Constitution of Georgia (Adopted by the Constituent Assembly on the 21st of February, 1921)

Constitution of Georgia (Adopted by the Constituent Assembly on the 21st of February, 1921)
Document number -
Document issuer საქართველოს დამფუძნებელი კრება
Date of issuing 21/02/1921
Document type Constitution of Georgia
Source and date of publishing Not certain, -, 21/02/1921
Registration code 000000000.00(0).000.000000
Not certain, -, 21/02/1921
Constitution of Georgia (Adopted by the Constituent Assembly on the 21st of February, 1921)
საქართველოს დამფუძნებელი კრება


Constitution of Georgia

Adopted by the Constituent Assembly on the 21st of February, 1921


Chapter I

General Provisions

Article 1

Georgia is a free, independent and inseparable State.

The permanent and unchanged form of the political system is a Democratic Republic.

Article 2

The capital of Georgia is Tfilisi.

Article 3

The state language of Georgia is the Georgian language.

Article 4

The flag of the Republic of Georgia is a deep red banner with black and white stripes.

The Coat of Arms of the Republic of Georgia is Tetri Giorgi (’White George’ (St. George)) with seven celestial bodies.

Article 5

All laws and mandatory resolutions shall be valid only when announced in a proper manner.

Article 6

The territory of the State may not be alienated, divided or sold.

The territory of the State may be expanded and/or disputed boundaries may be adjusted only in a lawful manner.

Article 7

Administrative division, and setting and changing the boundaries of self-governing units, may be done only in a lawful manner.

Article 8

The Constitution is the supreme law of the State. No law, decree, order or writ that contradicts the constitutional provisions and their spirit may be published.

Compliance with the Constitution and the realisation of its principles in legislation and administration shall be the duty of all state authorities.

Article 9

Any law and decree issued and published before the Constitution was adopted shall remain in force unless they contradict the Constitution and its principles.

Article 10

The Constitution is valid constantly and continuously, except where provided for in the same Constitution.

Article 11

Upon the approval and adoption of the Constitution, the Constituent Assembly shall publish it with the signatures of its members.


Chapter II


Article 12

The citizenship of Georgia is obtained by origin, marriage and naturalisation.

Article 13

A citizen of Georgia shall not be a citizen of any other state at the same time.

Article 14

A citizen of Georgia may renounce citizenship only after he/she has fulfilled his/her public duties.

Article 15

The conditions for obtaining and losing citizenship shall be determined in detail by law.


Chapter III

Rights of a Citizen

Article 16

All citizens are equal before the law.

Article 17

There is no distinction of title.

Article 18

No degree, except for an academic degree, may be conferred.

The Order of Honour shall be revoked.

A badge of merit may be conferred for proving oneself in a military action.

Article 19

The death penalty shall be abolished.

Article 20

No one may be punished except through legal proceedings, with the exception of a disciplinary procedure defined by law.

Article 21

All citizens shall be subject to common law procedure.

Article 22

A person is inviolable; no one may be detained or otherwise deprived of liberty or personally searched, except by virtue of a reasoned order of court or investigative body.

Article 23

The administration may, at its own discretion, detain a person in the following cases:

a) when a perpetrator is caught at the very scene of the crime;

b) when a victim or a witness identifies the perpetrator at the scene of the crime;

c) when an item proving guilt is found with a person who is a suspect, or when obvious elements and traces of a crime are found on his/her body or in his/her residence.

Article 24

An offender may also be arrested by a private person if he/she is caught at the scene of the crime and, at the same time, it is expected that he/she may abscond before the administration arrives.

Article 25

A person detained by order of either the judicial authorities or the administration must be brought before the nearest court within 24 hours; if the court is located so far away that it is not possible to bring the offender before it within 24 hours, this period should be extended on the basis of a current situation, but by no more than 48 hours.

Article 26

The court must immediately, but in any case, not later than within 24 hours, examine a person brought before it; following the examination, it must issue a written order to either keep the person in custody or release him/her immediately.

Article 27

The judicial authorities shall, if they are informed in any way and by any means that a person has been detained in violation of the aforementioned procedures, immediately investigate the case and issue a written order either to release the person or to keep him/her in custody.

Article 28

The residence of a citizen is inviolable: it may be searched only under a court order in cases provided for by the law.

