23 Sep 2023
The Special Investigation Service (SIS) presented a guideline document for the qualification of facts of torture and ill-treatment
The Special Investigation Service (SIS), with the support of the Council of Europe (CoE), organized a presentation and discussion of the guideline defining the qualification of the facts of torture and ill-treatment. The representatives of the Public Defender's Office, non-governmental organizations, and academia attended the event.
Based on the decisions and recommendations of the European Court, a guideline document for the qualification of criminal cases of ill-treatment defines the criteria for unconditionally classifying an action as torture, humiliating, and inhuman treatment and outlines circumstances where it is permissible to classify the action as official misconduct.
The document will assist in establishing a consistent practice and reducing the possibility of cases involving torture and inhuman treatment being categorized as official misconduct.
This guideline was developed by an expert within the framework of joint initiative of the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) – “Human Rights for All - Phase 2” implemented by UNDP and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). It was approved on July 31, 2023, through an order issued by the Head of the Special Investigation Service (SIS).
"The guidance document will provide the opportunity to investigators of the Special Investigation Service (SIS) to promptly and accurately determine the qualifications for cases of ill-treatment," outlined Levan Kutateladze, Head of the Quality Monitoring and Analytical Department of the SIS.
The Georgian Young Lawyers' Association (GYLA) and the Public Defender Office were actively involved at specific stages of the document elaboration process.
"During the working meetings, we shared our opinions regarding the document. An essential aspect of our advocacy is focused on the recommendation to the Special Investigation Service (SIS) that investigations should begin with the correct qualifications aligned with the norms established by European Conventions," said Pati Chapichadze, a human rights analyst at "GYLA."
It should be noted that the correct qualification of an action as a crime has been emphasized in numerous decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. An improperly qualified criminal case at the investigation stage threatens the formation of the victim's confidence, involvement in the investigation process and obtaining relevant evidence of the crime.
The guideline document for the qualification of facts of torture and ill-treatment is accessible at the following link: www.sis.gov.ge