Public Defender Appeals to Constitutional Court against Temporary Exceptional Construction Rules in Batumi
The Public Defender of Georgia has applied to the Constitutional Court and demanded to suspend the temporary exceptional rule approved for constructions planned in Batumi and to declare it unconstitutional. The mentioned temporary regulation allows construction companies to conduct the construction process without observing safety norms, basic construction requirements, as well as strength, sustainability, fire safety and evacuation rules.
On June 23, 2022, in the last week of the spring session, the Parliament made changes to the Spatial Planning, Architecture and Construction Code of Georgia in an accelerated manner. The changes make it possible for a wide range of constructions planned in Batumi not to follow the construction obligations that ensure the safety of buildings and structures, safe environment for health and accessibility for persons with disabilities.
The disputed regulation, until the approval of the general development plan for Batumi in 2027, in violation of the building safety norms and functional zone requirements, allows to exceed the maximum construction intensity coefficient (k-2) and maximum height of buildings by any volume, as well as to disregard all other regulations established by legislation, except for the regulations relating to the protection of cultural heritage.
Particularly alarming is the possibility of implementing construction projects without observing the strength, stability, fire safety and evacuation norms of buildings, which poses a great risk to people's lives and health and violates the positive obligation of the State under Article 10 of the Constitution to take appropriate measures to protect the right to life.
The disputed norms also suspend the requirement of ensuring accessibility for persons with disabilities. Thus, the State violates the obligation under paragraph 4 of Article 11 of the Constitution to provide an accessible environment for persons with disabilities for full, equal and independent participation in public life.
The disputed rule allows the implementation of the kind of construction projects in Batumi, which can have a serious negative impact on healthy living environment, bring irreparable consequences for correct urban planning and maintenance of recreational and public spaces.
It is necessary to plan and implement measures in Batumi in order to alleviate, and not on the contrary, aggravate the difficult situation of spatial arrangement, created as a result of active, chaotic and spontaneous constructions over the years, something indicated by the Public Defender for many years. The implementation of massive constructions without the general urban planning and the requirements established by the Code may cause irreparable damage to the realization of the right to environmental protection.
In order to prevent the expected irreparable damage, we also request with the constitutional lawsuit to suspend the operation of the disputed norms until the final decision is made by the court.
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$775 Million in Additional U.S. Military Assistance for Ukraine
ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE
As we approach the six-month mark of Russia’s unprovoked and brutal full-scale war against Ukraine, President Putin’s forces continue their assault, inflicting grievous harm on civilians and causing massive destruction of civilian infrastructure. President Biden has been clear that we will continue to support the people of Ukraine in defending their country from Russia’s aggression for as long as it takes.
As part of those efforts, pursuant to a delegation of authority from the President, today I am authorizing our nineteenth drawdown since September 2021 of U.S. arms and equipment utilizing this authority. This $775 million drawdown includes additional arms, munitions, and equipment from U.S. Department of Defense inventories, equipment that Ukraine’s forces have used so effectively for their country’s defense. This package brings total U.S. security assistance committed to Ukraine to approximately $10.6 billion since the beginning of this Administration.
The United States stands with our Allies and partners from more than 50 countries in providing vital security assistance to support Ukraine’s defense of its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The courage and strength of Ukraine’s military and its people are extraordinary, and the United States will continue to provide additional systems and capabilities for Ukraine. These capabilities are carefully calibrated to make the most difference on the battlefield and strengthen Ukraine’s position at the negotiating table.
A MEMORANDUM OF COOPERATION WAS SIGNED BETWEEN THE MIGRATION DEPARTMENT OF THE MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS
Representatives of Zurab Zhvania School of Public Administration visited the reception center for asylum seekers of the Migration Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia and Nikol Pashinyan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Inaugurate a New Motorway Bridge on the Debeda River at the Sovereign Border of Georgia and Armenia
Friendship between our countries is measured by centuries-long history. Our relations are not only a role model of brotherhood and friendship, but a significant pre-condition of the welfare, stability, safety and development of the entire region. This jointly-built Friendship Bridge is a symbol of our successful cooperation and friendship. It was announced by Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia when delivering his key-note speech at the inauguration of a new motorway bridge today.
A new bridge, which is already branded as a Friendship Bridge, was built on the Debeda river by the Sadakhlo-Bagratashen Customs Check-Point at the sovereign border of Georgia and Armenia. It was financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) with 7.4 million Euros in total and jointly built by the two countries. It is a unique cross-border project for the region, as one part of it is located on the territory of Georgia, while the other part – on the territory of the Republic of Armenia.