Article 29

Private correspondence is inviolable: it may be seized and examined only under a court order.

Article 30

Every citizen has full freedom of movement and residence; this right may be restricted only by a decision of a court.

Article 31

Every citizen enjoys full freedom of conscience.

A citizen may not be persecuted or his/her political or civil rights may not be restricted because of his/her religion or belief. Everyone has the right to practise the religion he/she wishes to, change religion, or not belong to any religion.

No one can refuse to fulfil his/her political and civil duties by reason of religion and belief, except where defined by a separate law.

Acts of a religious nature shall have no influence on civil rights and civil status.

Article 32

Every citizen has the right to express his/her opinions and to propagate them verbally, in a printed way or by any other means, without prior permission from the government. For any offence a person commits in such a case, he/she shall be liable to a court of law only.

Article 33

Citizens of the Republic of Georgia have the right of public assembly without arms, indoors as well as outdoors, without permission from the government.

Article 34

If a meeting acquires a criminal character, the administration may dissolve it.

Article 35

Citizens of the Republic of Georgia have the right, without permission from the government, to found professional and all other types of unions, provided their objective is not prohibited by the law; a union may be dissolved by a court order only.

Article 36

The free development of intellectual, commercial, and agricultural and industrial professions is guaranteed by the laws of the Republic.

Article 37

The right of individual and collective petition is guaranteed.

Article 38

Workers have the freedom to strike.

Article 39

A citizen of either sex is equal in terms of political, as well as civil, economic and family rights.

Article 40

Marriage is based on the equality of rights and on voluntariness; the form and rules of marriage are defined by law. Persons born in and out of wedlock are equal in rights and duties. A mother has the right to seek for and prove who the father of her child born out of wedlock is, and a person born out of wedlock has the right to seek for his/her father.

Article 41

No political refugee, who has found shelter in the territory of the Republic, shall be extradited.

Article 42

Any official, as well as private person shall be brought to justice, in accordance with criminal law, for violating the rights of a citizen.

Article 43

During rioting or war, Parliament may temporarily suspend, over the whole Republic or in any part thereof, the guarantee of the rights specified in Articles 19, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 33 and 38 herein; and during war, the guarantee specified in Article 21 as well, provided that a court martial is possible only within a territory occupied by an active army.

If Parliament is not in session, the Government may, on its own responsibility, suspend the validity of the above guarantees, but it must immediately call Parliament and submit an ordinance thereto.

Article 44

During a large epidemic, the Government may temporarily suspend the guarantees of the rights specified in Articles 22, 25, 26 and 30 herein, as is necessary to fight the epidemic.

Article 45

The guarantees and the rights specified in the Constitution do not rule out any other guarantees and rights not specified therein but which follow from the principles recognised by the Constitution.


Chapter IV


Article 46

The representative body of the Republic of Georgia is the Parliament of Georgia, which is composed of deputies elected by way of universal, equal, direct, secret and proportional voting. Every citizen with full rights, without distinction of sex, who has attained the age of 20 years, has the right to vote in elections.

The Parliament is elected for a term of three years.

Article 47

The procedure for Parliamentary elections shall be defined by a separate law.

Article 48

A Member of Parliament shall not be brought to justice for opinions and views he/she expresses during the performance of his/her duties.

The person of a Member of Parliament is inviolable; he/she may not be detained or brought to justice while he/she is considered to be a Member of Parliament, unless permitted by Parliament itself. An exception is where he/she is caught at the scene of a crime. Such a case must immediately be notified to Parliament.

A Member of Parliament who has been detained or brought to justice must be released, if required by Parliament.

Article 49

A Member of Parliament may refuse to testify regarding facts that were disclosed to him/her in his/her capacity as deputy. He/she shall not lose this right even after he/she is not considered to be a deputy.

Article 50

Members of Parliament shall be awarded a remuneration determined by law.

Article 51

The issue of incompatibility of being a Member of Parliament, an officer, and a member of a profession, shall be determined by law.

Article 52

Power belongs to the entire Nation, and Parliament exercises power over the Nation within the scope of the Constitution.

Article 53

Parliament may issue laws, decrees and resolutions; the procedure for their publication shall be defined by a separate law.

