of November 1992 which had functioned as an interim basic law following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Early constitutional history

Fragments of the Constitution of 1921

On 21 February 1921, facing the onset of Soviet aggression, the Constituent Assembly of Georgia adopted a constitution of the Democratic Republic of Georgia, the first modern fundamental law in the nation's history.

Under Zviad Gamsakhurdia, the first democratically elected president of the newly independent Georgia, the nation continued to function under the 1978 constitution of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, which was based on the 1977 constitution of the Soviet Union.[1] The first post-communist parliament amended that document extensively.[1] In February 1992, the Georgian National Congress (the alternate parliament elected in 1990) formally designated the Georgian constitution of 1921 as the effective constitution of Georgia.[1] That declaration received legitimacy from the signatures of Jaba Ioseliani and Tengiz Kitovani, at that time two of the three members of the governing Military Council.[1] In February 1993, Eduard Shevardnadze called for extensive revisions of the 1921 constitution.[1] Characterizing large sections of that document as wholly unacceptable, Shevardnadze proposed forming a constitutional commission to draft a new version by December 1993.[1]

2004 Amendments

On 4 January, Mikhail Saakashvili won the Georgian presidential election, 2004 with an overwhelming majority of 96 percent of the votes cast. Constitutional amendments were rushed through Parliament in February strengthening the powers of the president to dismiss parliament and creating the post of prime minister. Zurab Zhvania was appointed prime minister and Nino Burjanadze, the interim president, became speaker of parliament.

2010 Amendments

On 15 October 2010, the Parliament of Georgia adopted with 112 votes to five major amendments to the constitution, which significantly reduced powers of the president of Georgia in favor of the prime minister and the government. The new constitution went into force upon the 17 November 2013[2] inauguration of Giorgi Margvelashvili, the winner of the 2013 presidential election.[3]

2017–2018 Amendments

On 26 September 2017, the Parliament of Georgia adopted the much-debated constitutional amendments with 117 voting in favor and two against. The vote was boycotted by the opposition. According to the new legislation, direct presidential elections are to be abolished and the country will transfer to fully proportional parliamentary representation in 2024.[4][5] On October 9, President Giorgi Margvelashvili vetoed the amendments and returned the draft bill to the Parliament with his objections, but the Parliament overrode the veto and approved the initial version on 13 October.[6] Further amendments, incorporating several Venice Commission-recommended changes, were adopted on 21 March 2018.[7]

The following amendments were in the constitution.

  • Define marriage as "a union between a woman and a man for the purpose of creating a family.”[8]
  • Agricultural land is a ‘resource of exceptional significance’ and can be owned only by ‘the state, a self-governing entity, a citizen of Georgia, or a union of Georgian citizens’.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Darrell Slider. "The Constitution". Georgia: A country study (Glenn E. Curtis, ed.). Library of Congress Federal Research Division (March 1994). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ Walker, Shaun (28 October 2013). "Georgia elects oligarch PM Bidzina Ivanishvili's candidate as president". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  3. ^ New Constitution Adopted. Civil Georgia. 15 October 2010
  4. ^ "Parliament Approves Constitution on Final Reading". Civil Georgia. 27 September 2017. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Key Points of Newly Adopted Constitution". Civil Georgia. 27 September 2017. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Parliament Overrides Presidential Veto on Constitutional Amendments". Civil Georgia. 13 October 2017. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Constitutional Changes Passed on Final Reading". Civil Georgia. 24 March 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Georgia's Ruling Party 'Supermajority' Passes Unilateral Constitutional Reform". Jamestown.
  9. ^ "Georgia temporarily lifts ban on sale of agricultural land to foreign citizens". OC Media. 7 December 2018.

External links

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