Constitutional Court of Georgia admitted the claim of religious organizations for the consideration on the merits
On February 6, 2017 Constitutional Court of Georgia admitted the claim (N811) of religious organizations for the consideration on the merits. Tolerance and Diversity Institute (TDI) and Tbilisi Free University Law Clinic are representing interests of the claimants.
According to the suit, the claimants requested to find those norms of the Law of Georgia on State Property unconstitutional, that contradict to the equality before the law (Article 14) and property ownership and inheritance rights (Article 21).
The claim argues the constitutionality of the provisions in para. 2, para. 3 and para. 5 of the Article 3, in the Law of Georgia on State Property, pursuant to which, religious organizations registered as legal entities of public law (except the Georgian Orthodox Church) are not allowed to purchase the state property. Furthermore, para. 1 of the Article 63, is disputed in the claim. The mentioned article enables the State to transfer the state property only to the Georgian Orthodox Church, free of charge.
According to the claim, the disputed articles create obstacles and inequality for religious organizations, in comparison to the Georgian Orthodox Church, and therefore violates their constitutional rights.
Constitutional Court of Georgia admitted the claim partially: Rejected consideration of the Article 3, and will consider the constitutionality of the Article 61 (enabling the State to transfer the state property only to the Georgian Orthodox Church, free of charge) of the Law of Georgia on State Property with respect to the Article 14 of Constitution of Georgia.
The lawsuit is prepared in the framework of the memorandum signed by Tbilisi Free University and TDI.
TDI provides legal aid in the frame of the project Combatting Religious, Ethnic and Racial Discrimination in Georgia in the framework of East-West Management Institute’s (EWMI) project Promoting Rule of Law in Georgia (PROLoG) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)