Article 54

The rights of Parliament are as follows:

a) to pass legislation;

b) to oversee the supreme administration of the Republican army, and generally of all the armed forces;

c) to declare war;

d) to ratify peace treaties, and commercial and  similar treaties concluded with foreign states;

e) to grant amnesty;

f) to approve the budget;

g) to obtain internal and external loans;

h) to elect such officials as it is empowered to elect under the Constitution or according to law; and

i) to exercise general control over the executive authority.

Article 55

A session of Parliament is public, but Parliament may, by special resolution, declare a session, or part thereof, as closed.

Article 56

Parliament shall, on its own, decide on the lawfulness of the election of its members, and resolve any disputes in relation thereto.

Article 57

Parliament shall resolve each matter by a simple majority of votes, unless another procedure is adopted under parliamentary regulations or the law.

Article 58

A session of Parliament may be opened only when more than a half of the total number of deputies are present.

Article 59

Members of Parliament have the right to submit a question and to raise a question to the Government; the procedure for submitting a question and raising a question shall be defined by the law or parliamentary regulations.

Parliament may appoint an investigative and inquiry commission.

Article 60

Parliament shall define parliamentary regulations and its own rules of procedure.

Article 61

Parliament shall meet annually on the first Sunday of November. New parliamentary elections shall be called in autumn, at the same time throughout the Republic, on the assumption that the newly elected members are present at the opening session of Parliament.

Article 62

Parliament may temporarily suspend its operation only by a decision of Parliament.

While the operation of Parliament is suspended, the right to convene it in an emergency shall be vested in the Government, or in the Presidium of the Parliament.

Parliament shall meet if one quarter of the number of deputies requires it to do so.

Article 63

The right of initiative belongs to:

a) each Member of Parliament, and/or

b) 5, 000 voters.

Article 64

If required by 30,000 voters in writing, Parliament shall present a newly adopted law to the people for a referendum.

The procedure for holding a referendum is defined by law.

Article 65

Parliament shall elect the Presidium of the Parliament every year.


Chapter V

Executive Power

Article 66

The executive power of supreme administration belongs to the Government of the Republic.

Article 67

The Government has a Chairperson elected by Parliament for a term of one year. The same person may be elected only twice in succession.

Article 68

Other members of the Government – the ministers – are selected by the Chairperson of the Government from among the citizens of the Republic that have the right to vote in parliamentary elections.

Article 69

A member of the Government may not at the same time hold any other office or follow a profession; he/she may only be a Member of Parliament, and a voter in local self-government.

Article 70

The Chairperson of the Government shall be vested with the power of supreme representation of the Republic. He/she shall appoint ambassadors to other states, and foreign ambassadors shall be directed to him/her.

In an emergency situation, when the Government is unable to pass an ordinance, the Chairperson may call back the armed forces of the Republic, which action shall immediately be notified to Parliament.

The Chairperson shall issue an order and a decree for the enforcement of law, but he/she shall have no right to suspend the effect of the law or prevent its enforcement.

The Chairperson of the Government may order, on the basis of a decree, an inspection of any branch of administration, or place or event, in accordance with the procedure specified under law.

The Chairperson shall have no other specific rights except for those conferred on him/her by the Constitution.

Article 71

The Chairperson of the Government shall have a deputy, who shall perform his/her duties in the Government.

Article 72

The general rights and duties of the Government are as follows:

a) the supreme administration of the affairs of the Republic, in accordance with law;

b) the supervision and enforcement of the Constitution and laws;

c) the submission to Parliament of a draft law, and of an opinion on a draft law submitted to the Government at the initiative of Parliament or the people;

d) the protection of the foreign interests of the Republic;

e) the safeguarding of the Republic from external dangers and the protection of the Republic’s independence;

f) the observance of internal order and the provision of security.

In unexpected circumstances, where need be, the Government has the right, on the basis of an ordinance, to mobilise the armed forces, but for not more than 21 days. If a longer period is required, the Government shall obtain permission from Parliament.

g) the management of finances, the minting of money in accordance with law, and the annual submission to Parliament of the expected accounting of revenues and expenses of the budget;

h) accountability to Parliament for its actions, and submission thereto, at least once a year, of a report on the internal and external situation of Georgia; and the submission of a special report if required by Parliament; and

i) the execution of all that assigned to it by law or Parliament.

