The problem of internally displaced people – refugees from the occupied territories of Georgia is one of the most important challenges for the country, which has been issue of many active efforts for several years. The protection of rights of these people is one of the main functions of the Legal Aid Service.
The Legal Aid Service for the protection of rights offers legal advice to refugees. They are entitled to use person-to-person and telephone/online consultation services. Legal Aid Service provides legal assistance for the protection of refugee rights, when:
- The rights determined under the Law of Georgia on Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories of Georgia” or by-laws has been violated and insolvent internally displaced person is authorized to requests appointment of a lawyer;
- Providing legal assistance to a refugee (representation in a court or administrative agency) is advisable because a case falls into the category of complex and important cases.
Internally Displaced Person - refugee is a citizen of Georgia or a stateless person having a status in Georgia, who was forced to leave their permanent place of residence, because of the occupation of the territory by a foreign country, aggression, an armed conflict, global violence and/or massive violation of human rights posed a threat to his/her or his/her family member’s life, health or freedom, and/or, taking any of the said reasons into consideration, he/she cannot return to his/her permanent place of residence.
A minor citizen child of Georgia or a stateless minor child having a status in Georgia is entitled to IDP status, if one or both of his/her parents have been granted and/or were granted IDP status, only on the basis of the consent of a parent(s) or any other legal representative. In case parent (parents) or legal representative fails to provide consent and a minor child has not been granted IDP status, he/she will be granted IDP status on the basis of a personal application upon the attainment of the age of majority.
A person submits application for granting the IDP status to the Ministry or its territorial unit. The Ministry shall make a decision on granting or refusing to grant the IDP status, within one month after receipt of the application. In accordance with the Georgian legislation the refusal to grant the IDP status by the Ministry may be appealed to a court within one month after receipt of notice of refusal.
The IDP status of a person might be terminated, if:
- IDP status was cancelled on the basis of a personal request;
- Problem eliminated at his/her permanent place of residence, which became reason of his/her displacement;
- The citizenship of Georgia of a person was terminated in accordance with the legislation of Georgia;
- The person, as a stateless person having status in Georgia, was granted the citizenship of another country;
- The court declared the person missing or dead;
- The person did not pass the registration of IDPs within the period announced by the Ministry in advance;
- The person died.
A person’s IDP status shall be restored, if:
- A court overturned the decision of declaring person missing or dead;
- His/her IDP status was terminated on the basis of termination of the citizenship of Georgia and he/she was granted citizenship;
- He/she had his/her IDP status terminated on the basis of a personal request and he/she filed a personal application for IDP status;
- He/she had his/her IDP status terminated due to the failure to pass the registration of IDPs within the period announced by the Ministry in advance and he/she filed a personal application for IDP status in a form of personal written request.
A person’s IDP status will be canceled, if he/she obtained the IDP status through submitting forged documents and/or information. The Ministry shall resolve the matter of termination, cancellation and restoration of the IDP status. Disputes regarding the termination, cancellation and restoration of the IDP status are resolved by the courts.
An IDP allowance shall be suspended on the first day of the month following the origination of the grounds provided for in this paragraph, if:
- The accuracy of documents submitted for granting the IDP status cannot be verified;
- A personal identification number of an IDP has not been submitted;
- A legal representative of a minor IDP child cannot be identified
An IDP allowance shall be terminated on the first day of the month, if:
- The accuracy of documents submitted for granting the IDP status were not verified, IDP failed to submit personal identification number, or a legal representative of a minor IDP was not identified during one month period;
- IDP refused to receive IDP allowance by his/her personal application;
- The IDP has left Georgia for a period of more than two months, except when his/her departure was related to a business trip, study or treatment at a medical institution (that is confirmed by appropriate documents), and the IDP had notified the Ministry about this in advance, in accordance with the procedure established by the legislation of Georgia;
- The IDP has given his/her consent to receive social assistance targeted at households below the poverty line, by a personal application;
- The taxable income of the IDP is GEL 1250 or more, that is confirmed by appropriate data of an authorized body defined by the legislation of Georgia
An IDP allowance shall be restored if the appropriate circumstances are eliminated on the basis of submission of a personal application of the IDP and the necessary documents, as well as in other cases defined by the legislation of Georgia and the payment of allowance shall be renewed from the first day of the following month and the amount that was not received by the IDP shall be reimbursed within one year from the day, when the IDP allowance was suspended.
IDP is entitled:
- To receive IDP allowance of GEL 45;
- Receive social and other assistance, in accordance with the procedure and terms established by the legislation of Georgia;
- Use a proper living accommodation on the territory of Georgia until returning to their permanent place of residence, except when he/she has been provided with a long-term living accommodation.
- To appeal a refusal to grant IDP status by the Ministry to a court within one month after receipt of notice of refusal.
- To submit administrative claim to a court regarding the termination, suspension and restoration of IDP status;
- To request receipt of allowance after the grounds for termination of allowance has been eliminated not later than one year from the moment the decision on termination of allowance has been made;
- To appeal to a court refusal on providing long-term living accommodation within one month from a receipt;
- To request from the Ministry payment of rent based on the conditions determined by the law in the amount of 300 GEL in case of not having long-term living accommodation;
Internally displaced person-refugee from the occupied territories of Georgia is provided with the free legal aid in accordance with the law.
- Constitution of Georgia
- Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- Law of Georgia on Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories of Georgia
- Decree #320 of the Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia on Rule of Providing Living Accommodation to Refugees issued on August 15, 2013
- Decree #287 of the Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia on Granting, Termination, Suspension and Restoration of IDP Status and Rule of Processing the Registration of Refugees and the Refugee Data Base issued on July 16, 2013
- Law of Georgia on Legal Aid
- Law of Georgia on Advocates
- Ordinance #424 of the Government of Georgia on Approval of a Rule for Determination of Insolvency of a Person
- Decision #20 of the Legal Aid Board on Approval of Regulation of the Legal Entity of Public Law –Legal Aid Service
- Decision #27 of the Legal Aid Board on Approval of Criteria for Providing Legal Aid Service determined under article 5 and 3 of the Law of Georgia on Legal Aid
- Professional Code of Ethics for Lawyers
Scope of Service
In the course of conducting defense on civil and/or administrative cases, the lawyer of Legal Aid Service, as the rule conducts following actions:
- Reviews the information and case materials.
- Meets with the client and provides legal advice.
- Analyzes the information related to the case, ensures the collection of evidence and submission with the court for the purpose of successful conduct of the case.
- Represents the client in court.
- Drafts legal documents related to the case – motions, claims, counterclaims, motions complaints, applications.
- Informs the client an in case of necessity his/her legal representative on the course of conduct of the case.