Legal Consultation Service



Giorgi Tortladze’s Initiative


Kick and Drugs 


Debate On Drug Policy Reform


Gap between ideality and reality


Drug Policy is a Public Interest


Alcohol, Drugs and Driving


Treatment of Opioid Users in Prison Institutions


Methadone substation treatment launched in Kutaisi


Prison Methadone Program in Georgia


 Hair analysis tests to detect positive result from 2 up to 4 months after drug use


Georgia on the way of drug policy liberation


Everyone will  go to prison!


Methadone Treatment & American Way of Happy End in Georgia



Domestic Legislation

Criminal Code of Georgia download   

New Guidelines for Judges to Address Drug Use Punishment

Levan Jorbenadze
Legal Advisor/Attorney
November, 2007

The chairmen of the supreme court of Georgia Konstantine Kublashvili in his speech addressing to judges all over the country noted that one of the aims of the judicial reform in Georgia is to establish court practice and the part of the practice should be the special guidelines for judges.

Traditional democratic countries in comparison to Georgia have more benefit: this is the well established court practice with some tens years of experience which is published and first of all available in electronic format for judges noted the chairmen of the supreme court. The most interesting is so called guidelines.  

These are the “recommendations” and “judgment guidelines” for judges. The chairmen noted

that the United States has the richest tradition in this way. The guidelines facilitate to establish the practice of the same understanding of the legislative norms and thus create the prompt and effective judgment. On the basis of the existing situation, practice study of General courts of Georgia and international ones on 5 February, 2007 the special commission was established. The commission helped to form guidelines which includes those detailed circumstances when and what kind of punishment the judges should impose addressing this or that article of the legislation.

As a result from 18 March 2006 till 2007 the judges in all levels from all over Georgia participated in the conference where the special recommendations were formed. According to the recommendations the judges will have the same understanding of the legislation that means imposition of the same sentences as it is outlined in the above mentioned guideline. These recommendations or in other words the guidelines must be used also by public prosecutors.

The judges from all the court instances in Georgia will have the same interpretation when addressing drug offences as article 273 of the criminal code. According to the article 273 criminal code of Georgia Illegal preparation purchase, keeping of small quantities of narcotics, its analogy or precursor for personal use or their use without doctor’s prescription, perpetrated after awarding an administrative sentence for such practice shall be punishable by fine or by public useful labour from one hundred and twenty to one hundred and eighty hours in length or by imprisonment for the term not in excess of one year.

For example according to the guidelines after the administrative fine will be imposed within one year for personal consumption of narcotic substances, its analogy or precursor; illegal preparation, purchase, keeping of small quantities or their use without doctor’s prescription, perpetrated two or more times will cause the punishment according to the circumstances of the case:

The circumstances of the case should taken into account                                     Punishment


Without the circumstances of article 273                                  Imprisonment till 6 months or fine no less than 3000 Gel


Cooperated with the preliminary Investigation                       Fine no less than 1000 Gel


Previously convicted (person with                                           Imprisonment till 1 year and

criminal record)                                                                      fine no less than 3000 Gel


Cooperated with the preliminary                                            Imprisonment till 9 months

Investigation but Previously convicted

(person with criminal record)


Note: in the significant circumstances it is possible to increase or decrease sentence for 6 months term within the ambit of article 273 of the criminal law. The fine should not be addressed only to those who are enrolled in the list of socially unprotected people. 

This is an extract from page 188 of the judges’ guideline which shows the very significant increase of fine and the term if imprisonment towards the persons who use drugs. It is worth while to mention that judges should take into account not only the above punishment but also expropriation of property from drug users and recidivism (perpetrated deliberate crime by the person previously convicted for a deliberate crime).

This guideline which is formed by judges with the help of the commission established with the order #3 of the chairman of the Supreme Court of Georgia would form more reasonable recommendations if they all were informed about the negative consequences of the harsh legislative norms particularly addressing drug use. The chairman of the Supreme Court of Georgia should care also that the information about harm reduction and other relevant documents attached to the guidelines in order to decrease the chance for future harsh recommendations.  

Share |

New Drug Policy for New Georgia

 With the initiative of Healthcare and Social Issues Committee of parliament of Georgia, MP Gigi Tsereteli and the authors-experts of the Global Fund presented to the parliament the draft which envisages significant changes in Georgian drug policy. The very significant changes will be implemented in the law on Narcotic Substances, Psychotropic Substances, and Precursors and Narcological Aid, Administrative Delinquency Code of Georgia, Law on Public Servants and what is the most important in Criminal Code of Georgia.  

 - The law on Narcotic Substances, Psychotropic Substances, and Precursors and Narcological Aid -                                                                                                                The main aim of the draft law on Narcotic Substances, Psychotropic Substances, and Precursors

and Narcological Aid is to come in compliance with the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs- 1961, The Convention on Psychotropic Substances – 1971 and Convention against the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances – 1988. Coming from the mentioned it will be envisaged the list of drug substances, psychotropic substances and precursors of small, big and especially big dosages. With the newly introduced changes Georgia no more be violator of the UN conventions, which in 2007 was the very reason of the application to European Court of Human Rights in the case Basiladze V. Georgia. The application submitted by NGO “Article 42 of the Constitution”. During the exploratory process, attorneys of the organization discovered that Georgian government violated United Nation’s International Conventions on Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances. The case addresses the sale and use of Subutex in Georgia. According to these international documents, “buprenorphine,” contained in Subutex, is not a narcotic, but psychotropic substance. However, “buprenorphine” in Georgia’s domestic law is treated as narcotic substance. According to the article 6 of Georgian Constitution, domestic laws should not be in contradiction with international conventions and documents.

Nowadays the draft introduces some corrections in terms. The draft determines what psychotropic substance is and what narcotic substance. Accordingly the difference is presented between the terms, which are the fundamental one. For example the current law gives restrictions to cultivating some herbs containing narcotic substances though there is no list of such ones giving the definition of such substances. The draft includes the core principles of drug support and treatment regulations for drug users.

The draft introduces the new term: Psychoactive Substance, which will be implemented in criminal and administrative delinquency code of Georgia. Psychoactive Substance is determined as any natural or synthetic substance, which is active on human central nervous system and brings the changes in one’s psycho condition.

Different from the current legislation the term of preparation determined as all the process except of production that, creates narcotic substances, psychotropic substance or precursors and also recreating one substance into another one. Preparation does not include the preparation of those substances prepared by drug stores.

The draft law differently and with the new terms introduces the determination of drug user, drug dependant, drug addiction and drug dependence…

By Levan Jorbenadze

15 March, 2008

The full text in English language will be available soon… Please check later

  For more information please contact: ;