Article 73

The administration of the other affairs of the Republic shall be distributed among members of the Government. Each of them shall manage the agency entrusted to him/her independently, and shall be personally responsible to Parliament. He/she shall resign if he/she loses the trust of Parliament, on the basis of a direct resolution of Parliament.

A minister shall have the right to vote in Parliament only when he/she is a deputy.

The Chairperson of Government is responsible to Parliament for general political activities, and he/she is obliged to submit to a resolution of Parliament and to execute it, and accordingly, if necessary, to change an individual minister or reorganise the entire cabinet.

Article 74

Each member of Government has the right to be present at a session of Parliament and/or its commission. If requested by a minister, Parliament and its commission are obliged to listen to said minister. If so required by Parliament and/or its commission, a minister shall also appear at a session and provide an explanation.

Article 75

The Chairperson of the Government and members of the Government are liable in a court of law for the violation of the Constitution. Only Parliament may institute legal proceedings against them. They shall be brought to justice in accordance with the common law.


Chapter VI


Article 76

There is one Supreme Court throughout the whole territory of the Republic of Georgia called the Senate, which is elected by Parliament. The Senate shall be responsible for:

a) the supervision of compliance with the law; and

b) the administration of a part of the judiciary in the capacity of a court of cassation.

Article 77

There are permanent courts to hear civil, criminal and administrative cases.

The organisation, jurisdiction and competence of a court shall be determined by law.

Article 78

The judiciary is independent and is only answerable to the law. Justice is administered on behalf of the Democratic Republic of Georgia.

Article 79

No judgment of a court shall be revoked, changed or suspended by any legislative, executive or administrative body.

Article 80

A court hearing is public; only in an emergency, and where necessary in the interests of securing moral norms and public peace, a court hearing may be closed by a decision of the court.

Article 81

The prosecution of serious criminal offences, as well as political offences, and offences related to printing, shall be carried out under a jury system.

Article 82

A judge shall be elected for a fixed term. The procedure and conditions for election, which the judge shall comply with, shall be defined by law.

Article 83

A court member may not be transferred from one place to another against his/her will, without a court decision. He/she may only be temporarily dismissed from post when he/she has been brought to justice or is under investigation. He/she may be finally removed from office by virtue of a court judgment.


Chapter VII

State Finances

Article 84

No tax whatsoever may be imposed or collected, unless approved by Parliament in advance.

Note: The right to impose local self-government taxes shall be established by a separate law.

Article 85

No one shall be exempted from state taxes, unless by virtue of a law.

Article 86

Unless by virtue of a law, no pension, reward, or generally no expense whatsoever may be paid out from the state treasury.

Article 87

No state loan and/or any other financial obligation may be obtained without the permission of Parliament.

Article 88

All revenues and expenditures of the State must be recorded in the budget.

The budget must be submitted annually to Parliament for approval.

Article 89

If Parliament fails to approve the budget before the beginning of the accounting year, with the permission of Parliament, the Government shall be authorised to pay for the public expenses, until the new budget is approved, according to the budget of the previous year.

Article 90

No expenses may be transferred from one paragraph of the budget to another without the permission of Parliament.


Chapter VIII

State Control

Article 91

The following shall be subject to state control:

a) the execution of the state budget with accuracy;

b) all revenues and expenditures of the State;

c) the accounting and balance sheets of the Government and different agencies;

d) the finances of local self-governments under the law.

Article 92

A State Controller shall be selected by Parliament. He/she shall not be considered a member of the Cabinet of Ministers, but shall be vested with the rights of a minister and shall be accountable only to Parliament. He/she shall submit an annual report to Parliament.

Article 93

The organisation and rules of procedure of state control shall be determined by law.


Chapter IX

National Defence

Article 94

Each citizen of the Republic is obliged to personally do military service in accordance with the law.

Article 95

The purpose of the military forces is to protect the Republic and its territory.

Article 96

The period of the military service and each deployment of military forces shall be determined by law.

Article 97

The number of young recruits obliged to do military service shall be approved annually by Parliament.


Chapter X

Local Self-Government

Article 98

Local self-government, at the same time a local government body, administers the cultural, educational, and economic matters within the scope of its territory.

Article 99

The organisation of local self-government, and its rights and duties, and the procedures for its administration, shall be defined by law.

Article 100

Local self-government shall have the right to issue a mandatory ordinance under law.

