The online discussion "Legal and Political Consequences of the Historic Judgment of the Strasbourg Court" was organized by the Georgian think tank Geocase with the aim of analyzing the legal strategy for Georgia's victory of the August 2008 war case in the European Court of Human Rights.
The Chair of Geocase, Victor Kipiani, acted as a moderator during the online discussion. At the beginning of the discussion, Kipiani focused on the importance and topicality of the issue.
"This decision will be a kind of a guideline for our political and legal struggle until the occupation of our country ends and international law is restored," Kipiani said.
Giorgi Nakashidze, Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of Georgia in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, a former adviser to the Georgian government on the Georgia v. Russia case, said that the decision of the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights was indeed historic, as de-occupation and non-recognition policies were now legally founded and were no longer just the assessments made by the Georgian side based on the facts. Nakashidze spoke about the five-point strategy used by Russia in the legal dispute process and the consequences of the court decision. The details of the new complaint of continuous occupation were also discussed, which refer to the violations of the rights of Georgian citizens during the "borderization" process, including the Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili cases.
"The European Court of Human Rights has concluded that the de facto regimes are so dependent on Russia that they are in reality effectively under Russian control, so any violations in this area are automatically attributed to Russia, which is one of the great achievements of the Georgian side. This has been written in our legislation since 2010 and now it has been strengthened in international law as well,” said Nakashidze.
Oleg (Bacho) Tortladze, a researcher at Geocase, spoke about the importance of the Strasbourg Court ruling. He stated that for the protection of the state’s territorial integrity, this result is a precondition for Georgia to step up legal action against Russia on the facts of the occupation and the violation of human rights.
"Up until now, Georgia could only rely on international resolutions and partners; now there is a lever in place, which significantly strengthens the legal position of the country in terms of recognizing Georgia's military occupation and, likewise, non-recognition of the occupied territories. The circumstances established in the decision of the European Court of Human Rights show a strong prospect of resumption of the dispute in the International Court of Justice. Furthermore, the recognition of the right of internally displaced persons to return, together with the resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, strengthens the legal framework."
"As a result of the historic decision of the Strasbourg Court, a new stage for the de-occupation of the country must commence, in order to free our country from barbed wire and restore its territorial integrity, which is the axis and cornerstone of the state’s stability," said Khatuna Burkadze, Professor of International Law.
"It is necessary to develop a new strategy to start a new phase of de-occupation. This strategy should be developed on the basis of a common consensus and agreement, and should be based on an in-depth analysis of the environment both within the country and internationally, including recent developments in the region and the global crisis and the challenges posed by the pandemic," Burkadze stated.
The Chair of Geocase, Victor Kipiani, noted in conclusion that Georgia should make every effort to inform the international community as soon as possible about the legal and political consequences of the historic decision of the Strasbourg Court.
"We need to better inform the international community, in the wake of which we need to break the Russian machine that is spreading misinformation," Kipiani said.