The article is printed within the borders of the Shota Rustaveli National Scientific Fund’s fundamental research grant

Lela Janashvili, Giorgi Gogiashvili


Among the contemporary problems of Georgian constitutionalism one of the most important issues is the establishment in the country of an effective territorial model.

In the Georgian constitution of August 24, 1995, due to numerous objective circumstances, the decision regarding state-territorial organization issues has been left blank and their organization according to the article 2 paragraph 3 of the constitution has been passed on to constitutional legislation. A very important state decision has to be made, which increases the significance of this subject immeasurably for our country.

Our country for a long period of time did not have the opportunity to independently determine the its state formation issue. Without consideration for Georgian centuries long state traditions and historical development the imposed sate organization system gave rise to many difficult problems, the resolving of which was not possible without consideration for existent reality and objectives and aims that stood in front of the newly formed state. The country must once again follow the path of its traditional historical development, the path of temporarily deranged natural inner evolution. Together with the latter, the new state organizational model must aid the restoration of lost and violated territories wholeness, the country’s political, economic and cultural revival. The principles of constitutionalism remain expedient for Georgia, which from the day of obtaining of independence up to the present day is in search of the state model (here the management as well as the territorial organizational model are implied), this in confirmed by the recent formation of another new state constitutional committee with the aim of implementing amendments to our constitution.  In Georgia, all of the active constitutional committees executed unsuccessful attempts of resolving the above-mentioned issue and the issue, as of today, is unresolved. Based on the difficulty of the subject the resolving of the problem cannot be the result of a onetime decision, a process must be conducted, which will find its development, which requires solid theoretical basis.   Through utilization of the comparative method the study of the main models of state organization for the country in the stage of transformation may be very beneficial, and may help us in finding organic state organization.

From this standpoint, we are not only faced with huge problems related to Abkhazian and Ossian societies, but also in the legal consciences of the Georgian society. For resolving the legal problem (status) of Abkhazia and Ossetia a big compromise must be reached, both sides must be convinced in the offered model’s effectiveness, which cannot be reached without bringing up of successful precedents of world constitutionalism.

Which territorial organization model should we choose: Unitary or Federal? What should be the status of autonomies and other territorial units? What quantity of competency will remain with the central government and what quantity of competency should be handed over to territorial units? Which model of federation will be beneficial for Georgia?

With consideration of the official position of the Georgian government, the determination of the Abkhazian legal status must be carried out with consideration for the highest legal status for the autonomous units mentioned in the world constitutionalism practice.  Thus, several regions of the country (first of all Abkhazia and afterwards Ossetia) unlike from the regions with equal status will have special status, which implies a higher status, more rights and responsibilities in comparison to other territorial units and more inner autonomy. Based on the above-mentioned, we think that in the future Georgian territorial organization model the existence of an asymmetrical model is imminent.


Territorial organization, asymmetrical federalism, referendum

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