Article 101

Local self-government shall be elected in accordance with universal, direct, equal, secret and proportional voting procedures.

Article 102

An ordinance and a decree of a local self-government may only be revoked by a judicial procedure.

Article 103

Central government bodies have the right to suspend an ordinance and a decree of local self-government if it contradicts the law, and they shall immediately refer the case to a court. The procedures and conditions of the suspension shall be defined by law.

Article 104

Local self-government shall be subordinate to central government bodies in the administration process.

Article 105

Matters concerning which ordinances of local self-government require the approval of a central authority shall be determined by law.

Article 106

Local self-governments shall be vested with the right to make their own budgets, which shall be defined by a separate law.


Chapter XI

Autonomous Governance

Article 107

The integral parts of the Republic of Georgia: Abkhazia, the Sokhumi region, the Muslim part of Georgia (Batomi province) and Zakatala, the Zakatala region, shall be granted local autonomous governance.

Article 108

Statutes of the autonomous governance mentioned in the previous article shall be prepared under a separate law.


Chapter XII

Education and School

Article 109

Education in arts and sciences shall be free. It is the duty of the State to protect such education and to promote its development.

Article 110

Elementary schooling shall be universal, free of charge, and compulsory. The public school system shall constitute an organic unity, where primary school shall serve as a basis for secondary and higher schools. Education at schools of all stages of education shall be secular.

Article 111

The State shall aim to provide the poorest children at elementary schools with free meals, clothes and school materials, and for this purpose the State and local self-governments shall annually set aside a portion of their revenues.

Article 112

A privately established school shall be subject to common school law.


Chapter XIII

Social and Economic Rights

Article 113

The Republic shall be responsible for the dignified existence of its citizens.

Article 114

The confiscation of property or the restriction of private initiatives may be carried out only for state, public and cultural needs and under procedures defined in a separate law. Appropriate compensation shall be paid for property confiscated, unless otherwise specified in the separate law.

Article 115

The Republic has its own commercial and industrial economy. Its expansion, and the establishment of a whole and unified system of public economy, is the main objective of the Republic.

The Republic shall facilitate the expansion and strengthening of similar economic systems of local self-government bodies.

The Republic may, by virtue of legislation, nationalise the commercial, industrial, and agricultural sectors and production that are suitable for this purpose.

Article 116

The protection of a product of labour of a small manufacturer, such as an agricultural labourer or a house worker, from exploitation by private persons shall be a subject of special care by the State.

The prosperity of the agriculture sector shall also be a subject of special care by the Republic. The cultivation and use of the land is the duty of a landowner towards society.

Article 117

Labour shall be a basis for the existence of the Republic, and its provision shall be a special duty of the Republic.

Article 118

Under the laws of the Republic, local self-governments shall establish labour exchanges, job matching services, and other similar institutions, which shall register the unemployed, and facilitate their employment.

The number of representatives of the workers’ union in the management body of such an institution shall be no less than one half.

Article 119

A citizen who has been left unemployed shall be provided with assistance, either in the form of finding a job for him/her or in the form social insurance assistance.

Article 120

A citizen who is unable to work due to old age, illness or other reasons, where no descendant, guardian, manufacturer, or any other private or public institution, is obliged by law or custom to take care of him/her, and who has no means of subsistence, shall receive assistance from the state treasury in the form of social insurance or in another form. Assistance from the treasury shall also be provided to disabled persons, whose descendants or guardians cannot afford to support them.

Article 121

A hired worker who loses, fully or partially, the ability to work due to old age, injury or other reasons shall receive assistance in the form of social insurance based on his/her salary. The sum to be paid as social insurance shall consist of a special tax imposed on the employer.

Article 122

In addition to the special tax or other tax imposed for this purpose, a certain portion of the revenue of the Republic must be set aside annually for the fulfilment of the above obligations.

Article 123

Normal working time for hired workers must not exceed 48 hours per week; in addition, a worker must be granted a rest period of 42 consecutive hours once in a week. Any exceptions regarding the working time shall be defined by law.

In agricultural and other seasonal production, the proportion of working time subject to special conditions shall be defined by law.

Article 124

It shall be prohibited for a young person under 16 years of age to undertake labour in the production industry. The working time for minors of 16 to 18 years of age shall be fixed at 6 hours per day. It shall be prohibited for minors and women in general to undertake labour at night.

