Plea Bargaining in Georgia: Negotiated Justice15 December, 2010
Introduction of plea bargaining in Georgia closely followed the November 23, 2003 Rose Revolution. The appropriate changes to the Criminal Code were adopted on February 13, 2004. Battle against corruption and organized crime were cited as the prime reasons for the innovation. However, its role for speeding up the cases in the judicial system and relieving the crumbling Georgian prisons was no less significant. Information on the functioning of the plea bargaining system and its achievements has not been readily available to public in the six years the system has been in place. This report aims at filling this gap and for this analyzes the legislative framework and the practical implementation of the plea bargaining in Georgia. The report highlights the achievements of plea bargaining in Georgia, as well as its weaknesses. Chief among the problems are the unequal powers of the parties to plea bargaining and the lack of transparency of the system, particularly when it comes to the fines. The report also gives several recommendations for improving the situation.