- There are two types of discrimination:
- Direct discrimination
Different treatment of persons in the same situation or equal treatment of persons in different situations due to race; skin color; language; sex; age; citizenship; origin; place of birth; place of residence; property or social status; religion or faith; national, ethnic or social origin; profession; marital status; health; disability; sexual orientation; gender identity and expression; political or other opinions; or other characteristics, unless such treatment is objectively and reasonably justified, serves the attainment of legitimate goals, and is necessary in a democratic society.
- Indirect discrimination
Different treatment of persons put in the same situation by a provision, practice or criterion that is neutral in form, or equal treatment of persons in different situations, due to race; skin color; language; sex; age; citizenship; origin; place of birth; place of residence; property or social status; religion or faith; national, ethnic or social origin; profession; marital status; health; disability; sexual orientation; gender identity and expression; political or other opinions; or other characteristics, unless such treatment is objectively and reasonably justified for the attainment of legitimate goals and is necessary in a democratic society.
How to protect ourselves from discrimination?
If the right to equality is violated by a statute or a regulatory law adopted on the basis of a statute, it is possible to apply to the Constitutional Court of Georgia at any time. Article 14 of the Constitution protects the right to equality before the law. This article contains a comprehensive list of the grounds of discrimination, although the Constitutional Court has on many occasions found a violation of Article 14 on grounds that are not directly provided for in it. The Constitutional Court will invalidate statutes or regulatory laws if they contradict Article 14 of the Constitution.
If a person is discriminated against through an act carried out or a decision taken by a public institution or a private person, the victim should apply to a court of common jurisdiction within three months of the discriminatory act. The court can oblige the person that has committed a discriminatory act to stop or remedy the discriminatory act or to pay moral and/or material damages to the victim.
The victim may lodge an application with the Public Defender against the private person or public institution that has committed a discriminatory act. The Public Defender will assist the victim in documenting the fact of discrimination. The Public Defender can invite the victim and the person responsible for the discriminatory act and try to reach a settlement between them. He can request information from the private or public institution while studying the fact of discrimination, and the public institution is obliged to provide the Public Defender with the requested information within 10 days of the request. Failure to fulfill this demand will result in administrative liability of the respective civil servant. If there are conditions conducive to discrimination or a threat of committing a discriminatory act, the Public Defender will submit a general proposal. If the Public Defender establishes the existence of discrimination beyond doubt, he/she will send a recommendation to the person responsible for the discrimination. If the Public Defender’s recommendation is rejected, the Public Defender can file a lawsuit in court against the administrative body demanding issuance of an administrative-legal act or taking a relevant action; the Public Defender can also file a brief of amicus curiae in court.
It is impossible to litigate a case simultaneously in a court and through the Public Defender. The Public Defender is supposed to stop examining an application if the same issue is simultaneously being examined by a court. If the court takes a decision on the issue, the Public Defender is supposed to stop the proceedings on the same issue. At the same time, if you apply to the Public Defender, keep in mind that the Public Defender is not limited by law to a concrete term, and it may turn out to be impossible to take the final decision within three months of the commission of the discriminatory act, which rules out the possibility to apply to a court afterwards.