Article 125

A subject of concern for the Republic shall be to determine a minimum salary and normal working conditions in industry.

A labour inspectorate and sanitary surveillance shall be established, which shall be independent from employers.

Article 126

Female labour in industry shall be protected by a special law. A woman shall not work in an industry which is harmful for maternity. During the birth-giving period, a female worker shall be exempted from work for at least two months without suspending her salary. Employers shall  create for female workers work environment suitable for taking care of breastfed children.

Article 127

Violators of labour protection laws shall be liable to criminal prosecution.

Article 128

The Republic and local self-governments are obliged to ensure the protection of mothers and children.


Chapter XIV

Rights of Ethnic Minorities

Article 129

The free social, economic, and cultural development of ethnic minorities in the Republic of Georgia shall not be restricted, especially with regard to their education, and the internal administration of their own national and cultural affairs in their mother tongue.

All citizens shall have the right to write, print and speak in his/her mother tongue.

Article 130

Local self-governing units (community, municipality, or town) composed of an ethnic minority shall have the right to unite and form a national union for the better organisation and management of their cultural and educational affairs within the scope of the Constitution and the law. 

An ethnic minority which has no such self-government bodies may form a national union even without having such self-government bodies, with the rights and competence specified in this article.

Joining a national union shall be possible on the basis of the native language of a minority.

To meet the cultural and educational needs of ethnic minorities, some financial resources shall be set aside from the state budget and the budget of local self-governments in proportion to the number of people living there.

Article 131

No one shall be restricted in his/her political and civil rights while taking part in a national union.

Article 132

A national union may bring and defend an action in court which concerns the violation of a minority right granted by the Constitution and the law.

Article 133

Any citizen of the Republic of Georgia shall have an equal right to receive public, civil, military, municipal, or community services.

Article 134

A local administration composed of various ethnicities shall establish, using the funds set aside for education, sufficient number of schools and cultural and educational institutions in proportion to the ethnic composition of citizens.

Article 135

Teaching at an ethnic minority school shall be carried out in the child’s native language.

Article 136

Within a local administration, where any ethnic minority accounts for more than 20% of all citizens, at the request of said ethnic minority, any discussion and proceedings in state and public institutions shall also be carried out in the mother tongue of the ethnic minority along with the official language.

Article 137

Any non-Georgian deputy not having a sufficient command of the official language can make a speech before Parliament in his/her mother tongue, the accurate translation of which he/she shall submit to the Presidium of Parliament in advance.

Detailed procedures are defined by law.


Chapter XV

Public Officials

Article 138

A citizen of Georgia may be employed in any position provided he/she complies with the requirements of law.

Article 139

An officer or official may be dismissed or may receive a disciplinary punishment by a decree of the institution or head where he/she was accepted. The procedure for complete removal from office shall be defined by law.

Article 140

An officer shall have the right to a pension. The conditions for receiving pensions by officers and their family members shall be determined by law.

Article 141

Every officer shall be liable to a court of law under the general law.

A citizen shall have the right to bring an officer to justice for an offence under the public law procedure.

A citizen shall have the right to claim indemnification from the State for damage incurred as a result of an unlawful act of an officer.

The procedure and conditions for the indemnification shall be defined by law.


Chapter XVI

State and Church

Article 142

The State and the church shall be separate and independent.

Article 143

No religion shall enjoy privileges.

Article 144

Payment of expenses relating to religious matters from the State Treasury and local self-government funds shall be prohibited.


Chapter XVII

Revision of the Constitution

Article 145

The following shall have the right of general or partial revision of the Constitution:

a) no less than one half of Members of Parliament; and/or

b) 50, 000 voters.

Article 146

A proposal for the general or partial revision of the Constitution may be put for discussion on the agenda of the Parliament not earlier than six months after the submission of the proposal.

Article 147

A draft of the general or partial revision of the Constitution must be adopted by a majority of two-thirds of all Members of Parliament. It shall become effective only after approval by the majority of the people.

Article 148

The revocation of the form of administration of the Democratic Republic of Georgia may not become the subject of a proposal for the revision of the Constitution.

Article 149

Until the first meeting of Parliament takes place, the Constituent Assembly shall act on its behalf.