In the weekend 8-9 June 2019, IOM met with 11 judges and judge assistants to discuss the combating of smuggling of migrants and the role of the Georgian judiciary in this context.
The branch office of the High School of Justice in Tskaltubo (West Georgia) was host to a workshop led by the Chairman of the Batumi City Court, David Mamiseishvili, with an IOM representative sharing insights into the possible ways the Georgian law enforcement authorities can do more to combat smuggling of migrants in Georgia. Representatives from the judiciary deployed in Akhalkalaki, Akhaltsikhe, Kutaisi, Tsageri and Batumi presented their experience in dealing with the crime of migrant smuggling and the challenges they face in dealing with the evidence presented in court.
Discussions also focused on the need to present certain amendments to the Georgian legislation, including removing the misdemeanour of illegal border crossing from the Criminal Code, as a means to focus the efforts of law enforcement and the judiciary more meaningfully towards combating more serious misdeeds, and reviewing the country’s immigration legislation to diminish the risk of criminal networks targeting Georgia as potentially soft transit point.
The training was organized by IOM under the EU-funded project "Sustaining Border Management and Migration Governance in Georgia (SBMMG)".